Friday, December 14, 2012

Craft Shows and Social Anxiety Disorder

     Oh wow it's been a month since my last post. I guess my writing every week idea hasn't quite happened yet. Part of my issue is all my great writing ideas come at the middle of the night and who wants to climb out of their warm comfy bed to go write on a blog. (I certainly do not.) 
     So I finally went and stayed at not one but two craft shows! I was so proud of myself for finally doing it. I had a lot of fun honestly. The first craft show was super small which made me feel so much more comfortable.  It took some serious resolve to get myself to go.  I spent hours debating over all the things the many lists I studied on what you should bring.  In the end most of what they listed was completely useless for me.  However I did need risers, I used different sized small boxes wrapped in a pretty gold paper. All my displays were black velvet so I found a white table cloth at a thrift store to add on top of the red one I already had and the rest just kinda fell into place for my displays. The one thing I did not see on the ever expanding list of things to bring was a light and in the end that was what I needed most for both shows.
      The first show was at a small church here in Eureka it was $25 for a 6ft table. There were only around 10 vendors and at most 50 customers came through the show.  For me this was perfect. Starting out small often helps with my social anxiety.  While I sat there I had an excellent opportunity to asses the other vendors behavior and displays.  So even if I had not made a sale it would be a good learning experience for me.  There was one couple who were (I assume husband in wife) that spent 90% of the show necking.  There was another group of vendors that were so busy talking among themselves they did not pay any attention to the customers who did come through.  All of these vendors were upset after the show because they had not gotten any sales.  I spent the day doing the show with my 7 year old son and even though I was busy playing with him anytime a customer came through I made sure to greet them and let them know a little about my jewelry.  I had 5 sales at this show and have been told that was a really good average. (However I still have a re-sized item for a lady who forgot to come get it.  I wish I had remembered to get her number instead of me just giving her mine.)
      The second show was held at the VFW hall and was a benefit to help a local lady who has cancer. It was $10 plus a donation to their raffles. This was the most successful fundraiser I have ever seen.  Each vendor paid $10 for a table (some had 3 or 4) and donated a prize to the raffles.  There was 2 raffles the first occupied at least 6x6 and had almost 90 prizes valued between $10-100.  On the table were paper bags with the name of the item on it  for gift cards or the paper bag was sitting with a corresponding prize.  When you bought your raffle tickets ($1 each or 6/$5)  you simply put the half of the ticket with your name and number on it in the bag corresponding with the prize you wanted to win.  Totally awesome idea.  Then there was a smaller table with prizes valued at over $100.  The raffle tickets for these prizes came at $5 each or 6/$20 and like the other table you simply put the half of the ticket in the bag next to the prize you wanted.  There had a bake sale as well and Im still drooling over the fudge we got there. :)  I didn't get that many sales at this one but I totally considered it a day well spent!  (Even before I won a designer pink, black, and white paisley purse with matching wallet. This will probably be the only designer purse I ever own and certainly the most expensive so after a short war with myself I decided to keep it.)
     Both of these shows were a really awesome experience for me and I am incredibly thankful I did not chicken out this time.  However I hope I remember next year not to schedule them within a week of each other because now I'm sick which is my Fibromyalgia's way of saying slow down you idiot!

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