weeks upon weeks upon weeks of preparation and nervousness resulted in my first handmade show.
And overall, it was a good experience.
There were moments as I waited for my first sale that I questioned whether I had made the right decision, whether I priced things right, whether people would even like what I had.
But rather that doubt, I decided to make the decision that no matter what happened-- a few sales or a lot of sales-- that I was confident in what I make. And I love what I make, and that's more important than anything else.
After mainly selling online-- it was great to meet customers in person, to tell them about my process, to see them feel the leather or try on a tote. And it made me believe even more in what I do.
What did I learn?
- be bold. tell people about your product, chat them up! They are at a handmade show for a reason
- have clear pricing signs, and information about you and the shop
- have more than enough business cards (I ran out)
- have snacks and lots of water on hand
- have more items than you need (and start preparing months in advance!)
- talk to the other vendors! I loved meeting other people in Seattle who also sold handmade items. There was a lot of great stuff there.
- be confident. no matter what happens, believe in your product, your pricing and yourself.
- it's exhausting. I work all day and I sew late at night but for whatever reason, the two days of the fair were far more tiring than anything I had done in a loooong time.
I'm excited to apply to a few more handmade markets in the future!
Also-- like my display? Honestly, I did hardly anything. I have my parents and a family friend to thank for it. The back is pvc pipes (tutorial here) hung with cheap white Ikea drapes, the table is covered with vintage sheets and the display board is cut from an old door. Knobs from world market hang the totes.
More than anything I could not do this weekend without the support of my family, my husband and so many friends who came to visit me, who texted me and just in general believed in me. :)
p.s. if you missed the black friday sale, I'm having a cyber monday sale. use "CYBER15" for 15% off in the rouge & whimsy shop. Also, check out the new items like my metallic pouches and chevron wristlet.