SO...last year was our first real year of doing craft shows...lol, we have learned A LOT! I'll go more in detail, but let's just say that at the end of our first outdoor show, it ended with a pregnant woman (myself) crying and not speaking to anyone on a long 45 minute ride home. Thankfully, we have improved and know how to zip a 10 x 10 tent now (for the most part anyway). I LOVE going to craft shows and I also love being a part of them. Here is our show year in review:
Chica Boutiqua--I think this show was in April but I blocked it from my memory, so I could be wrong. It was in Zionsville, so we thought we'd be golden. I missed the set up for this show since I was still teaching, so Brodi and my mom did all of the set-up. We made a TON of inventory for this show and thought we should all 3 be there for the non-stop slew of people that we knew were going to be coming. However, when I first walked the space, I lost all of my hope. It was basically in the hallway attached to an indoor barn. There was no advertising except for a small sign by the road. The admission fee was for a charity, so I felt bad that there was no traffic at all
AND it was a two day show. Although there was hardly any traffic, we actually did okay at the show. It wasn't our best, but it wasn't our worst (that comes later...). The best part of this show was meeting other etsians, including Twoseasidebabes, madrindesigns, and steeldreaming. We have actually stayed in contact with all 3 of these vendors since that day.
Shoe Festish and Fashion (May 27 and 29) You can read about this in one of my older blog posts from last year. It was a horrible show, but it provided a lot of great laughs for Brodi and me. It was SO hot and the location had no working A/C. The only person who bought anything was a man who was drunk and a woman who I know felt sorry that we were there. It was just bad in so many ways. We spent the money we made on milkshakes from Hardees on the way home. Oh, and it there was a super freak rainstorm that we had to pack up in. On the 29th, it was in Broad Ripple, so we thought we were reaching a higher fashion area. Haha- the best part of my day was the Turkey Tom I ate at Jimmy Johns. I was 6 months pregnant and moving tables up three flights of stairs. It was a weird day, something I look back at like a Twilight Zone episode. We didn't sell anything and left early.
Fishers Freedom Festival (June) This was our first REAL show. We were the first ones there on Saturday and arrived before the planners because we were so eager and excited. This was a very successful show for us, but it was EXHAUSTING. I was almost eight months pregnant at this time, so I walked to the port o johns about 25 times during those two hot summer days. At the end of the first day, my sister, mom, and I tried to zip the tent up since it was a two day show and we'd be back the next day. Umm...it took over an hour. We were all three so tired, and I was crying and yelling a lot. We finally got it zipped up, but I was not looking forward to the next day. On Sunday, there were threats of storms the ENTIRE day. We waited it out since we were hoping for more sales. Vendors started leaving early. One after another, after another. It sometimes sucks when vendors leave early because no one wants to walk down a row of tents if there are only 3 tents left in the row. However, we stuck it out till RIGHT before the storm hit, and it seriously paid off (although we packed up in record time and put the last board in the car before the downpour). P.s. At this show, we learned that ants were weirdly attracted to our white tent. They were EVERYWHERE. Ew.
Brownsburg FOTA-August (also known as Farts in the Park in previous blog entry)- This show was hot. So hot. I was pregnant. SO pregnant. At one point I felt something weird happening to my feet and I looked down to see that my ankles and feet were replaced by the ankles and feet of an elephant. The heat kept people away. We don't plan to do this show again, it just wasn't worth the effort.
Zionsville Lions Club Fall Festival- September. Ugh. I had just delivered a baby three weeks prior. I cried when I left her for the day. It was freezing cold on Saturday and a million degrees on Sunday (Indiana weather). We were directly across from the band tent, so we heard 50 renditions of showtunes ranging from junior high to senior citizens. We made our booth rental and a little extra, but not enough to do it again. On the plus side, they had nice restrooms and a great hotdog/chips/cookie combo lunch.
Avon Community Festival- September- This show was disappointing. People were not there to buy, they were there for free stuff and things for their kids to do. We thought it was our worst show ever. However, we went with our golden rule and stayed until the very end. While we were packing up, a girl came by and bought 5 necklaces, making it worthwhile. We were SO grateful for that ending to the day!!
Whale of a Sale October- Although this wasn't our biggest selling show, we loved everything about it. We were able to by a ton of stuff for our little ones (it is a HUGE consignment sale for kids) and we were able to market to new moms who want necklaces with their kiddos names on them. We are doing this show again in a few weeks and can't wait!
Fishers Christmas in October- We L.O.V.E.D. this show! Our location was ideal and there were so many awesome vendors there. I could have shopped all day. I did buy a great pair of wool gloves. At the end of the day, we went ahead and bought our booth space for the following year because we did really well.
IUPUI Fine Arts Show- October- Okay, I'm starting to sound like negative Nellie, but this show was AWFUL. There was this huge room where everyone was. Except we (and about 10 other vendors) were stuck DOWN THE HALL in a small classroom. I wanted my money back and was honest about it in my review of the event. I also wore new shoes (duh, Kelsey) and had HUGE blisters on my toes and heels. Brodi couldn't stop laughing when I came back from the bathroom with my heels and toes wrapped in toilet paper (I didn't have bandaids). The funniest part of the day (besides the toilet paper bandaids) was the fact that the woman across from us was selling Russian faux fur hats like crazy. Just watching people try them on was pretty entertaining.
Hoosier Artisan Boutique- November- This show was pretty good- we'll do it again. It was organized well, advertised well, and they provided food, which was great. I think we set out standards too high because we thought it would be the show to end all shows. It wasn't our best show, but I enjoyed shopping around and looking at other etsy vendors.
So, that's about it...We learned a lot our first year of shows. We're currently gearing up for our shows for this year. I'll post a schedule as soon as I get around to it. I'm really trying to blog more, since right now I'm aware that we have a "blahg" as they call it I think. We'll see how that turns out...