Monday, October 6, 2008

Tales from the Pumpkin Fest

November 2004: I did a craft show where I broke even...

December 2004: I vowed to never do craft shows again.....

October 2008: I do another craft show....

South Lyon Pumpkin Fest

I had high hopes for this show. The booth cost me $150.00 for two days. It was with a lot of trepidation that I signed the check and contract.But I really thought it would be worth it. I had done this show in the past and did pretty well, the citizens of South Lyon really support their community events, and my quality of my clay had improved a lot since the last time I'd been there.

So it was with a lot of excitement and hope that I and Mary Ann headed off to South Lyon on Friday night to se
t up for the Sat. and Sun. show.

Beginning to set up the booth...

I found these fireplace screens on sale for $2.50 at Kmart last year. I bought 4 of them and they fit perfectly on my tables.

We hung pins and ornaments on the screens.

We left the booth at 8:30 Friday night looking like this. The next day the rest of the gym was full of crafters.

I brought a lot of Halloween ghosts and pumpkins.

The show started at 11 am on Saturday. I arrived at 10:00 and had to park my car about 1/2 mile away from the school. There was shuttle bus service for us, which was great, because my legs wouldn't have made it
, my knees hurt so bad.

During the day, people meandered through the show, making comments about the crafts as they ate popcorn and cotton candy. I had a few too many sticky fingers touching my clay babies as parents don't seem to think it's rude to have their children touch everything in sight. Within the first hour I heard enough comments to last me the rest of the season. "Remember when these were popular?" "I can do this" "Why should I buy this when I can make it" and, my favorite,"These break"

If it weren't for the many positive comments I heard, I might have been in a bad mood. But for every negative, there are about 100 posi
tives. People smiled at my clay, remarked on how cute it was and loved the prices. My favorite moment was when a Down Syndrome child kept saying, "ahhh" "Ohhh" as she looked at the fatty fairies with their glistening wings.

I had a lot of pre-teen girls bought little ghosts and pigs. I gave them all a $1.00 off the prices and they were thrilled. I thought it was interesting that three teen boys were fascinated with how I made my dragons and bears. They were into pottery and asked me a lot of questions.

I interacted with a lot of different characters during the show. One woman pointed to my clay pigs and told me it brought back bad memories for her to see a pig since someone called her that 20 years ago!?! Another woman started talking about her boyfriend then suddenly asked me if I wanted to see his picture. I was polite and said yes. She whipped open her purse and proudly show me her "kid Rock" lookalike boyfriend.

At the end of the day, I had made my money back from the cost of the booth. This was so discouraging as the point is to make money, not break even. But, I had hope for Sunday.


They say
hope is tomorrow's veneer over today's disappointment.

I was full of hope.

However, Sunday was horrible. No one came shopping. The aisles were void of shoppers. Crafters stood around talking, comparing notes. Thank goodness Mary Ann came with me because I had someone to talk to. The show ran from 11:00 to 5:00 and I barely made $50.00.

At 4:30, we started to slowly take things apart. Mary Ann watched the booth while I went to catch the shuttle bus. A few of us waited for about 15 minutes before he arrived. No one complained though, because he was such a nice guy. I headed back in my car to the school. I had to maneuver my car past a petting zoo, a giant lemon and crafters who were running back and forth to their cars. Mary Ann had already started to bring the boxes out to the parking lot and I loaded up the car. The show ended at 5:00 and by 5:23 we were on our way home.

There are many good points to doing a craft show. I now have a lot of stock. I got to network with other crafters. I passed out a lot of business cards. I received a lot of great feedback from the public.

Hopefully, at my next show, I'll actually make some money!

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