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November 16th 2008
archived under: Craft Shows, Crafts

My computer problem isn’t fixed, but we’ve figured out a temporary solution (I’m plugged into the modem… how sad for a laptop to be tied down like this!). So you get a real update now!

This was my booth at the Made in the South Christmas Bazaar yesterday. Looks pretty good, right?

Made in the South Christmas Bazaar - Meridian, MS 2008

I’m not going to complain about the show, because it was a seriously great one… the artists were fantastic. I got to wander around and visit a bit, and there was definitely lots of lovely work. And bustling shoppers. In the main room.

I was off in a side/back room, with two other ladies. It was sad and lonely. I normally don’t talk money on my blog, but you must know… all day, I made back my booth fee + $20 “extra”.

Lessons learned:

  1. “Space available” doesn’t necessarily mean GOOD space available. If it’s at all possible, check out the building beforehand so you can see if you’ll be “found.”
  2. You can plan out a booth setup in your head, but it doesn’t mean that’s how you’ll set up… I thought I was going to have a 6′ by 20′ space (two booths). Because it was in this room with weird shelves and cabinets and I had to contend with the door as well… it was more like 10′ by 12′. Very different setup than what I had planned/envisioned.
  3. Husbands are awesome. And helpful and strong. And tall. And they buy you hot dogs for lunch when you’re stuck at the booth. Thank you, sweetie!
  4. Other artists are too sweet for words too. Hi Wanda! Thank you for the yummy banana nut bread. You cheered my day up so much. Robert, if you see this I’m proud of you for getting on the internet! Thank you SO much for the gorgeous turned wooden bowl. I hope to see you at the Merry Meridian Market! Beth and Janet, y’all were great company in our lonely little room.
  5. Doing a giveaway serves several purposes.
    • You have something to say when people come into your booth, without sounding pushy since you’re possibly giving them something, “Hey, did you see my giveaway signup over there? You could win some ornaments or magnets.”
    • People are more willing to share their information with you when they might win something. I asked for email addresses for my mailing list. I also had a spot for people to write down “Your favorite Joyful abode item”. It was neat to see people stop filling out the ticket, look around carefully, then write down their favorite thing before putting their slip in the bowl. It also made it more fun to read the slips later.
    • Again, email list= gold. The customers like it because I always send out coupons and sales, or let them know about new items. I also don’t send MANY emails, so spam isn’t an issue. I like it because I get to remind my fans I exist (and sometimes they use the coupons to buy stuff).
  6. Duct tape won’t hold my banner up on cinderblock walls. :(
  7. Accepting credit cards is really important. One of my sales was a credit card sale… who knows if she would’ve bought anything otherwise? I know I don’t carry cash or checks, ever. Well, if I’m going to a craft show I might take out $40 or something, but if I run out, that’s it! Unless someone accepts credit cards. :)




sion (1 comments)

those “stall fee + $20″ shows are disappointing, hey, and I so know the story with plans going out the window once you see the space you’ve been allotted. My rule of thumb for shows/markets is that since I’m picking up contacts & reminding people we exist it’s all good. Depending on my mood, spending more than I took in is either exciting or depressing …




tetramoon (18 comments)

Well, your space looks awesome! How depressing that you didn’t make a little more, but hopefully with the networking you did, you will have lots of future customers. I’m glad you had a good day, otherwise.






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