Sunday, 13 November 2011

It Could Have Been Worse

And it could have been much, much better. I'm not going to say a lot right now because I am planning on waking up tomorrow with a bright and chipper attitude, and my sense of humour back intact. I would like to thank everyone for their fabulous moral support and great messages. I have really appreciated it, and it has meant a lot to me to have found such a fabulous group of friends online.

Right, back to today. Um, what can I say? I will show you a little bit of how the stall looked. It was hard to get photos because my table was in the middle of the hall, and every time I turned around the girls were rearranging the display.

Helen took this photo, before we finished setting up, but it gives an idea.
Unfortunately I had no where to put the quilts other than folded on the table.
The Ikea decoration rack was a good buy.
It seemed to draw people's eyes and it was where most ornaments were sold from.
I didn't take any 'after' photos. There was no need. Because other than the girls moving stuff about there really wasn't that much of a difference.

0 cushions sold
0 baby blankets sold
1 zippy pouch sold - of the smallest size
3 buntings sold
Assorted ornaments sold - but not that many

And that was that. I didn't realise they were advertising it as a Christmas Craft and Gift Show. Seemed to be pretty much gift show, not craft. I think this influenced people and how much they wanted to spend. I had a lot of people stop, talk, tell me how wonderful everything was and then move on. That gets very disheartening after a while. I paid the organisers for the table and then made about £45. So, yes, it could have been worse. The lady I was beside only made enough to pay for the cost of her table. But the lady selling sock monkeys for £5 (Um, how does she do that? And does she make them herself or does she get them really cheap from Asia because £5 is such a low price?) seemed to be doing a killer business. On the other hand, the WI stall were left with loads of cakes at the end. I have never seen the WI not sell out and leave early!

So very much a mixed bag. The highlight had to be the lady beside me - who was very nice and very funny - saying that she was tempted to go and buy a sock monkey just so she could rip its head off as she hated the things. I got the pleasure of facing a table that was selling knit toys - proudly displaying a good sized sign declaring them all to be made with 100% acrylic yarn. That made me laugh out loud.

My girls knew I was disappointed and they were so lovely. Helen told me that no one else she knew had a mother who could make things like I could and that was enough to make her very proud of me. And then she took all the cushions and put them on the sofa, saying she had wanted to keep them for us anyway. Bless! Even the ones with the fire engines on them?

I haven't had a glass of wine yet. But I will soon. Right after I have produced a dinner from the freezer. Thank goodness for fish, chips and peas!

That's me. Wiped out. Dispirited. Still broke. But not down and certainly not out. Life can't get me that easily!

Susan

51 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry that people couldn't see wonderful craft makes at fabulous prices when they were under their noses...I'm glad you covered your table rent though and I'm sure that you will be able to sell your lovely pieces somewhere else and I'm still interested in buying some of your ornaments so let me know what's available and how I can pay you...enjoy the wine! P.S. You have such great children!

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  2. That's such a shame. Those who don't craft have no idea of the amount of time and thought we put into things.
    May I suggest that a whole bottle of vino should do the trick...and if you have availed yourself of the M & S £10 meal deal, the wine will be practically free so cheap therapy really ;-)

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  3. I am so sorry that it was a bit of a disappointment. I was thinking to go to a craft fair this November or December but in the end decided against it as I didn't have the time to produce the stock. I had a lot of trepidation about it anyway but think you can be proud of the great stock you produced and about the fact that you went, no matter the outcome.

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  4. Well, You made, you went, you sold and you made some money! I think you did brilliantly! I'm proud you put yourself out there Susan! Now sit back, enjoy the wine and unwind :) Tomorrow's another day :)

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  5. Well your stuff looks absolutely gorgeous, and you still have all that stuff to sell. How disheartening - but people really have no idea of the cost and time and energy we put into the things we make.

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  6. I really think those types of shows are really difficult. Most of them don't get tons of traffic (or the wrong kind) and everyone thinks handmade = inexpensive. So not true. I'm sorry it was a disappointment, the items you had for sale really are lovely!

