Well, today I attended my first craft market as a vendor. I learned a few things along the way. Previously I wrote about how as a newby I missed a lot of the deadlines to apply to be a vendor at Christmas markets (If you missed that post you can read it here). Then, I applied to a couple but didn’t get in. And eventually I decided to do a market at an elementary school. The table fee was low so I figured I didn’t have a lot to lose and, if anything, it would be good to get some experience with being a vendor at a market.
I think I did pretty well in terms of getting a market checklist together and making sure I had everything I needed. Hubby woke up early with me and drove me and all the stuff (a lot of stuff!) to the school. Hubby only had to go home to get two things I forgot (luckily it wasn’t a far drive). Even so those two things I could have lived without if I had to. (Hubby also surprised me with a handmade rustic business card holder this morning. You can see it on the far right corner of the table. It’s gorgeous. Isn’t he great?)
I also think I did fairly well in terms of setup. It is difficult to set up a bunch of signs on a flat table so I brought a couple of props along, basically things I had on hand, to raise some up off the table to make them easier to look at. Linda from Cottage Living (the shop where I have some signs displayed …if you missed that post you can read it here) kindly lent me a tree from the display in her shop so I could display my ornaments (how awesome is that?!). I may need to rethink a few things for next time but overall I think it turned out okay.
So, we managed to get up early, get there and set up just in time for go time. And then …nothing happened. There were no people (except for the other vendors). Now I will say that this market was run by the PAC (parent advisory committee) of an elementary school and as I found out it was their very first year. However, I was a bit concerned when I noticed earlier in the week that the event wasn’t advertised in the craft market section of the local paper. I know I had seen other school craft fairs in there.
Also, when my son came with his girlfriend he commented that there were no signs on the street leading up to the school. From the outside you would never know there was a craft fair going on in the gym. I think that the main people who came were friends and family of the vendors. I didn’t expect a huge, huge turnout like some of the bigger craft markets get but I guess I at least expected the parents of the students to attend.
On the upside I had lots of time to visit for the friends and family who did come to see me. (Thank you so much for coming to those who did!) I also enjoyed talking to a couple of the other vendors. I got some experience in and won’t be so overwhelmed preparing for the next market. And, at the very end a lady came to ask me about a custom order and took my card. If that order follows through then it may just make the day a win. I think the biggest thing I learned is to ask what the marketing plan is before committing to my next market. That, as I found out, makes a huge difference!
On the downside I am a bit disappointed after putting in so much work to prepare for this market. And, I have lots of stock! Anybody want to buy some Christmas ornaments?