Well, I officially survived my first time selling at an arts festival!
I nearly chickened out. I arrived on Friday to set up and felt immediately overwhelmed by all of the elaborate booths that the surrounding shops were set up. I had one small desk-sized table, a square shelf, and a little side table to hold a chalkboard sign of my shop name and some business cards. I felt severely unprepared and unprofessional, and I almost packed up and went home.
BUT. I am glad I didn’t. I only survived Friday by the good grace of my friends and my husband, who kept me company for the 5 hours I had to be open. I made no sales, although I had some good conversations with customers and some interest in custom orders. I accepted that this would probably be the norm for the weekend, and after I slept on it, I decided I would be okay with that.
Then, Saturday went infinitely better! I made a decent amount of sales early in the day, much to my surprise, and a LOT of interest in custom orders. The rest of the day sort of dropped off (12-10 is such a long time to sit in a booth on a hot summer day…), but I was happy with the results of the day. Sunday went just as well, and I ended up making back what I paid to be there, PLUS some. So in the end it was worth it, if not for the exposure and experience alone.
I definitely learned a few things:
1. My procrastination is a serious, serious issue. I am lucky that I had no sales Friday and slow sales Saturday, or I would not have had any product to show for the weekend. I really need to best this horrible habit.
2. One day festival would be better. Three days is just such a long time if you don’t have a ton of variety in product to set up for people to browse.
3. Closer to Christmas would be better. I had a handful of people pick up my items and comment that they needed to keep it in mind for Christmas.
4. Don’t drink so much wine when sitting at your booth. Both days.
5. Don’t drink so much beer after you have left your booth. Both nights. Go home, drink tea and call it an early night. Otherwise, you will hate your life.
6. Definitely, definitely have friends committed to sit with you all weekend. I would have been peeing in a bucket in the back of my tent, if not for them.
I would do it again, in the future. But this time, I will not procrastinate.