Craftzilla Lessons & The Finger Healing Process
Yetch snapped a quick picture of the table at Craftzilla with his phone (I still think this is an amusing thing to say. If I read that statement 20 years ago, I'd have said "Sure. Soon we'll be cutting our hair with the remote control too"). Vendors were encouraged to bring a string of Christmas lights so I grabbed a string last minute, not knowing how I'd use it.
As you can see from the picture, it just ended up snaking through the display, but that was because the venue was a little dark and I wanted to illuminate the items. The hooks inside the new ornament display box helped immensely with this.
So what did I learn from this experience, and what tidbits can I pass onto anyone out there new to selling?
Always have a backup plan for how you will organize your display in case there is less table space than expected. I spent the morning before the event playing with different display scenarios, and this helped when I had a foot less of space than anticipated.
Normally, I group my items in areas confined by a crate. I have a little framed sign with a label and price attached to the crate. But because I brought such a hodgepodge of items with me, I thought I would make a master price list and display that. This was a mistake. Not a huge mistake, but I doubt I will ever do a master price list again. For some reason, people didn't notice the list (even though it was prominently displayed) and I suddenly became the vendor with no prices. Which is often interpreted as "if you have to ask, you can't afford it". I will never know how many sales I lost because of it. Don't get me wrong, I did fine. But how much better could I have done?
You can hazard a guess what will sell, but you never really know. I had a feeling the undead nutcrackers would be a hit - which they were - but the surprise hit was the skelesnails. I decided I'd bring them along and put them out for fun. And people loved them. They were the most inexpensive item on the table ($2) and a number of them found new homes. Who knew they'd be a Christmas fair hit?
Which bring me to my next point. While it's great to experiment with your inventory, don't be afraid to rotate items out. As a test, I decided to also bring with me some of my little pumpkins and hooters. I got compliments on them, but they didn't sell. I didn't think they would, but hey, I had to test the waters. Pumpkins will only come with me again if I make them into ornaments.
And I need a mailing list. Now that I am doing more shows in the city, people want to know when my next event is. And they want to join my mailing list. A list I don't currently have. A list I know is invaluable. But hey, I'm learning. I've only done a few shows, and I still doubted people would be interested. I was wrong.
I have a Small Press Fair to attend next Saturday to promote Brains vs. Coffee, and I've decided to do one more Christmas show on Dec. 20th. But that's it for 2009. I'm going to use January as the month to regroup and work on improving all things Ghoul Friday (things like a mailing list, maybe reorganizing this website, and playing with the idea of selling online).
And as for the finger...
It's starting to heal. Yes, it's throbbing right now from all the typing I'm doing with the healthy fingers on my left hand. And yes, it's going to interfere with my creating items. But it's not as crazy as it was. The fleshy part is sealing up nicely. It's a bit swollen still, but not as bad. And the nail. Well. The nail - while not looking as bad - is slowly rising up away from the nail bed. Gah! Gross.
I will say my bandaging skills have become quite impressive. That's the silver lining, right?