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  7. oh I am so sorry - your both looks so cute too and all your items are gorgeous! But I have been there - you pour all your hard work into those items and then no one seems to appreciate them but they somehow appreciate the "hard work" of someone selling $2.00 ornaments from China that they supposedly hand-made :-)
    I've done a few craft fairs now to know - there are good ones and there are bad ones...it just takes doing a few bad ones to find the good ones....don't get discouraged - your items are lovely!!

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  8. That really sucks Susan and I got a lump in my throat hearing what your wee ones said - good girls.
    I honestly don't get it - people will pay loads for tat and expect to get handcrafted stuff for next to nothing. Enjoy your vino.

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  9. You made enough to cover your wine. That's a bonus.

    I agree with Sheila Anyone who doesnt craft has no idea what it costs to produce quality and they'll pay $$$ from mass produced crap from China but not for something unique and handmade. That's their problem.

    I'm so sorry you were disappointed (and I am disappointed for you ) but how fabulously insightful are your wonderful girls ?? That's what you take away from today - that you've raised two empathetic, loving kids.

    Have another drink. I'll join you (but just with coffee- it's 4 am here and if I turn up to work shiggered in a few hours I don't think my boss will be impressed!)

    XXX

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  10. You made enough to cover your wine. That's a bonus.

    I agree with Sheila Anyone who doesnt craft has no idea what it costs to produce quality and they'll pay $$$ from mass produced crap from China but not for something unique and handmade. That's their problem.

    I'm so sorry you were disappointed (and I am disappointed for you ) but how fabulously insightful are your wonderful girls ?? That's what you take away from today - that you've raised two empathetic, loving kids.

    Have another drink. I'll join you (but just with coffee- it's 4 am here and if I turn up to work shiggered in a few hours I don't think my boss will be impressed!)

    XXX

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  11. Aww I'm soooo sorry to hear this. You know where I am if you want to vent. Wish I was close enough to pop round with another bottle and some chocolate.

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  12. I'm so sorry your experience wasn't a fun one. But at least you made some money. Have you thought of selling your stuff online? Or am I stupid and have missed the links to ETSY etc?

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  13. Oh Susan I'm so sorry you've had such a disappointing day. Hope tomorrow looks better!

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  14. I'm sorry, I've been having those fair experiences since my very first one, and out of 5 fairs done, I have sold exactly 1 thing (albeit these were specialist collectors shows).

    People that walk into these sorts of things on spec aren't expecting to spend a fortune, and by that I mean over a fiver! At the one last weekend I literally watched parents cringe as their kids admired my 'fairy' bear (who is actually Glinda from the Wizard of Oz, but I couldn't be bothered to argue) and who knew without even looking that they couldn't afford the price tag. The woman next to me who was crocheting the ugliest bears I've ever seen was doing as roaring a trade as your sock monkey lady, I think mainly because parents saw her £10 price tag, and fell on them like an oasis in the desert!

    I'm chalking it up to a learning experience, and doing my last bear fair this coming Sunday (you book these a year in advance). I'm heading for etsy with a whole new kind of stock in the new year. I'd go for that with your remaining stock, at least people appreciate what they're getting on there!

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  15. Don't be dissapointed Susan, you have had your girls there to support you all day, made a bit of money, met new people, ... that is a super experience!. Tomorrow you will be more positive about it!.
    All the best.

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  16. Sorry to hear about your disappointing experience. It's extremely hard for real crafters to compete with cheaply produced items. Your table looked wonderful.

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  17. Okay, lots of what I would have said has already been said above, so to focus on the positive, I have been really impressed with the amount of lovely things that you have produced in such a short space of time so (if you want to keep doing this) I suggest you open a Folksy or Etsy shop immediately!
    Plus after seeing your Ikea display stand, I sent my husband there to pick me up a few as they are perfect for displaying my mini quilts on!

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  18. aww, that sucks, and it's rubbish...but I'm with the others on this..I think there are good fairs and bad fairs, and I SO don't want you to get disheartened because your stuff is lovely! It may or may not help you to know that my friend did a large Christmas fair this weekend (the sort you pay to get into) and although I haven't heard the final takings, she texted me yesterday to say people were only buying pocket money stuff. She had some of my things for sale, and only the badges were selling (the cheapest possible things!) Did it make you feel good though, to look at all your lovely things laid out? It should :) x

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  19. I'm with everyone else, of course- what a bummer! And what Deborah said is a great idea! Start a little 'etsy' shop! There are people who will buy your craft! The pillows could be sold without their 'inners' to make them more cost effective too! Good luck, chin up - we know you're a winner!

