From the moment I got the go-ahead to be included among the 50+ vendors featuring handcrafted items at Gore Mountain's Harvest Festival I kicked into high gear. This will be my very first craft fair. I have A LOT to do!
Of course, I had my reservations about doing the festival. I thought it would be too big for my debut as a craft vendor. I was a bit intimidated by the number of vendors and even the high-profile venue. Would I be able to pull it off? Make enough inventory? Design an interesting booth? Be able to be friendly and greet customers? And what about the logistics of loading in and out. What if I didn't sell a single item? (Yes, I do have nightmares about that!)
But it is an opportunity I couldn't turn down. It seemed like the logical next step in running a craft business.
Not only as a chance to sell items, but to:
*Promote my business to those who don't know my business or who don't even shop online.
*Meet potential customers in person and get feedback face to face.
*Get press attention as one of the vendors.
*Meet other crafters.
*Just to check it off my list of things I want to do.
Once I committed to doing the show, I had about a couple of months to prepare. The first thing I did was read all I could find on the topic of craft shows. I searched the web and pinned inspiring booth displays. I talked to other makers who already had a few craft shows under their belt. I read forum threads. All this research helped me figure out what I needed to do, what I needed to buy and most importantly let me know that everyone is nervous their first time selling at a craft fair!
I am not usually a to-do list kind of gal, but because I had so much to accomplish before I was ready for the show, I decided to make a list. I listed all the things I needed to do and put them in my planner. I spaced it out so each week I had one or two tasks to do. For example: Order a credit card reader. Create and make business cards. Make a store sign/banner. These were manageable chunks I could do and check off my list.
Some of the things on the list couldn't be done in one sitting. For example, I had to create enough inventory to fill my booth. Most of my items are made-to-order or personalized, so I didn't have much inventory to start with. Creating and designing a decent stock of items took me several weeks. But I did it a little at a time.
The other task that took several weeks to complete was: designing my booth display. This, in fact, turned out to be my favorite part of the entire process! For this task, you can break it down even further: choosing table/chairs; picking out and ordering table cloths; deciding on lighting; creating signage; choosing display items (racks/shelves/etc.).
Looks like I exhausted the dogs
Wish me luck. Next time we meet I should be able to tell you all about how the Festival went.
Oh my gosh... after I finished writing this and got back to work, there was so much more...
You can see it here.