I have always loved all avenues of art. Any sort of art really, from making a wreath, stamping cards, scrapbooking, sewing, drawing, painting, and more. I am the type of person that if I see something I like, I think, "I want to try to make one for myself!" When I was working full time, I would often go stir crazy if I didn't set aside some down time for being artistic. Throughout the past years, I have developed a large collection of items. The massive collection includes completed projects, vintage pieces ready for a modern flip, as well as items that are ready to craft into something new. I have done many craft shows in the past, trying to sell my handcrafted items, while minimizing my stockpile. This year however, I decided to start a business dedicated to my art projects. I got to working on it, and created a website, 72clucks.com, a Facebook group, and I learned about Instagram and began posting to it. This took me out of my comfort zone of crafting, and I dove headfirst into technology. I have a love/hate relationship with technology. I love how it helps make things easier to do, but I hate learning how to use it. I had many days where I was overwhelmed and frustrated trying to get it perfectly right. I learned that I had to balance the work part with the fun part of crafting. It all finally came together, and I decided to get ready for the first craft show of the season. It was exciting at first, this would be my opportunity to promote my new business name. However, true to form, I stressed myself out with every tiny detail. I wanted it all to be perfect.
Prior to this year, my art would consist of whatever stood out to me, or what was selling at a recent craft show I attended. I always thought that my paintings were never good enough, that no one would ever buy them. This year, I made a change to my whole thought process, to the way I approached my crafting business. I decided to narrow my focus to farmhouse. This has helped tremendously as I am only making items that I would love in my home. I used to try to make items that I "thought" would sell. This change has made the biggest difference in the finished projects. If you love what you are making, then the end result will be amazing. Prior to this change in thinking, if I didn't love an item I was crafting, and was only making it because I thought someone might buy it, then when it was completed, I always wondered if it was really good enough. The questions to myself were relentless; would anyone buy it? Should I change something? Maybe the color choice is wrong. Then if it didn't sell at the very next craft show, I was very hard on myself. I felt like I wasted my time and money. It was a vicious cycle.
In getting ready for my first show, I began working 8-10 hours each day, feverishly working to complete as many items as possible for the sale on May 7th. The show went really well, and I was in great spirits through the event. However, I was exhausted! The week of the event was non-stop crafting and little sleep. I ended up sick after the event. I hit a wall! I am feeling great now, and I am thrilled to get back to creating more amazing items. I will begin uploading items to the website next week, and making more items to sell in the "Rose Marie" store in Mason, MI.
I have been thinking a lot about craft shows. I wanted to point out a few things that I realized after talking to many of the other venders.
Every vender puts their heart into the items they make.
These items are attached to their name. -Their business name.
The reputation of their business means the world to them.
Every vendor wants to sell only the best items and goes to great lengths to make sure the finished result is perfect.
Your complete satisfaction is very important.
The vendor believes in the products they are making.
Making items to sell at a vendor/ craft show is a full-time job
Yes, you can often find similar items cheaper online, but they will not be made with love and care. -And good luck reaching the supplier if you need to, as many of them are in China.
The day of the show is a very long day. Early set-up and then you have to re-pack any items that didn't sell.
Very few venders sell out of every item they brought.
Keep this list in mind as you attend the next art sale, craft show, or flea market. A few kind words and a smile mean the world to the seller! Take their card and share it with someone who you know would love their product!