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  20. I'm with everyone else, of course- what a bummer! And what Deborah said is a great idea! Start a little 'etsy' shop! There are people who will buy your craft! The pillows could be sold without their 'inners' to make them more cost effective too! Good luck, chin up - we know you're a winner!

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  21. I can understand your disappointment but I still think you did great.
    And you have the best daughters ever :)
    Sending you a warm hug.

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  22. Sorry it was disappointing for you, I agree with the others, people who don't make things, don't appreciate the time spent. If you don't sell them elsewhere you will have the best decorated house this Christmas!

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  23. Your table looks incredible - absolutely gorgeous. Your attitude is incredible too, I'd be in tears! You did great, you really did. Deep breaths and try again next time. Be assured its not you, its just how things are at the moment, I've heard some others experience the same. Be proud of your work, do not lower your prices, just keep trying.

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  24. Ok girlie..this is what you are going to do! Tomorrow you are going to set yourself up with an Etsy shop, photograph and list every item that didn't sell (including the fire engine pillow) and then you are going to come back here and do a glowing post with each item advertised and linked to your Etsy listings. I can guarantee you will sell out and you will give those gorgeous daughters of yours a wonderful Christmas.

    Now go get em tiger!

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  25. Your girls rock and I wonder why that is? Because you and your lovely hubster do too. You can be proud of your efforts and what you did for your family. As you say, it could have been worse. I`m sure you are hugged out after 20 odd comments but I`m sending you one of bear like proportions from me and hoping you`re getting lots of lovely hugs from John and the girls - and a couple of glasses of wine and some chocolate of course! xx

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  26. Aw Susan, I'm so disappointed that you didn't clear all those gorgeous things you made :-( I used to help my mum at craft fairs when I was small (she made amazing dried flower arrangements) and know how hard it is to get people to part with cash for handmade stuff. Would you put some of it upon Etsy for sale? I agree with the other girls, some craft fairs are better than others. Hope you enjoy your wine tonight :-)

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  27. Oh, Susan. Your stall is absolutely beautiful, colorful, happy, bright, fresh and inspiring. Who wouldn't want to buy from you? Each time you gave us a peek into your creations I was wowed and wanted to scoop them up for myself. Please be proud of yourself, keep your head up and know you did a fabulous job....and secretely plot a way to get back at sock monkey lady.

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  28. Oh Susan I'm so surprised and sorry! You invested so much into this, it's a gut wrenching business. At least you came away in profit. I'm sure your friends and family would love to receive the leftovers as Christmas pressies! Chin up my friend & enjoy your wine! Jxo

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  29. Susan, im so sorry. I have been there, cried the tears, one event I didnt sell a thing and came home declaring I will never sew again! Didnt last long though. It is so hard to do something like this and takes real bravery after all, you are putting yourself out there on that table. Anything handmade is a part of you and I find it very hard not to take it personally. It will feel better tomorrow, you can never predict how you will do, I went from not selling a stitch at that one event to selling £300 at another! Chin up, your sewing is AMAZING! x

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  30. Boo! Your items are beautiful! Stick them on etsy, at least people looking there appreciate handmade items :-)

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  31. Those are great girls you have there, and they appreciate you and your hard work. No one can buy that.

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  32. I think fairs can be really hit and miss so don't feel bad. I totally agree you should make an etsy shop - I'm sure things would sell there! Oh and I made no money this weekend :)

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  33. I would have loved to have been there to buy some of your lovely things too Susan - and even a sock monkey from the lady beside you:) A glass of vino always makes it better!!!

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  34. it's all been said above susan - so get that etsy shop open and let's do some business!

    keep smiling

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  35. and your ornaments are so cute. I hope you can find somewhere else to sell them. Sorry it didn't work out the way you had hoped.

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  36. SO sorry Susan it didn't do well, you had such beautiful things and from the photos the booth looked really lovely. Your girls ARE great, how wonderful to have that attitude. You must be very proud of them.

