Yup, that was me this past weekend with my big fat craft fair FAIL.
I had all of these dreams and visions of a semi-successful craft fair, with at the very least only half of my inventory selling. Wanna know how much I sold??? Zip. Nada. Not a ting. Well, unless you count the 2 barrettes that my craft fair partner bought when I wasn’t looking, I think to make me feel better. HA! Now that is a good friend!
Needless to say, I was sooooooooo bummed.
I even had all of these plans to tell you what I learned, a whole week of a possible mini-Series. Yeah, ummmm…that is not going to happen.
That is not to say that I didn’t learn anything though.
I worked really hard for the two months leading up to it, making all sorts of clothing in my free time. Learning how to ‘assembly line sew’ as I called it. Trying to figure out what clothing would be the fastest to make, in the least amount of time. Going through my fabric stash and seeing what I wanted to stash bust with. Even coming up with some new designs to premier.
I learned how to take credit cards, made up business cards, even figured out the cheapest route for clothing labels.
I had things for little boys, little girls, even a few things for Mom.
And our set up looked beautiful. (Sure, maybe it wasn’t white tent and carpet beautiful like I first envisioned, but hey – it was our first time out of the gate, and I wasn’t going to invest that kind of money for my very first one!)
I even made myself a new skirt (which I love!)…
So what happened?
Well first of all, location location location.
I don’t know if it was because we were a first time vendor or if it was just the luck of the draw. But we were in the WORST location possible. Wanna know how many people stopped by our tent? Maybe 10 at the most. And of those 10 only 2 had kids. Not much of a recipe for success. There was one general location where ALL of the vendors were, and we were not there. The people who organized the Fair wanted to try to make tents all over their property, filtering people through the whole event – but that didn’t happen. People visited the one main location, and didn’t even see us on the other side.
I started to think of things like Celebrity Apprentice and how I could run around to the other part of the craft fair where all of the vendors were located and pass out flyers…if I only had flyers. Or maybe wearing my bustle backpacks over there and starting conversations loudly with people about how I saw this amazing vendor selling them on the other side of the area. Needless to say, I didn’t do any of this. I would have felt like a total tool. But definitely could have been more hard core like that.
But all in all, it was a total blow to the big ole ego. What happened? Wasn’t my stuff good enough? I thought it was all gorgeous. I mean, we did have 10 people stop by – and not one of those 10 people bought anything. They looked, and one person even took a picture of it (I wanted to shoo her away telling her not to steal my ideas – HA!). But no one bought anything. Some looked at the price tag and walked away. But that was it. Was I a total craft fair loser?
I took a look around the rest of the craft fair and realized something else. This wasn’t my target audience. The vendors that were there in the main area were all selling what I like to call ‘chotshke’ items. All items for $2 – $10, with not a lot of quality product.
Is this what people want at a craft fair??? Maybe I was just way off.
These are all thoughts that went through my head, and are still going through my head to tell you the truth.
But there was one extremely GOOD part of the day. And this is the part I am clinging to. When my family showed up…
My girls got to see their Momma doing something with her talent…working hard outside of being a stay at home Mom.
My daughter Chloe was perhaps my BIGGEST cheerleader. When the girls came to visit, I got the biggest running jump hugs – and they were so happy to see and finally understand what Momma was doing with all of her ‘craft fair items’. Chloe didn’t understand why no one had bought her Momma’s stuff, and kept asking if anyone had bought anything yet. She even tried to sell a barrette to my partner – HA! It just warmed my heart.
And I was also able to turn it into a good lesson for her. I was able to put on a smiley face and explain to her that sometimes it is okay to ‘lose’ – just like in her soccer games, sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. But what is important is how hard we worked or tried. And she got to see Momma ‘lose’ and be okay with it.
Furthermore, I got to witness just how much my kids love me. To see my daughter being my biggest cheerleader, my goodness I fell in love all over again. My husband supported me, and still supports me 100%. My girls love me unconditionally, and were there cheering me on all the way. And my baby boy was happy to see me home at the end of the day.
And the best part? We got mini dance shows from both of our kids…
I also learned something about myself. I learned that my sewing has matured. I used to be what I called a ‘selfish sewer’, dragging my feet if I had to reproduce something. This experience has taught me that I have been sewing long enough and made enough clothes, that I am now mature enough to be able to go the next step. I can make items on demand, I can take custom orders, and I can make the same item over and over again if need be. I used to hate doing that because I felt it kept me from being creative. I found I even enjoyed doing it!
So maybe it wasn’t a success in the way the world views it. But it was a success for my heart, for my family, and for my Spirit.