This month I participated in the Coopertown Barrel Festival and the Westhaven Porchfest.
I went to the Coopertown Barrel festival in 2015 and it was interesting. I felt like it was a loop of Paparazzi, weight loss wraps, weight loss drinks and handmade wooden pens. About a mile and a half, over and over. So I figured I would do pretty well there, since I’m not any of those things! I was also pretty excited because it was such an inexpensive show, as well as very close to my house.
I went out Friday afternoon and set up my tent and so I had an idea of the roundabout path I was going to have to take Saturday morning. I was worried because the weather was calling for rain on and off. It was different every hour! So Saturday morning I got out there and was ready to make the best of the day. The fair started around 10AM, and so did the rain. It wasn’t a hard rain, or a thunderstorm or anything, so I wasn’t overly worried. It cleared up shortly, and it warmed up so it got pretty humid. I made a couple of small sales early, so I had pretty good hopes. As the day went on the crowds came. I was excited, because I had a lot of people coming through and looking at things and talking about quilting. However, I wasn’t getting any serious inquiries. I had plenty of people ask me about custom orders, and a lot of people wanted my cards, but that was it.
I was pretty down by the time the day ended, not to mention absolutely worn out. I had to take my booth down about an hour and a half early because a thunderstorm came through and it was obvious that the event was done. So I loaded up my little wagon and took the close to a mile walk back to my car. I caught a golf cart ride back, but then I loaded up once again and walked back again. I would have driven closer but we weren’t allowed to drive up until it was after 4pm. I really felt it in my arms Sunday!!
Right now I’m a little bummed because this was the second not-so-great fair in a row, but I’m still hopeful for the month. I’ve almost finished a quilt that I’m hoping to have ready for the next fair, the Westhaven Porchfest.
That Saturday was SUCH a whirlwind. I got down to Franklin (about an hour from home) by 9am, set up my tent, peg board and table, then wooshed back over to my guild. That afternoon I got back over to the event, and I finished setting up. It was so hot that once I got finished setting up I chugged a bottle of water in seconds.
I was pretty optimistic; I had a larger quilt ready, a nice range of prices, a few new stuffed animals available. I even made a sale pretty early on! (A scarf…in June…) As the afternoon went on, the crowd really picked up. There were bands playing, people laughing, it looked like a really fun event to be at. I was keeping an eye on the girls in the tent next to me, and I was noticing they were getting decent traffic, but like me, people liked what they had but didn’t buy anything. I had several people ask me about custom orders and take my cards, but very few people actually shopping.
By the evening I was in a crummy mood. This was the third event in a row that wasn’t doing so hot. I started really thinking about this season, and while it’s a learning process season, I started just telling myself some facts. Last year the fairs were pretty great, but they were in the Fall. I like asking people around me what events they participate in, and at Crafty Nashville the girl next to me said she only does Fall and Winter fairs. The girls next to me this time were talking about other fairs they’d participated in, and how events where shopping isn’t the main reason for the event, they didn’t do so hot either. Since this was a “look at this neat neighborhood and listen to bands” focused, I understood what they were saying.
I’ve not given up hope, I’m just looking forward to the future. I know that this season I’m “running the gambit” and seeing what fairs will work and which won’t for me. I’m getting back to work on having more ready for next month, when I only have one fair.
Until next time!!