Monday, October 15, 2007

Not exactly successful, but I learned a few things

Well, the craft fair on Saturday was pretty much a bust, as far as “profit” went. I made $64. Putting that with the $24 my mother and grandmother paid me for cards they bought the night before, I totaled $88 for the weekend. At this rate I’ll have my credit card debt paid off by … never. Because of that pesky “interest” thing. But it’s better than having made nothing, so I guess I won’t complain.

I think there were a couple of main problems. One was that I was in a really unfortunate location. Instead of being on one of the two main aisles, I was in a crossing between the two, and for some odd reason people just tended to ignore that area. And even odder, when people did walk through there, many of them didn’t even look at my table. I found that strange. When I go to craft fairs or scrapbook/stamp conventions or anything that has “booths” like that, I look on both sides of every aisle. I know that there are tables on BOTH sides, so I look. Anyway, this leads to the other main problem: Visibility. I didn’t have any kind of display/holder for the cards, I just laid them out flat on my table. I had a big banner across the front of my table announcing “Stacy’s Stamp Loft: Handmade Cards and Crafts” (okay, I didn’t have any “crafts” on Saturday, but I plan to have crafts in the future), but apparently that wasn’t a good location for it, either. So next time I will have some sort of display/rack for at least some of the cards. There was a guy selling pottery in the booth next to mine, really nice guy, and he suggested having some nice wooden boxes to put the cards in, by category, so I could get more cards on the table in less space. So maybe a combination of a rack and some boxes …

What made me mad was the people who would walk by, look the cards over, oooh and aaaah over how beautiful they were and what an artist I was, and then walk off and not buy anything. I mean, come on, if they’re that great, can’t you lay out $4 for one? The price didn’t really seem to be a factor, no one said, “Oh, that’s too much,” or anything. Just very few people who actually took the time to look also decided to buy. So, yep, gotta do something different “next time,” whenever that will be.

So I never did finish showing the cards I made. I’ll do that now.

This uses one of my favorite stamps, just a very simple stylized line drawing of Jesus that I've had since probably 1999, made by StampIt! (VA). I stamped it in black StazOn over a Cling-n-Scrunch background, then overlaid it with a stamp of the Names of Jesus (from about that same era, can't remember who by) on vellum. Simple but effective!

I confess to buying the stamp of the schooners (from Rubberstamp Ave.) while I was still heavily under the influence of the America's Cup. The old AC boats were these kinds of schooners (or at least similar). Anyway, I stamped the boats on acetate with StazOn, then painted the back side with Twinkling H20s and laid that over a Spritz-and-Flick background. The saying stamp is from, I think, River City Rubber Works. And, no, those aren't official sailor's knots I tied at the top -- except that they are square knots, so maybe they count?

Pretty much heavily influenced by a card on SplitcoastStampers. All Stampin' Up!

This one went into my "Bargain Basket", since I figured it was too simple to charge $4 for. The girl is from Above the Mark, the swirl is Rhonna Farrer/Autumn Leaves, and the Scripture is from Heart & Soul Rubber Stamps. If I recall correctly the background is Watercolor Distress. Or it might be Spritz-and-Flick. I'm going from the thumbnail here, so I can't tell for sure.

Well, that's it for now. There are four more to be shown, so I'll save those for another time. I don't know when my next chance to sell cards will be. I didn't do well on Etsy (too many people charging lower prices, undercutting those of us who KNOW the value of our artwork), and I'm not sure when the next craft fair is around here that I could reasonably get in on. But I haven't given up yet.

Cheers for now.


stampqueen said...

I have been doing craft fairs for 3 years now and even though I love cards - rarely is it my cards that make me any $$ - Sometimes I think noone but us papercrafters send cards or write letters anymore - its all email and ecards....some stamped stuff that has sold for me in the past are journals, artsy stamped pictures and gifty type boxes. But as the craft fair that I did today proves - you never know... I sold very little of anything stamped and the only thing that saved the day was my knitted scarves which I priced just barely to make my money back this years because I don't want to store them anylonger, and some cooper wire hangings priced very low for the same reason - after booth fee I took home 130$$ which is almost nothing compared to the last 2 years at the same craft fair, in the same spot......
Good luck

karen said...

the Schooners is stunning.
You can feel the wind ,and smell the water.
Karen Seifert