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A day spent at a craft fair.

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Spending a day at a craft fair is actually quite easy. It's the fun part; interacting with people, meeting other crafters, and making sales. I really look forward to craft fair day, because it means all the hard work is really over.

To prepare for a sale, I have to take a good hard look at my display, inventory, and my clothes. Once I've signed up for the fair, paid the fees (if there are any), and marked the date on my calendar; the prep work can begin.

I start with my displays. At every show I attend, I make notes about the show and about my displays and other crafters displays. What I think looks good, what needs improving, if any repainting needs to be done (I have two display tables that are built like stairs that have black matte paint on them. They scuff quite easily). Once I've reviewed my notes, I set to work of re-organizing my tools/supplies and make sure that I have all of my jewelry display racks and lights working, make sure i have enough business cards and generally that everything is clean and organized and ready to go.

Next; I look at my inventory. What pieces sold the best at my last show (look at my notes again). Which pieces did people touch or pick up, but didn't buy? Do I need to re-price some things? I have this deep seeded fear that I will get to the craft fair and won't have enough inventory. That there will be hoards of earring hungry women fighting to be the first to buy my jewelry - so I start crafting. I spend an increasingly large amount of time making earrings as the days count down to the fair. I worry I won't have enough, and so I usually have too much for the show (which is good! I would way rather too much!).

The finishing touches revolve around my clothes. I will be representing my business, so it's important to put my best foot forward. I ensure my dress shirt is ironed, my clothes are clean, and that I'm feeling superfine. Boozing before a show is not advisable, but can be done - showing up hung over or still drunk to a show is a big no-no. I want people to feel like I am approachable and friendly and my appearance is the first thing they see to get that feeling.

The day of the show is the best day. My worries disappear and I get into go-mode. I'm focused on engaging my customers and on making potential customers actual customers. I ask how people are doing, I try to notice if they have fabulous accessories and I try to engage them in conversations. The longer they spend in front of me table, the more likely that they will spend money at my booth - be it because they like my creations or like my attitude. Either way, I am winning. I keep my papers out and make notes about the show as it's going on (so I can review and improve for the next show) and I try to have a really great time!

So the next time you go to a craft fair, smile back at those vendors, they've put a lot of time and energy into their displays and their products and for the most part, their stress is gone and they just want to know you're having a good day, so say hello, ask them about their products and have a great time!

October 2nd I attended the Streaming Cafe Craft Sale (www.streamingcafe.net) - the cafe gave out free coffee vouchers for friends of vendors and the music was on and fantastic the whole day through. I will definitely be going back to participate in their fairs again in the future, hopefully we can get more people to come and see all of our hard work!

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