Saturday, February 15, 2014

Looking Ahead...

Well, Valentine's Day has come and gone. And though the last 2 years my Valentine's Day cards have sold well, this year...not so much. As in....NONE.  How depressing- right??  I don't get it myself, but there have been a lot of changes at Etsy this last year.  I can only guess what that might mean for small-time sellers like me.  My views were WAY down, and my sales (apart from the fantastic custom order I posted about previously) sucked.  Welcome to the new Etsy, I guess.

In addition to that disappointment, we also had to cancel the Salem Etsy Team Valentine Craft Sale, scheduled for February 8th, due to extreme weather.  Who could have known that we'd get the worst February snow storm in 2 decades that weekend??  We're talking nearly a foot of snow, almost unheard of around here. (Arrghh.)

So, you know, things have not been looking great lately. sense in looking back- time to move forward!  And the next thing on my schedule:
This is the second year of this event, the first of which, last year, I participated, and it was GREAT.  Last year, it was held the weekend before Mother's Day weekend, and as such, I did really well.  This year, it is a lot earlier, so I won't have the advantage of having Mother's Day right around the corner.  Also, it is a LOT more expensive this time around. Last year, it was only $25 for the booth fee, this year it is $100.  The space is much bigger though- 10x10, and we are allowed to share spaces.  So, I am sharing a space with Megan, my local Etsy team captain, who sells incredible bath and body items in her store .  We will have to figure out how to split up a 10x10 booth, which I have never done before, so it should be interesting.

This year's event is a 2 day event- a Friday evening, followed by all day Saturday.  So really, the booth fee covers 2 days, not just 1, and I can only hope it will be worth it.  It is hard to know ahead of time how an event is going to go. I have done great sales and really crappy sales, and you just can't know before how it's going to be.  This one is promising, though.  It has a very popular theme, and Amy, the organizer, has some great business partnerships this time, and a very good marketing plan.  Last year's smaller event was amazing, so I can only assume that this year's will be bigger and better!  I just have to figure out how I can fit in here.  Last year, I did well because I sold lots of Mother's day cards.  This year, we do not have Mother's day the next weekend, so I don't know what to expect.  But, I am going to hope for, and prepare for, the best!  One of the things that Amy does to promote the event is do swag bag giveaways, and this year, I am contributing.  I got an idea a few months ago and saved it just for this occasion.

I went to my local Goodwill awhile back, and found an older edition of Pride and Prejudice (which I have to say is my favorite Austen.)   This bookmark features a hand-torn page from the book, along with a pressed flower and some petals and leaves.  It is laminated to protect the bookmark.  I made 25 similar bookmarks in various colors- boy am I tired!  They all turned out great though- for once, my vision was really close to how it came out in reality!

Now I have to start working on other items to sell at the Austen Faire.  This year, I won't be able to rely on Mother's Day items to sell well, since it will be more than a month ahead of that occasion.  I'll plan to have some Easter cards as well as Mother's Day cards, and since it is a Jane Austen Faire, some Austen-inspired wares as well.  I found this fantastic Jane Austen-inspired paper pad at Joann's awhile back, and can't wait to make some stuff with it!
So, my next few weeks will be consumed with thoughts of Jane Austen- check back to see what else I come up with!