Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Big Girl Panties

This is not a blog about child rearing -- it's about self doubt and self loathing both of which I have been doing quite a bit of these last few days. You might ask -- "why so glum chum?" 

Kerners Folly did not shape up like I had expected. This was my first outside event and 2nd event total and I busted my tail to get things done on time so that I would feel that I had more things at a lower price point to incise buyers that perhaps weren't ready to make a quilt purchase. In actuality if I didn't sell a quilt I wanted to sell something to help at least cover the charge of attending the festival. This did not happen - total sales were a big fat goose egg (that's zero for those of you that don't speak southern). I had some decent traffic and what appeared to be genuine interest in my good and many accolades on my work -- but this was not a buying crowd. Other vendors around me were struggling as well but both very nice ladies on either side of me did eventually turn a small amount of profit and I could see that other's were not fairing much better. This coupled with the winds made for a dreary and difficult day -- it's quite difficult to be equally nice to someone at 5 or 6 pm as you were earlier in the day when your spirits are way down. 

So what's a girl to do --- this one chose to wallow in self doubt for the last few days and doubt myself as a crafter. Saturday evening, Sunday and most of Yesterday I contemplated throwing in the towel -- only make things for swaps, guild charity and gifts unless a commission comes my way through Etsy and I would list the current merchandise there until is sells. 

But wait a minute -- that's not who I am, that's not why I quilt and create. I do it for the love of the process and the joy that it brings both to myself and others. Some of the best people I know are creatives and trust me none of us are getting rich off our talents. So after about 48 hours of this funk I decided it was time to snap out of it and "put on my big girl panties" --- so I told myself there are other shows coming up and the weather will be different and people will be different, you are not a quilter Katie Yoakum so get back in there and give it another go.

I went to my LQS last night for a monthly meeting and felt some better and then today I got a call about doing another show in 10 days here  in Yadkinville. The set up fee is low and I hope to be able to at least get my name out there a little more and hopefully make some sales. I am looking to other events coming up and also revamped the ETSY store. 

I am hoping to get back to my sewing machine this weekend to help me cope with it being mother's day (a very difficult day of the year for me). I have at least 2 projects I need to complete this month and one is for a guild swap and the other is a sew along online so I am looking forward to both of those. 

Thanks for sticking with me. Happy Quilting everyone. (Happiness is what it's all about) 

7 comments:

  1. I had planned on doing craft shows when I moved up here in 2001 (I was really into beaded jewelry at that time - pre quilting days). I did one and didn't enjoy it all!

    So you can take my advice with that in mind. If it is something you want to do I'd commit to a summer of shows or maybe through the end of the year. Then you can take some time to assess how it's working out. Maybe it was just the wrong show for you... or you need more exposure like you said.

    In my area there is a glut of quilters and I feel sad when I go to silent auctions and see beautifully done work selling for next to nothing!

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  2. Don't be disheartened :)

    Where we are here I find that the fairs which turn a decent profit are those that it costs a fair amount to get a stall at. It's quite scary unless you're sure you're going to sell but I agree with Deb. Try a few more and build up a network of fellow stall holders. They'll be great company at local fairs and will be able to tell you from experience which fairs to book into.

    I'll go check out your etsy store now :)

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  3. I do a few shows a year - they took a time to discover and are very successful venues. I do not do any outdoor vending - they are a stroll by, handle it all, dirty, and no-to little sales. I only do in-doors. As Samantha said - ask other vendors about successful shows - they are a great resource.

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  4. Part of being creative, and nurturing creativity, is trying things. Not every thing works out the way we visualize it. That doesn't mean "we" aren't good at our craft! It just means that one, individual thing (that particular show) didn't work out. The next show may be the perfect confluence of events. Any way, you summed it up, we are not getting rich off of our crafts, but we are enriching our lives by doing it. You are so talented, and fearless in your quilting. And you are right to put on your big girl panties! Keep sewing, it makes you feel better!

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  5. This has been a hard area for craft shows. I did them for a while barely breaking even-except for Festival of lights Barn. You learn what people like and they have gotten very picky as the economy has changed. I always looked at it if I was enjoying myself do it, if not dont.

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  6. I have never been a vendor at a craft show, but several of the women I know who do, have said that they are not doing well at shows this year. Most of them have not even covered the cost of the table fee. I agree with Sharon. Outdoor shows are not as advantageous for crafters as indoor shows. I wouldn't give up yet. You're a very talented quilter. All you need is to find the right venue.

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