For the last few weeks, I've been frantically running around trying to prepare for my next show. Well, this past Saturday was Ladies Fair 2009. Leading up to it, there were vendors meetings and several emails back and forth with the two ladies who were coordinating the event. It was the first year for it. It was the first time I have actually run a printed ad for a show or my business, which I submitted well in advance of the deadline, so I was pretty excited at the idea of that.
Saturday morning I picked up my mom at about 8:40 am. This was the first time she was joining at a show and she was a little keyed up about it, I think. In fact, I don't think she'd ever been to anything like a craft/art show before, so this was all new to her. She is the type of person who has to be doing something and it was a little challenging for me to keep giving her tasks. I'll just say it – I'm a total control freak. I'm very bad at delegating. Very bad. I managed to keep her somewhat busy during set-up though, so she was happy being useful.
When we arrived at Crossroads Community Church, the auditorium was pretty dark, there were people running around and there was no central location for vendor check-in. "Hmmm..." I thought. I started looking for my contacts and quickly located one of the ladies. We were told that booth spaces would be 8' x 8', and that they would be numbered and assigned because the booth numbers would direct people from your ad in their handout booklets to its corresponding booth. Well, there were no numbers. They were deciding as people arrived where to put them. I was asked if I would need electricity, and normally I do so I can light my pieces, but in the midst of everything going on and in the interest of time, I said it wasn't necessary. So I was positioned right where she happened to be standing, which happened to be under one of the canned spot lights. That turned out to be a blessing because they never did turn the lights up all day! Apparently they were not allowed or didn't know how. As you can see from the pics below, a lot of vendors were pretty much in the dark. It was not good.
Mom and I got everything set up in our booth that was not even nearly 8' deep. We were bumping into the people from the booth behind us. It was fairly uncomfortable actually. There wasn't much room to move around or get bags and boxes out from under the table for my customers' purchases. Thank goodness my tables are on the small side and that my set up is somewhat flexible. I took a few minutes to thumb through the booklet and, to my surprise, my half-page ad was nowhere to be found! I was furious. I spoke to one of the coordinators and she told me that I was not the only one whose ad didn't make it into the book. She blamed the printer, but I think they just sold more space than they had available. Pretty sure that's what happened with the booth sizes as well. It was very frustrating.
There was no time to even worry about it though. They had a steady flow of people the entire time (10 am - 3 pm). I had one very good experience with a mom and her daughter who were so fun. Very friendly and good to chat with while they were shopping. They ended up buying several pairs of earrings, a necklace and the mom even ordered a custom pair of earrings, which I dropped in the mail to her this afternoon. They were awesome and seemed to really like my designs. Throughout the day I also sold another bracelet and a few pairs of earrings, and had lots of lookers take my cards. My sales were just under $200, which is awesome. The space was only $25, so that is a tidy little profit to reinvest into what else... more supplies! :)
Below is my booth set-up and that is my mom sitting there behind the table. She would probably love to know that she's all over the internet! We just won't tell her. See how dark it was in there though? Yikes!
This was the booth next door to mine. The lady wasn't in it at the time of this pic, but she was very sweet and she just happens to be an Etsy seller, Ariel Michelle with the most adorable cosmetic bags on earth (that she makes herself, of course)! She just opened her shop on Etsy and doesn't have any bags listed yet, but you can see how great they are here and send her a convo! I suggested to mom that they'd make great gifts for all the granddaughters for Christmas, and she ended up buying 6 sets for them (they were in sets of a large and a smaller bag).