Friday, August 8, 2014

CREATE 2014 + getting back in the craft fair game.

as youve probably heard about a million, billion times on instagram and twitter, we (i almost typed i, but really poverty luxe is a family affair and james and alice deserve credit here too) did our first craft fair with poverty luxe last weekend!

now, this wasnt my first craft fair ever, id actually done quite a few when i was in college with my old etsy shop. but, none of those really went all that great, and after taking SUCH a long break (during which, i obviously analyzed and overanalyzed everything i did wrong and how to address it) , i was really happy to finally have a chance to put all these really important things i know now (like, um, branding, customer service, and displays that are actually functional). and i mean, $50 craft fair, RIGHT DOWN THE STREET FROM MY HOUSE? sold. 

even though i had booked the fair a couple MONTHS ago, i (obviously) totally procrastinated and didnt really do any preparations until the last couple of weeks before the fair, but thankfully, everything got done. i made somewhere around 100 new bows (several new fabrics will be coming to the shop soon!), and james helped me make a super cute display for them: 

(p.s. that awesome white cubby thing? i found that IN THE TRASH just a couple days before the fair, how perfect is that?)

even though it took a couple of very frustrating trips to the hardware store, we did get my rack built, and its awesome and i love it: 

also, i painted signs, which dont look like much but im really proud of them because i do. not. paint. and they came out pretty cute. 

but seriously, how stinking cute are all my skirts all lined up on my new rack? i mean really:

and of course i had a couple clearance bins of pieces from my old shop that I'm just not sure what to do with (but seriously, what am i supposed to do with this stuff?):

and after weeks of stress and panic and frustration and tears and feeling like a failure because i couldnt get the freezer paper printing on fabric thing to work (spoiler alert: james did, everything has labels now), we had achieved something i had never been able to do before with  my old shop:

and attractive, functional booth/display, filled with a carefully curated collection of well-constructed pieces that all go together and reflect a consistent brand image. that alone was an amazing feeling. 

but after all that blathering about the booth and the process and all that, im assuming what you actually want to know is how the fair itself actually went. 

and well, im not sure how to answer that question. obviously, the most important part is that i did it and poverty luxe is henceforth able and prepared to do more craft fairs in the future, and the second most important part is that i didnt lose money on the fair (mainly thanks to my completely insane business model). 

but the event itself? meh. dont get me wrong, the girls running the fair worked very hard, they picked a great location, a great mix of vendors, and did a great job about promoting the event as a whole as well as spotlighting the individual vendors on instagram. however, i didnt realize that the girls running the show were like, 18, and maybe not super experienced with running a full-blown craft fair (and maybe this is just me being snobby from having been involved in several real, serious craft fairs in the past), but the day-of operations? those were kind of a mess. and attendance? well, lets just say that if each individual vendor had simply brought 10 friends/family members (like i did), and nothing else, the attendance would have been awesome. and sales? my sales covered my booth fee (plus a little left over to sponsor a blog giveaway coming up), BUT all of that, except for one $5 purchase, was from people i know. 

but instead of focusing on those things, id rather give us all pats on the back for just doing the fair, and appreciate the cute new prints and tardis skirt that i got from other vendors. 

and you know, i actually wrote a blog post, so thats cool. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks! It was really fun, and i hope i can start saving up to do the big fancy fairs next year.