This fall, through the Sacramento Craft Mafia, I've had the opportunity to participate in three craft shows. Had I used my brain back in September I would have realized that I completely over committed by signing up for all three. Then the first one was a bit of a bummer sales-wise. Then the second one was decent, not great. With #3 approaching on Saturday I thought that maybe my "strategy" of throwing everything I've ever made on the table and crossing my fingers just might not be working. I know, I'm quick.
In thinking about it, I'm chalking up my lack of success to 1. lack of organization/table display skills 2. some lack of traffic on the part of the show 3. some pricing issues. If I consider 4. my stuff all totally sucks I'll get too depressed.
If you've been reading here long, you'll recognize that I like to make a lot of different types of things. My tendency at shows has been to cram every type of product I have on the table. It becomes such a hodge podge that (potential) customers really have to work to figure out what I'm even offering. It looks sort of like a garage sale.
I personally find tables like this fun to browse but at a crowded craft fair it's a lot easier if you can glance at a table and have a sense of what the person sells and if you would be interested in the products.
As for pricing, I'm going to lower my prices on a few items. I really hate to see craft people underselling their work and undervaluing their time so my tendency is to go high. But, I don't think my stuff is unique enough (and I have built up reputation enough) to sell at the slightly high prices. So I've been trying to figure out exactly how long it takes to make an item and then turn that into a reasonable hourly wage of $20ish/hour. That may seem high but I really value my very limited time so it's important (to me). I've basically ignored the cost of supplies as I use a lot of scrap material and inexpensive bits and pieces.
SO...all that to say that I will be focusing entirely on children's items for this show. I *think* there should be some interest in handmade, American made toys given all the recalls and lead paint scares so I'll have a fleet of cars and trucks. I'll also have a few doll bed sets hopefully a few children-oriented book clocks and then a stack of baby drool bibs and a few toddler bibs. I may even narrow it down to 3 types of items: bibs, beds, cars.
Who knows, this plan may totally suck but at least I'm trying something different. I'll also have the back stock 'o everything under the table just in case ;)