Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tualatin Country Club Craft Fair

Yesterday, my friends, Christine Thatcher and Kathy Larsen and I met at the Tualatin Country Club. Christine had heard of a Ladies' Luncheon which included a vendor area.

Since it seems clear that we need to reach an audience with deeper pockets (the better to appreciate our fine wares), this seemed like the perfect opportunity for us!

The Country Club provided tables with cloths and skirting. We were allowed one 8' table and one 5' round, which meant we were a bit squished, but, as Christine had mentioned, we could make good use of vertical space.

With complementary offerings, we artfully wove together all of our offerings, trying to find ways to use every bit of available space.

I think we did really well! Click on the photos above to enlarge any of the images. You can see how Christine's jewelry is arranged throughout, Kathy's lavender offerings are placed strategically about and my cards flank each end and get little spots here and there.

The effect we were shooting for was of a small boutique.

I have to say that after checking out some other lackluster displays that I really think ours was, hands down, really great! Most people simply laid their work out without any thought to display. In some ways, being cramped for space forced us to use our scanty area very sparingly and things ended up looking great!

One really nice thing for our customers was that, thanks to Christine and Kathy, we could accept credit cards, which was pleasing to some and really had them looking through our items thoroughly before committing a charge to their card.

Overall, sales were a bit of a disappointment. I think I gained about $35, plus I put some cards in trade towards an AMAZING cashmere shawl (which is keeping me nicely cozy now) from a really sweet vendor, Naturally Knotty Designs (check out their websites for information about their sustainable practices).

The cashmere shawl I scooped up (Kathy and I got the last two black ones) is a nice, medium-weight. The gal told me that these items were leftover from a set that Nordstrom had purchased from them last year and which retailed for $300! Mine for only $25 and a handful of pop-up cards! Whoo hoo!

We all had fun together -- it was much easier for me to "sell" Christine and Kathy's wares than my own (it seems too braggy to talk about your own stuff so much). It was a lot of fun watching people's reactions to my cards, if they were into them. While we all made little in sales, it was still good experience.

I think, all in all, though, I'm realizing that there's not much to be made off of pop-up cards on the craft fair circuit. At least for now (whether it be the recession or craft fair oversaturation).

Better to concentrate on etsy or branch further into the retail market!

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