(Actually that’s not a grumpy face, but it hadn’t started at that stage. The fair I mean…)
Having sat (stood, actually) through five hours of Craft 2.0, I have come to a conclusion I suspect I knew beforehand, given my dread: I dislike craft fairs. Perhaps bullet points will be my friend here:
1. For my own craftiness, craft fairs do not work with my books. People like them, people look at them, some people comment on them, but nobody buys them. This craft fair, I employed the tactic of attracting attention with the pretty, larger spiral-bound books, but provided a mini, cheaper version for those that maybe couldn’t afford the bigger one, wanted a piece of the style but had no use for a journal, or who simply wanted a $5 gift. Still no luck. OK, some luck. I sold one spiral bound book and seven mini books to complete strangers. Other sales were to my mum (2), my mum’s friend (1) and Louis’ uncle (5 mini books). I have also – maybe – secured a swap with my favouritest children’s clothing maker in town, free range baby, who was also selling. But again, that was something organised by Louis, I am always too scared to approach people for swaps. Sum total: $62 of sales to strangers = not worth the hassle of the craft fair.
2. Craft fairs are horrible. Even when the crowds have eased, I find it virtually impossible to properly look at things I might want to buy. (And let’s not even think about the crowded nature of your typical Wellington craft fair). I did a trade with the lovely woman next to our stall before the fair – three mini books for three cards – but once things got going I didn’t even purchase a cupcake! I just couldn’t handle it!
3. If I see another felted/knitted/crocheted/oldsock monster at a craft fair, I will scream. I think the world has quite enough of those now, thank you, and frankly, I’m surprised people are still making them. Say what you like about dated nana craft, I think each generation of crafters sets its own stylistic mousetraps and LET’S MOVE ON NOW PEOPLE.
But you know what I do like? It’s bullet point four!
4. At The Beach Store this weekend, I have sold two books! Sold, as in, they are no longer on the shelf. Sold, to complete strangers! And my remaining stockpile of mini books was snaffled gleefully by Bridey and John, who added another small sum to my hot chocolate and a ‘fluffy’ store credit tally. Having these two events in one weekend has really cemented my indecision about the business of selling my stuff. When it comes down to it, I really do prefer that other people do it on my behalf. Even if it means sacrificing that nice wad of cash for the delights of store credit.
5. I have tried very hard to keep this post diplomatic. Basically, craft fairs do not suit me, my product, my personality, nor my shopping style. I find that level of interaction exhausting, and the combination of bullet points 1,2 and 3 left me feeling rather depressed afterwards. Until I’d had two cups of tea, paracetamol and some corn chips, that is.
6. But you know what? Imogen, with her paper crane earrings, did very well at the fair. And because Imogen had put up posters, her stall fee was waived, which meant I could test the waters of Craft 2.0 without any financial commitment. And Imogen has offered to sell my books for me at future events, so that I may keep my face muscles relaxed and my nerves calm. And my screams of rage at felted monsters to myself, I mean, on the internet. So this post is really about Imogen’s generosity and persistence in having me sell my stuff next to hers. Thank you, Imy.