Yes, after a year in business I was finally talked into my first craft show. Only, it wasn’t really a craft show, it was a glorified yard sale with some crafters present. Held in the parking lot of a restaurant, we faced 20-30 mph winds that constantly blew my goods about and off my table.
1. Don’t You Dare Set Your Stuff Down Unless You’re Certain it’s Your Space
For $12, we each got a parking spot as a booth in which to set up. When I got there most people were set up, except in four empty, unlabeled spaces – one of which I knew was mine. Based on the occupied spaces, I surmised where I was to be. I put my table down, and was coming back with a chair when a woman came up with her table and proceeded to yell at the top of her lungs,”She’s stealing my spot! This woman’s stealing my spot!” A harried organized with a walkie-talkie came running up and kindly pointed me two spots over. The whole incident made me laugh. It was a parking spot for goodness sake.
2. Have Business Cards or Something With Your Information on It
I didn’t have anything but the labels on my bags! Oops. I did have some paper and a pen so I gave out my information to a few people interested in buying more bags and one organizer of an upcoming art/craft show. But I should have gone on Vistaprint and made myself up some business cards.
3. Meet Your Neighbors
I started talking to a lovely woman next to me selling handmade jewelry. A few words with her and I learned about the local craft circuit, how to do my taxes, and that I needed to aim much higher than a craft/yard sale. It was really nice to commiserate with her about the business. We exchanged information – I think it’s what corporate folk call ‘networking’.
4. Have Change & a Receipt Book
I was good to go on change with plenty of ones and fives. I kept a record of each bag I sold and at what price on a piece of paper. I also had my Square hooked up and even ran a credit card sale. But I didn’t have a receipt book. The cash sales folks didn’t care, but the credit sale did. I offered to email or text her the receipt, but she’s tech-incapable of receiving either. I noticed my friendly neighbor had a receipt book…
5. Don’t Be Disappointed
In 4 hours I sold 8 bags and made $55. Take out the $12 for the space fee and $22 for lunch afterwards (as a thank you to my friend who came with me), I garnered $21 for my day. I could pout, cry and throw in the towel, but again, it was a glorified yard sale. My bags have sold well consistently in the bookstore which tells me I just wasn’t at the right venue.
6. Report Sales to the Tax Man
Up to this point all my sales have been as a wholesaler, therefore, I haven’t had to pay taxes. But, crafter sales count as retail and I have to submit sales tax on that $55. I meet with my accountant tomorrow to learn how.
In all, a simple and sweet introduction to a craft fair. Nothing too daunting or exceptional, which is probably a good thing. Hopefully I’ll be doing another next month!