I'm currently having a bit of time off from work after feeling run down for the past month or two and a recent craft fair I was at!
In the past, especially before my accident (head injury/fractured skull that caused the future damage of my little bit of hearing in one ear and impaired motor ability for a while), I dappled in craft fairs. It wasnt serious, something I did for fun and to build up experience whilst giving me a challenge to create and sell crafted items.
I decided after a long absence to take the jump and throw myself back onto the band wagon.
I had 6 weeks to prepare as I wasnt told I had a table at the event until almost too late!
I wanted to start small as I was just testing the waters and public tastes and trends have moved on a bit since I last featured at a fair...so what i could be making might be extremely out of taste!
I love these chalkboard bird pegs which tied in with my craft theme and name "Bird's Nest" and were used to advertise the prices of my wares....they are just a brilliant finishing touch no? :)
I was allowed to come to the venue the day before and set up bits of my stall, as the premises were reasonably big and the fact over 75 stall exhibitors were to unload the next morning, I wanted to avoid the crush and get the faff out the way for peace of mind sake! It's looking good so far no? I went for a simple candy/pastel coloured theme this time around with sparkly little insects on the front to brighten up the front. I think next time I will make and display a banner but looking around at the stalls, there werent many that went to the extra effort of presentation other than putting a white table cloth down.
Cute little dragonfly! Everyone loved the glittery bugs and added sparkle so they were a success!
As you can see, the stall was kept simple in layout and wares as I didnt want to overwhelm myself and the customers but also I had a cleared section in the middle that allowed me to move closer to customers and be able to lipread and communicate well with them...a reasonable adjustment with my disability!
Those orange carrot pegs were the big seller of the day and the number of people who laughed, pointed and came over to admire then buy some was staggering! I'm very glad to resurrect these old favourites from previous fairs! Those plushie tattooed hearts are my all time favourites of my stock. The banner hand embroidered with carefully co-ordinated fabrics just made it so much fun to make them!
Cake stand to show off the hand printed and embellished fabric jewellery of magazine printed images...these again drew a lot of attention and I'm very pleased to have made them!
And my business cards out for all to take! A third of the box was gone by the end of the day with loads of enquiries from customers.( And I gotten approach to appear at some other craft events and a burlesque festival...that all depends on the near future and if I can do it! But still....awesome!)
I was so nervous as the doors opened that I was physically feeling sick..not what customers want to see!
But the great thing was I had so many people come down and see me during the day that it took my mind off the nerves and towards the end of the day I had practically two family reunions with a friends and then my own! God I feel so blessed for having those amazing people come down and say hi and spread a bit of love and well wishes to me. Even someone who is currently undergoing treatment for cancer came by to say hi with her boys and their other halves (I love that woman so much!)
I really wasnt expecting it!
The experience gave me a chance to learn that I'm more disabled than I thought with my profound deafness to the point I now cannot hear anything! And also with my mental state where I was more nervous and scared than I realised and had more panic attacks than I'd like to admit!
I also got to meet Rebecca and Margaret (a mum and daughter dynamo team!) of MessyMuppets that sole some awesome bits and kept the support and banter up. They both made the experience even more better!
I'm glad I did it. I got so much out of it. its not the selling of things and the profit of crafts but the whole making and sharing of it all that gives so much back to me! I made new friends and connections, caught up with loved ones and old friends, and gotten so much out of it that it is an all round win I think!
Right now my house is a mess from looking like a crafty explosion hit every room and I'm still drained but damn, it was a great experience that opened up possibilities! onwards and upwards as they say!