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  37. You know how I feel about this and just look at all the love mail you are getting from this lot above - that and your wonderful girl's comments have brought tears to my eyes! Don't doubt yourself Susan you rock and we love you!

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  38. Oh honey... I know how much this meant to you, and I'm so sorry it didn't work out great (I also can't help but feel partially responsible...) I think it was just a tough crowd. Not suited to your talent. I mean, sock monkeys? Really? I hate those things.

    Why don't you lake some pretty pictures of the lovely things you have left, and put them all up on etsy. I personally would like a set of bunting please, and possibly a pillow (I'm just gonna go look at them again and decide which one). Chin up chook, loves xxxx

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  39. Oh Susan-- I'm so sorry it didn't go as well as you'd hoped. I think your table looks great in the photos and if I were there, I would have spent too much money (that I don't have) on items from you. Your daughter is just so sweet-- what she said must have really made you feel like a good Mama :0) I think perhaps it was just not the right venue for your beautiful homemade goodies. Have you thought about doing an Etsy shop? I really don't know the first thing about doing an Etsy store, but just thought I'd put it out there. Here's hoping to a better week (raising my coffee mug to you)

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  40. I have been reading and enjoying your blog for quite a while, but this post has finally moved me to comment. There is no accounting for people's taste! All of your items look wonderful. Just this past Saturday i had to pick up my 'leftovers' from a consignment shop, as it was the end of the season. WHat did i bring home? all the items made from bright modern new fabrics! I have thought about starting an Etsy shop in the past, but this time i am going to follow through. Somebody wants your stuff, they just don't know it yet.

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  41. I'll echo the others - Etsy shop needed!
    I bought a couple of the Ikea decoration racks last year thinking they'd be good to display lavender bags/xmas decs at craft stalls. Congrats to you for getting on and doing it - and so beautifully too!
    We have a local monthly craft market with too many crafters selling far too cheaply. I can't compete with people who are happy to raise a little money to put towards some more crafting supplies, just because they love to make things!
    What gorgeous girls you have - a real credit to you :)

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  42. I totally feel for you - get them given as gifts to all the teachers etc, get some Moo cards to go with them and spread the word xxxxxxxx

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  43. oh no! i agree with everyone else! Etsy!

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  44. Oh Susan, I'm so sorry after all the hard work you put in. To be honest, it's been my experience of the 2 craft fairs I've done. I sold 3 cards over 2 fairs... and had to put up with a women selling (not very well made) jewellery going on about how anyone can make cards and they're hardly in the same league as handmade jewellery...

    but don't think Etsy, Etsy = chinese resellers, think Folksy! You can sell your stuff, it's gorgeous.

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  45. Oh babes- I was soooo keeping everything crossed for you. But it does seem you weren't the only one. People nowadays expect so much for so litttle and put no value on the hand made element.
    How about putting some of it for sale on your blog?

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  46. Oh babes- I was soooo keeping everything crossed for you. But it does seem you weren't the only one. People nowadays expect so much for so litttle and put no value on the hand made element.
    How about putting some of it for sale on your blog?

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  47. Oh babes- I was soooo keeping everything crossed for you. But it does seem you weren't the only one. People nowadays expect so much for so litttle and put no value on the hand made element.
    How about putting some of it for sale on your blog?

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  48. Oh babes- I was soooo keeping everything crossed for you. But it does seem you weren't the only one. People nowadays expect so much for so litttle and put no value on the hand made element.
    How about putting some of it for sale on your blog?

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  49. Oh babes- I was soooo keeping everything crossed for you. But it does seem you weren't the only one. People nowadays expect so much for so litttle and put no value on the hand made element.
    How about putting some of it for sale on your blog?

    ReplyDelete
  50. Oh babes- I was soooo keeping everything crossed for you. But it does seem you weren't the only one. People nowadays expect so much for so litttle and put no value on the hand made element.
    How about putting some of it for sale on your blog?

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  51. Oh babes- I was soooo keeping everything crossed for you. But it does seem you weren't the only one. People nowadays expect so much for so litttle and put no value on the hand made element.
    How about putting some of it for sale on your blog?

    ReplyDelete

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