I do burlap wreaths and also sea glass art framed in shadow boxes. These things take a lot of time to create. There are some days I come home from my full-time job, eat dinner and go into my craft room until 9 or 10 at night. (George doesn’t hate that arrangement too much).
In other words, it’s not always easy. It’s not just a cute little hobby to keep me out of trouble. It’s a business. I thought I was immune to rude comments on my work at craft fairs. Guess what? I’m not.
Recently, my husband George and I went to a local craft in which we have participated for at least 6 years. We’ve always done well at this one.
We’ve gotten to know the vendors that are in our assigned area, and we have a good time talking and booth babysitting for each other. So we were prepared for a pleasant and profitable day.
The first customers who came to our booth were angry. Seems that the publicity for the event said incorrectly said that the fair opened at 9 a.m. instead of the 9:30 a.m., when it actually opened. They were forced to stand outside in the freezing cold waiting to get in, and these women were not happy campers and thus did not purchase anything from us.
Throughout the day, we got to see the regulars, the people who come to the fair every year. It was nice to catch up with them. But the majority of the clientele were not very nice, not in a buying mood and definitely were not feeling the Christmas spirit.
So rather than go into detail about every transgression we witnessed at that craft fair, I have composed a list of do’s and don’ts when you attend a craft fair.
1. Don’t stand smack in front of a booth examining an item for 15 minutes, thus blocking the booth and not allowing other potential customers to see what’s being sold.
It’s a $20 shadow box with a sea glass picture in it. It’s not a Picasso. It’s not a priceless artifact. It’s sea glass on a piece of canvas, for crying out loud. Either buy it or walk away.
2. Don’t quiz the crafter about where they get their stuff and then argue about it. For example:. Customer (waving a shadow box at me): This is not real sea glass.
Me (fake smiling): Well, much of it is indeed real, but some of it is manufactured.
Customer: Well, this is not sea glass. You should just say it’s glass.
Me (jaws aching): I’ll take that under advisement.
3. Don’t take a wreath off the hanger, look at the back, pull on the decorations, smell it, yank on the bow, ask us how much it is, and when we say $40, hand it to us as if it’s on fire and walk away.
4. Don’t look at our display and say loudly to your friend, “I could make that for a lot cheaper.”
5. Don’t say to us, “I saw you at Such-and-Such craft fair last week and your wreaths were only $15. Why are they so expensive this week?”
My reply was, “No that wasn’t me.” The person insisted that it WAS me. (I wanted to reply that I was NOT at that craft fair.
I was attending one of my BFF’s grandson’s first birthday party, so you’re lying and your pants are on fire). Instead I smiled and said, “Nope, it wasn’t me.” The woman huffed off without her $15 wreath.
1. Buy something.
2). Compliment the work.
3. Buy something.
4. Tell me about the sea glass piece you bought last year and how much the person who received it absolutely loved it. Then buy something.
5. Ask me what fairs I normally do because they want to see any new work I come up with. Then buy something.
Seriously, we have seen it all and heard it all, but all in all, craft fairs are fun and profitable. Except when they’re not.