Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Vendor Booth double take

This past weekend I was a vendor in the Follow Me Boutique and Carlsbad Street Fair. The hardest thing for me in creating a booth is the variety of table set ups depending on venue size and regulations. How do I ensure ample product, eye appealing table display, and order to the whole process? Each and every set up brings to mind areas to improve on, products to continue with, expand on, or products to deep discount.

I find it interesting that given this weekend, on Saturday's event the attendance varied from day of the dead, to only one real rush, then back to void of customers. Compared to Sunday's event, which easily put more than 1000 ( possibly double that) customers walking by just in front of my tables. Yet, sales were higher on Saturday and the "eye catcher" was different on each day. Saturday, I could have sold purse after purse. Sunday, my recycled LP album journals and matching bowl were the big draw. Target market I believe was close to the same for either event, although Sunday brought a larger community not only in numbers but in diversity.

So brush off and move on, refocus..... regenerate, and prepare.... Prepare for that next event just around the corner. To be a crafter, in the realm of sales or teaching you have to maintain a good sense of humor, a tough skin, and continually upgrade your own eduction. Sharing with others within this arena provides insight and clarity. Networking is not only great for growing your business, but for improving and working out the kinks with other like minds. I suppose a little bit of crazy along with a ton of passion, is the ultimate key to success.... in any venture.

This week in our crafting class we made cards.... and boy, did we ever make cards! The theme was take 1 or 2 sample patterns, use ALL scrap papers, add in a little embelishment here and there, and create a swap method. If your not aware of a swap, think of a cookie swap... each participant makes several of her favorite cookie, she then shares equally among the group.... with each person doing this, you leave with a TON of cookies and a large variety, all with only creating her same cookie in a large quantity. So swapping was the theme, despite some grumbling along the way.... :) At the end each person left with a magnitude of cards to show for their 4 hours of fun, and in reality they only had to complete 1-2 different cards to receive this wonderful bundle to take home.... I don't know if we are ready for another swap right away, but I do believe everyone had a fun time, despite the hard work, and when they each received the cards from every other student..... it all seemed worth it in the end.

In reflection of teaching and vendor sales, I think the sharing of art with each other is one way of keeping the sanity.... when it seems out of control, at least for a little while. It feels like with each and every connection, that a friend has been made, and somehow we have made this world just a little calmer along the way. My students, customers, and networking friends are people I can share with, and feel connected.

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