This November I participated in the Crafty Nashville Fall event as well as Hawks for the Holidays in Nashville and Clarksville respectively.
I have participated in multiple events put on by Rachel with Crafty Nashville and I have absolutely nothing bad to say about them. I set up completely the Friday night before, which was such a blessing. I got a chance to talk to my neighbors, and I even picked up a quilt ladder which I have been wanting SO badly! It’s absolutely gorgeous, and if you need one, contact Knock on Wood Knoxville about getting your own!
Saturday I got there about an hour or so early and hauled the rest of my stuff over. I brought along some little t-rex buds I had to finish off before the event started! We had an almost constant stream of people from 10am well into the afternoon, and people were very interested in buying locally handmade items. It seems that the people who come to these events at Track One know that they’re helping support a community of makers. There were so many people and while some of them think $200 is too much for a quilt (grumble grumble) they were polite and supportive. The day went by pretty quickly and never seemed to get into a lull. Overall I had a pretty nice day. I would have liked to have made a few more sales, but I had nice conversations, encouraged lots of future quilters to not give up and branch out, and BBQ tacos and ice cream. I mean, if that isn’t enough to turn a day around I don’t know what is. I absolutely look forward to participating in more of the events put on by Crafty Nashville.
The following weekend I was in the Hawks for the Holidays event. This was in Clarksville, TN which was a new market for me and it isn’t quite as far as Nashville. It benefited the local middle school’s baseball team, and the team members were there to help us set up and break down at the end of the day. This event started at 10, so I got there around 8:30. I didn’t bring my tent this time because I was inside and I just wanted to make my final event of the year as simple set up as possible. I regretted that later for a number of reasons, but mostly because I didn’t have a solid post or wall to lean my ladder against. I was set up in the middle area, so I just leaned it against the end of one of my tables. So…where do I start?
I saw pretty quickly that this wasn’t a handmade only type event, and all the players were there. Younique, Pink Zebra, Posh, It Works, LuLaRoe, you name it. I don’t tell myself that this is awful, they are just trying to make sales, too. I’ve been next to a Posh lady several times and she and her daughter are absolutely fantastic.
Between my neighbor on one side that showed up late, almost knocked over my peg board, then decided that their 10×10 ft space didn’t have enough room to store their garbage, so they put it underneath my peg board (mind you, they had one table) and the caddy cornered neighbor selling jalapeno jam (which, they dropped a jar of…have I mentioned how much I hate jalapenos? Because I do. I hate them.) I had a selection of people to decide between to choose which ones was the worst. Maybe my least favorite was the Disney travel agent guy behind me (because that’s what I look for in a craft fair, Disney family vacation packages.) who encouraged his kids to cut through my area. In his defense, at least eight different people cut through my booth space during the day, multiple times, so maybe he didn’t realize that it was incredibly rude. I also didn’t care for the number of parents who let their kids run around unsupervised all day, but I digress.
Besides all of those vendors, I did see a few really nice vendors. A vendor that I’ve seen at the Livery Stables was set up as well and she came by and she was just as shocked by the jalapeno smell and people cutting through my area, which she saw first hand. The lady across from me who sold handmade lip balm, bath products, and some other rustic home items that were all very sweet was very nice and we had some nice talks as well. The lady next to me was from Kentucky, very nice as well, and she really regretted making the two-hour drive, and I don’t blame her at all.
By the end of the day, I sold my three remaining t-rex plushies to the Disney guy’s kids, I had someone say she wanted to make an order and would email me, and several people (I think seven) asked me about t-shirt quilts. If they all follow through, this would maybe save this event in my eyes, but I wish I would have left early.
The blatant disregard of common courtesy that I saw all day was appalling; if you put together an event, you should not try to drag another one down because yours isn’t doing well for vendors. You’re making money either way. You also shouldn’t patronize because you saw that someone made a sale. It’s hard for me to say the right thing right away (temper, temper! I’m much better writing), so I always find it nicest to keep it in and respond with some cliche blanket response, but when asked if I wanted to participate again next year, I think my face said enough.
This was the last event for me for the year, and I am relieved! Next month I’ll do a post with an overview of the year I’ve had and discuss pros and cons. Until next time, happy sewing!
P.S. Happy birthday, Mommy!
3 thoughts on “November Craft Fairs”
Oh Ashley – this confirms why I don’t think I could be involved in craft fairs. I am sure you will find yourself, next month as you write your overview, analyzing the good, the bad and the ugly. So funny that people come and walk around and around craft fairs, and buy nothing or “steal ideas”. Picking the right “venue” and the right “set up location” is critical. Sounds like Crafty Nashville has the vote!
It’s been tough, but this has been a learning year to see what works and some just work better than others. Thank you for following along with this journey! 🙂
I hope you keep it all in perspective and try to have fun as you are going out selling things.