Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Non-Blog Happenings: Turkey Creek Fest

Last Saturday, I made my first attempt at selling my jewelry out in the real world. I bought a vendor space at the Merriam Turkey Creek Festival, which includes a fairly large arts-and-crafts market.

Here's what my booth looked like, more or less:
(I say "more or less" because this picture was taken some time before the event, at my house rather than at the actual site. The festival organizers wanted to see what everyone's setup would look like, so I took some pictures in advance. I did not take any pictures on festival day, so this is all I have).

Here's a closer view of the sign I made:
And here's one of my display elements that I think looks cool, although it's really annoying to set up:Unfortunately, I didn't do well at all in terms of selling stuff --- I only sold two items*, and failed even to make back what I had spent on registration fees! Apparently this year's festival had lackluster turnout compared with what the organizers were expecting; they had planned for 10,000 people showing up, and I didn't think there were anywhere near that many. Most of the other vendors I talked to also had poor sales, although a few did really well. I think one of the reasons I had such bad luck was that there were so many other jewelry vendors --- whoever wanted to buy jewelry had maybe a dozen or more places to do it, and had probably already bought some elsewhere before they got around to my booth.

I don't think it was a total loss, because I had fun, distributed some business cards and learned a few things about picking the right festival to sell what you make --- people are more willing to buy stuff near the holidays, when they are looking for gifts, and different festivals attract different kinds of people, some of whom are more likely than others to want fancy beaded jewelry.

You don't find this stuff out if you never try.

*One of the things I sold was the asymmetrical blue necklace with the circular shell beads shown at the bottom of this post; I made two of those and sold one to my sister a while ago, and now someone has bought the other one, too. I was really proud of the design on that one, so I was gratified to see someone take it (even though it means I can't dig it out and wear it anymore).

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