I have been busy with preparing for the big holiday bazaar, so haven't had much time to do anything else lately! The bazaar was yesterday, and well...all I can say is, it was fun. Not many buyers, and from what I hear, it wasn't just me. It's hard not to take it personally though, when people cruise by your table without a glance, or else turn to look at the Velata table across the aisle instead (who doesn't love chocolate fondue, right?) This was a BIG bazaar. Over 100 vendors, and the largest I've ever done was the Salem Etsy Team spring sale last May, which had about 20. So maybe I was out of my league? I don't know. But I did not sell much. In fact, I felt invisible a lot of the time. :( I was in between a Celebrating Home rep, who kept trying to promote her stuff to me, and a really eccentric gal who makes stuff out of recycled materials and has one of those personalities that she feels like your best friend 10 minutes after you've met. She had a crowd in front of her booth most of the day. I had lots of lookers, but few buyers. I had lots of people say I have beautiful stuff. I had several ladies stop by to talk "shop" with me- they make cards too, and wanted to know what materials I use, equipment, etc. My favorite (not really) was the one who oohed and ahhed over my holiday card designs, and then told me that she plans to steal them for her own cards. I honestly had no response to that at the time, and now, even 24 hours later, I still can't think of an appropriate one. Then there was the lady who stopped by for a second, said to me "nice stuff", then to no one in particular as she walked away, "does anyone even send Christmas cards anymore?"
So, not a great day, yesterday. I sold a total of 9 cards. A few bookmarks, and a few packs of gift tags. The items that got the most attention on my table? The little glass magnets with pressed flowers glued on the undersides, priced at 50 cents each. Sigh again. On the upside, it was fun and interesting to be part of such a big event. I'm trying very hard not to focus on the fact that I didn't sell enough to even cover my booth fees, and just take what I can from the experience. There's always the next one. Which, at this moment, is scheduled for December 15th, and will be another Salem Etsy Team sale. Hopefully we will have the kind of traffic we had for the spring sale, and I might at least break even.
In the meantime, I made a ton of holiday cards that did not sell yesterday, so I have listed some in my Etsy shop. We'll see how they do! Here are some samples:
Between preparing for this bazaar, I also did a custom order. This was for someone I know locally- her daughter has been in my son's class since they were in kindergarten, and they are juniors in high school now, so it's been a good number of years. Where has the time gone?! Anyway, she remembered that I made bookmarks from the home holiday sale I did a couple of years ago, and contacted me about doing some custom bookmarks for her sister's family. They are big fans of the Minnesota Vikings, and she wanteds something to do with that. Now, I normally would not do anything to infringe on a copyright or trademark. I would certainly never list something in my shop that did. But they sell stickers, paper, and more with team logos anymore, with the caveat that it is for "personal use". `Which is pretty loosely defined, and since this was for an acquiaintance and I did not sell through my shop, I accomodated her request. I also did not charge much- basically I covered my material costs and that was it. So I refuse to feel guilty. ;) I made 7 bookmarks in all, with different names on them. They all had the same basic design, with just the name changed.
Well, what I learned at the holiday bazaar is that it is good to have some low-ticket items on your table....so, make more little glass magnets, and also raise the price! We'll also do more gift tags, which I had only a few packs of yesterday, but sold pretty well. We have our work cut out for us before December 15th! I will try to post previews before then, so be sure to check back.