Saturday, July 27, 2013

Craft Fairs - a good thing or a deterrent to the sewing bug?

Some things I've been making with pretty fabrics which believe it or not was pretty much just to try and pull myself out of this stifling slump.

With Summer at it's peak and the rains pouring down nightly in what is one of the wettest seasons in recent years down here in North Carolina, I'm reaching a point of turnaround. 

The pecans on the trees are telling of what Fall will be like as well.  They are tiny, already old and white. Too much rain can also be a bad thing.  Two of the bird houses next door collapsed in combination of age and brutal evening downpours pummeling their little rooftops.

Already depressed in the aftermath of two craft fairs with little results for the effort. I felt defeated and abandoned by the hopefulness and joy of creating when all was said and done and my offerings were packed into storage totes to sit in waiting, lining the walls of my sewing room.

I have been uplifted by some sales of these items and interest shown in them on Etsy.
Lately there have been some really cute fabrics that have perked me back up just by seeing them
online and knowing that tomorrow is another day.

Sounds petty and selfish to be so absorbed and depressed about something so little as this tiny offset.
Especially when folks out in the rest of the world are dealing with more pressing and heartbreaking issues - but none of us is immune to the littlest of these and have felt defeated on one scale or another at some point in our lives and each plight, struggle, mini-depression is relative to one's own current situation at the time.

Just so happens that mine was two failed craft fairs repelling me from my sewing room and fabrics.

But as with everything, there is a turnaround.

So I've read up on it and it seems I'm not alone.  There are many of you out there asking the google bar or bing if you are like me....  "which is better craft fairs or Etsy"   and  "what sells at craft fairs"  or  "what to make for craft shows"  and a holy host of others that are too numerous and more defined than I have space to mention here.

Suffice to say, the "what sells" factor is a fickle bird.  And, here is what I've learned.
It depends on the venue, the time of year, the crowd, the economy, the location of the event, how well it was advertised, the goods you have to offer, the way they are displayed, the competition at said venue, the weather... etc  etc

If you think about it, unless you have a good stack of these odds in your favor (or face it, at the very least a FEW) you might as well be at a craps table in Vegas.

In my opinion, Etsy and other online places on which to sell our handmade goods, reaches an audience you just cannot reach any other way, so I prefer it over the craft fair setting.
That said, you still have to think about the fabrics you use, the items you make, the lighting, the description and the pricing and the competition as there is far more of it even though I wish the best for everyone on there, it's like a neighborhood really.

 However, the call of being out there face to face, being part of something with like-minded people and handing your item to a waiting hand personally is what draws me (and many of you) back again.
There is another craft fair coming up in October and if I set up, it will be only the 4th one I've done.
I'll have to arrive with a different attitude going in - lest I come out of it the same was as this last time - essentially a hermit who fell of the face of the Earth.

And really?  I checked my blog stats and figured maybe there were not so many people reading out there that would notice. 
Still, I like blogging and miss it.  I like sharing and reading other peoples adventures both large and small.  It makes me feel part of the circle that exists out there and it's nice to feel connected, even in the slightest way.

My last set up.
Ever so tiny still and humble but a bit different from the last and different still than the next.
It's a learning thing.

I swore after the last one that I'd never bother setting up again but I've learned too, that we cool down and get back up again.