My First Vending Event Result: Stick to Official Craft Fairs

I anticipated waking up today with a strong sense of accomplishment. 
Eh, not so much. Here’s the story.

Three weeks ago it was official I was going to my first vending event. And since then my life has been nothing but intense crocheting and finding every little thing I needed to sell to the public for the first time in person with all my handmade items. I went thrift store shopping to find tons of display shelves, bought business cards, decorations, tons of yarn, paint, tags, bags, EVERYTHING! I even got this awesome device that lets you take credit card payments on your phone. I was ready to OWN THIS THING. The only thing higher than my excitement was my stress level. 

The last two days up until 4:30 yesterday was spent intensley finishing up products. Mistake #1: You should always have shop inventory so you don’t have to recreate everything in three weeks! Since I was finishing up my last few My Little Pony plushies with my loyal boyfriend/assistant helping me, we got behind on time. Mistake #2: Never be late for your craft show. We arrived after an hour car ride around 6:40, designated set up time was 5-6:30, when the event started at 7:00. The host, told me I had to wait and he didn’t know if I could set up at all. So that moment ofcourse was not very fun.

Mistake #3: Not knowing the venue. The host had invited me to join the event, explaining how he thought my products would fin the demographic and feel of what he wanted to accomplish. Weeks earlier I did research on the event, and I agreed. It was described as a “vintage carnival” that would have games, food, and live entertainment. I have to say, when I arrived in my simple blue dress and kitty faces on my tights, I stuck out like a thumb.The guests had on some very pretty designer dresses, lovely summer “girls night out” outfits, and everyone was in heals. All the men had on some formal, very put together outfits as well. I guess I missed the memo. Not only did my clothing stand out, so did my products. Around 7:20 I was able to go in and quickly set up (literally took me 6 minutes total). The other 8 vendors were very elegant! There was a make up line, handmade fancy jewelry, and designer shirts. I have to say, everything from my table stood out, From the pastel green table cloth, to my bright lilac display shelves. I felt really uneasy, already knowing that this wasn’t really my main demographic, but I still smiled and tried to make the most of it. The environment wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, there weren’t very many people, everyone was in their early 20’s to early 30’s, and the “carnival” aspect was severely lacking. I felt like it was more of a night out, party setting. Even so, I was happy that I had had time to place out a few new products:

SAM_0479

Business Cards, Cheeseburger Pouch, Crocodile Ombre, Strawberry Shortcake Pouch, Whale Purse, Crocodile Fall Stitch Bag. The event made me the little sign

I did take some times to talk the vendors around me. This wonderful woman named Pam of Love Rudraksha Jewelry was very nice, she makes beautiful products made from Indian textiles. Sara Britton does amazing crayon art that would put my little crayon art project to shame! Rea Kary Designs I’d actually seen her work on Etsy before, which was nice to notice how much more vibrant her cute bottle cap magnets were. Or how complicated, I have a lot of respect after she gave me a brief run down. They each gave me a bit of insight on there experiences, so thank you ladies. 

I can’t say I really “enjoyed” the night. I had some curious customers, but only a single sale. The way the event played out, it wasn’t really designed for sellers. The music was REALLY loud so communication with potential customers I feel was a hassle. Mainly I saw people drinking and dancing than checking out the stands. The singers, DNK. were very good to jam too. 

What I did take away was the experience. I am happy I gave it my best efforts, and I’m proud of that aspect. I know now I probably won’t do “vendor events” verses a “craft fair.” I do know that I did have all the essentials, like my display, cards, gift bags, and payment options. I have a good stocked inventory now too. Which can help when I do go to local shops which I can now focus back on the project. In addition I have everything I need for next time. I’ll probably spend the rest of the day dramatically sighing at my lack of profit, but I’ll get over it and I perhaps can look for upcoming fairs for the future. I can also get to making something I think are SO adorable, baby elf hats:

SAM_0465This first one was made for my co-workers nephew, they are so cute I (ALMOST) wish I had a baby of my own to model it on!! So I plan on pumping out a few more of these, along with a few new purses. I didn’t get to finish my circle bags, but here’s what the next two look like: 

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(awful camera of mine, sorry!) Ofcourse a Cupcake and an Owl purse

After these two the other two will just be the simple flower design. 

That’s all I’ve got for today. I hope to get some more job searching done and clean my room. There is so much destruction from preparing for the venue, crafting supplies are EVERYWHERE! Has anyone done a venue/craft fair before? Any advice? I’d love to hear it.

Hope everyone is doing well and having success in any new venture they pursue. Always give it your all!

❤ Millie

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2 thoughts on “My First Vending Event Result: Stick to Official Craft Fairs

  1. no worries. we all start somewhere! i was thinking of selling at my locals farmers market. but im not ready to start making an inventory. good luck to you and keep trying!!

  2. Millie well done for getting out there. I am thinking of markets stalls to sell my artwork and will do some research before I do this, thanks to you. You have many skills and it will take time to find your market, where you will meet like minded customers. Good luck your work is beautiful. Its all one BIG learning curve. ps follow other successful people in your line of business and don’t be afraid to ask them questions.

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