Sales have picked up online through Etsy which is fab, however, this is quite strange as I promote my Folksy shop and have had nothing since the end of July!? However, I am not going to query how I am just grateful for the sales. The Handmade By shop is going from strength to strength and looks fab really if you are in the area you need to drop in and have a mooch around I can guarantee you will not be disappointed.
So the point of this post is, fairs, more importantly how to survive the bad ones you know the type they can go one of two ways either there is no one there and you swear that at one point you actually saw tumbleweed rolling through or there are lots of people and they are all spending money just not with you! In the last two weeks I have had both my latest one being yesterday I sold one brooch and was verbally abused by a little old lady, however, you have to laugh even though at the time you feel like crying, packing up and going home. This believe it or not is an ideal time to re-evaluate what you are doing. This is my first year for doing 'proper' fairs so I have given myself this year as a learning curve because if you don't do them you don't know which ones are good ones that you should be attending and which ones are not. Yesterday falls into the category of 'not' I don't think that the venue was ideal for selling my pieces. In relation to being verbally abused, the little old lady in question stood in front of my stall and when her friend said 'ooh handbags' she replied, very loudly, 'looks like a load of old rubbish to me!', mmm nice. Having already got a feeling of what the day would hold I laughed this off, you have to develope quite a thick skin and take what some say with a pinch of salt. I have also had people standing in front of my stall discussing how they could make them and probably a lot cheaper as well, I resist to comment 'well be my guest!' You have to smile sweetly, look down and carry on sewing.
Taking something to do is vital if you don't want to lose the plot completely. I have read on the forums about how you are supposed to stand in front of your stall poised like a ninja ready to pounce on the first person through the door. However, I do not agree, if someone were to do this to me I would run for the door. I hate it when I walk into a shop and the sales person within ten seconds says can I help you when all you wanted to do was have a look around. I prefer someone to acknowledge my presence with a smile which says 'have a look and ask if you need anything'. If someone takes an interest in a particular item I then initiate conversation with how it was made or what materials I use and this can then lead onto a sale. When the fair is slow like I said I take something to do, this can sometimes interest people who are essentially nosey and want to know what you are doing, thus leading to a conversation and possible sale. When there are no people around at all I also take this time to get to know fellow stall holders, they are a source of valuable information of what other fairs there are around and how they have found them. I share which fairs I enjoy, for example my Congleton one, however, I have also told of others I have attended. So should any fair organisers be reading this be aware we do discuss!
Talking of fellow stall holders Wendy from 1st Unique Gifts was at Whitchurch yesterday, have a look,
So let me know what you tips are for surviving fairs good or bad.