Monday, July 11, 2011

Craft Fair- Is it Worth It

The Craft Fair – Is It worth It

Craft fairs for artisans are a way of life.  You pay the booth fees, mail your best pictures, and then anxiously wait for the passing score.  Okay, you pass.  Then you e mail one hundred friends and fans  (!- well they really don’t care you come to know that gradually, yet this is the rule of the game. You shrug off and do that again any way).

Then for a week or so you worry if you have enough inventory and stay up until 2 pm until your eyes burn and neck falls off.  Then in the morning you panic – do you have enough white space! So, you keep on practicing the display  on your kitchen table disrupting your family life annoying everyone, and then you make several trips to Jo Ann and Michael’s craft stores brushing your credit card over and over and then get upset with your own self…

Then the final day comes.  At the dawn break you haul your tent, tables and all that and get ready for the elbow grease. You put up the tent successfully.  Yeh! (By the way, my crafty friends, I bought a new tent after extensive research and it has made us quite happy so far)
Before it all starts

My friend, Kathy (another jewelry artist) and I usually do the shows together.  I don’t know what I would have done without Kathy!  No, we are not at all threatened by each other; our styles are rather complimentary, not competitive.  That makes our neighbor, Ann (another jewelry artist from the next booth) and the others from close proximity pause to think and then they nod in approval.  True, we all have unique styles, and people do need lots of jewelry.  So now we all feel confident and comfortable and wish each other.
Our Booth is done

It’s warming up.  The music is in full blast now.  I don’t know if I can take this rap until 6 pm.  But I see Kathy is swaying with the beats.  A bunch of teenagers enter with ice cream cones in their hands.  One of them humming “baby baby…” Is it part of this same song?  I can’t tell.

All these happy humming, swaying, people laughing and having good time kind of bring a positive mood in me too, they wash away my doubts and I am kind of liking this punk rock or whatever...

Kathy says, “I am glad that they are not playing country”

They are frying fish or something.  It’s delicious and my stomach is growling. Besides, Nina told me I should not miss Bake Sale Betty.  But people are coming like crazy.  And you know what is sweeter than honey!

Visitors are coming
So we munch on dry almonds and trail mix and sip water.  It is not polite to talk with your mouthful and you may have to do that any minute. I am glad things are moving from Kathy’s table too quite swiftly.

You need to take a potty break.  But there is a long line even in front of the port-a-potty.  So you  have to decide to stop sipping water.

I crane my neck out the tent when it is a bit less busy. There are so many vendors with so many cool things.  But there is no way I can go check them out.  We are all busy with our own booths.  So many of them are in wheel chairs selling hand made products. We out source jobs from this country.  Now, this is another America I see. I would not have known it had I not involve me like this.

An elderly lady approaches.  She is looking for earrings.  I think she spotted one.  A young girl exclaims “ Nona, this one!”   


It is an earring I made last year with a Breast Cancer Awareness bead and a twisted wire design that is actually an error, a deviation from the tutorial instruction I was trying to accomplish.  But I liked the mistake and made a few earrings in this style.

The lady asks for a mirror and then with a happy smile brings the earring  to me.
“I had been looking for something like this for a long time.  This is the best one. I want to buy this.”

I was touched.  “Is it going to be a gift?” I ask.

“A gift to mysel"'  she replies " to celebrate my first anniversary from Breast cancer. One year cancer free today”

“In that case I give you a 10% off”

“God bless you” she said.

“You be healed completely soon” I say.

 She nods with a smile. Kathy and I exchange glances as she walks out.  We feel our eyes misty.

“She made your day” Kathy remarks.

After the show, this morning with the morning cup of tea in hand my husband comments – “Boy, you slept like a log “ True, I did.  I was sooo tired.

The way your adrenaline flows …before, during these craft fairs …it’s something.  It takes a lot of energy, physically...”

“Physical, emotional spiritual…” I add.

 Is it worth it?  I wonder.

Absolutely yes.  One hundred times, for sure.    


barnali said...

What a wonderful story!

So sorry to have missed you. Our new project, like a new child is taking up most of our time...

Wish there was a way to do craft fairs so that they would feel worth it for the artists.

Pretty Things said...

Such a lovely post. And I often wonder about whether or not it's worth it, too, because WOW but they're a ton of work. But I love meeting my customers and in the end, it IS.

Miss Val's Creations said...

This looks like a perfect craft fair day with the sun shining and people mulling about! It must be fun to have a fellow artisan friend join you and keep you company! ~Val

One voice said...

I knew you'd have a great time! I'm just sad I wasn't there to see it ... I was really looking forward to it! Glad that it went well!

Sharon said...

Your post made me feel like I was there with you.

I always seem to shy away from craft fairs any more. I have spent a lot of time sitting at them in the past without many sales, and as you point out, they are a Lot of work.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. The answer is Artistic wire. If you go back to the original post I added a comment about the color and size of the wire.

BooBeads said...

Absolutely worth it! Even if that pair of earrings you sold were the only thing you did sell! Great story, thanks for sharing!

Wired 4 Style said...

Very pretty, Dita!
Sorry you had probs with that earring tut on my blog. If I remember right, I had to go to that tutorial and send her a message with my email address and she sent me a password to get it. Not sure if it's even still available.

My sis is doing better, She has one more chemo treatment and then radiation. Should be done by Oct and then they can recheck her. Tx for asking and the blessings. Many blessings to you, as well. How are you doing?

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