Derryfest: Sunday September 16, 2007

I'm happy to announce that the event was very successful. I made a little money, I destashed, and I got many, many compliments throughout the day.

Derryfest was originally supposed to be on Saturday the 15th. However, due to rain it was postponed until Sunday. From what I learned from other local crafters, that right there pretty much guarantees your profits being cut in half. So from the beginning we were a little doomed in terms of that.

Secondly, our display was what you could call rudimentary. We're not craft-fair people, and we don't intend to do a ton of fairs, so for us to invest money into this would have been ridiculous and wasteful. So we kept to basics and spent $2 on our table. Yes, $2. We bought two vinyl tablecloths from the dollar store. Our space was $30, and that was plenty of expenditures for us. My assumption is that some people passed by us because we didn't have that million dollar looking craft booth, but I could be wrong. I don't think we looked too terrible, though. I thought we were tastefully minimalist.

The final factor that caused our profits to be lower is the fact that I am destashing all of my yarn that I bought as a beginner with no knowledge of good yarn (or inherited from Mom and Grandma). Which is to say, most everything is acrylic yarn. Furthermore, though I spent a decent amount of time on these projects, each and every one of them served specifically to destash and pass the time. So I did not price things competively. I priced things very, very low. Anything that was wool or cotton obviously came with a higher price tag, but all the acrylic stuff was marked considerably lower than you would expect it to be marked. And get this. People still complained about prices. A hand crocheted scarf for $12? Are you kidding me? That's not too expensive, people.
Derryfest isn't really a craft fair though. I called it that, but it's not. It's a day of free family entertainment in the tiny town of Derry, NH. There's a stage with constant activity--dancers, martial arts, singers, etc. People come to hang out and listen to music and spend some time with their kids. Though there's a vendor section, you don't get the kind of traffic you would get a craft fair. People just look, they don't really buy.
I was talking to a knitter. She said she does holiday craft fairs. She said that her most successful fairs (she'll do morning or afternoon events, not 3 day fairs and such) tend to make her about $200. Now, these are craft fairs where people go to actually buy stuff, not like Derryfest. Well, given that criteria, and everything listed above, I'd have to say Sara and I were extremely successful. We made $129 profit during a 7 hour event. Though it's not a ton of money, I think it was good given what it was. And I love that I have a little extra money to put toward the vet bill, which was my goal. Overall, I couldn't be happier.


Deneen said...
Friday, 21 September, 2007

I think the table looks terrific. I refuse to do craft fairs for exactly what you mentioned-$12 for a scarf, I can get it at Wal-Mart for $5.00.

Now around here there are a few "true" art/craft shows and those who knit and crochet sell felted hats for $75.00 and get it without any grumbling-however, there is one locally here and also a few that are several hours driving distance. I talked to other crafters in the area and they all agree, it's not worth the time in the local little craft shows/family days. People, who don't craft, always tend to think handmade should mean cheap and it isn't-costs, TIME/LABOR, ugh. I am told go to NYC and sell at craft shows there and they make money-it's terrific you destashed and it was stuff you passed the time with and were happy-but to make items specifically for a craft show, I just won't do it.

Linda said...
Sunday, 23 September, 2007

I think your table looks fine, and it certainly suited your purpose. I'm glad you're satisfied with the results.
When I first started crocheting again, a family member said, "Why don't you make things to sell?" I told him that then it becomes work, and that would take the pleasure out of it for me.
There aren't many craft shows around here anymore, anyway. The type of events around here have mainly vendors who sell those cheap toys for outrageous prices or food.

Andy's Crafts said...
Sunday, 23 September, 2007

Your table looks terrific and $12 for a scarf is not a bad price. Even though I know you can get a scarf for $ 2.99 in a store, when you go to a craft Faire you have to go with a different mentality. Nothing like a hand made scarf and nothing like promoting local crafters. Happy Harvest!

HobbyZu said...
Monday, 24 September, 2007

Your table looks great! I'm glad you nmade some kind of profit. :-) I bet you learned a lot from this event. I'm doing my first craft fair in december and am a nervous wreck! Good luck with your future selling! :-)

Alexis said...
Friday, 28 September, 2007

Maybe it's a regional thing, but I've sold jewelry at a lot of craft fairs, and $200 is often barely enough to cover the table fee. I never considered myself to be making a serious profit compared to my peers, and the most I ever made at a fair was about $500. Then again, I was trying to make my living that way; going as a hobbyist and just trying to make a little extra money is a different (and less stressful!) ball game.

As a craft fair veteran, I do think your table looks nice, but I have some advice to offer. The problem with a table like this is that it's not eye-catching from afar. People aren't necessarily looking for a million dollar booth, but they are looking for a few really eye-catching pieces to draw them to your table--seeing all of the pieces laid out on the table at once doesn't have that effect. One thing I learned pretty quickly was to get upright displays. You don't have to spend a lot, and you may even be able to make your own--you can check out sites like Craftster for ideas if you'd like. And you don't have to make everything upright--you can have just a few really eye-catching items on freestanding displays, and have the others laid out on the table.

You could even invest in a hat mannequin or two if you feel like it. They have some inexpensive ones on ebay.

Oh yeah, and folks will complain about the prices no matter what they are. As a jewelry vendor, my work was often the least expensive at a fair, especially before I started using precious metals. People still complained about the prices. Can't make everyone happy!

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