Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Craft Show Nightmares, Part 1

I've done a few craft faire/farmers market type events before and have a had some great ones and not so great! The not so great one that sticks out to me the most is when I was designing and selling baby wears. It was about a year and a half ago, I had just had my daughter and decided "oh it would be so great to make nursing covers, burp cloths, changing pads...etc" The problem I found with that is:

1.) it is a very limited market
2.) it's a very saturated market

So here's the story. I decided to take on all of the sewing that needed to be done for the new farmers market that was coming to our area. Being as excited as I was, I made over 50 changing pads, 30 nursing covers, and 75 burp cloths...among other little items. I was sure that I may not have enough so I was ready to sew more for the next week. HA! It was a total bust! I had a TON of people come by my booth declaring how beautiful everything was and what creative ideas...blah blah blah...only 2 purchases! Later that night I talked with some of the other vendors who said the same thing. Basically everything that was handmade was not selling and all of the "junk" was. (Some people set out yard sale type stuff...I didn't think you were allowed to do that...) I guess some people just don't understand the quality of handmade things. I LOVE them and would 99% of the time buy them over anything manufacturer made. Needless to say I quit making baby items and moved onto home decor...which I have to say I am a little more passionate about :)

Have you ever had a "Craft Show Nightmare?" I would love to hear your story and know I am hopefully not the only one. :)


  1. oh thats such a shame, all that work on your part for not many sales. You're stall picture does look lovely. Scarlett x

  2. Oh my.Sounds like my experience on Sunday.Yes, the only things selling were the franchise type items (you can read my whole rant here antique shows I get yelled at for bringing craft items (which sell really well) and at craft shows the only stuff selling is mass produced.I used to do the bib and burp cloth thing.FOr a while I did well on Ebay and then yes, the market became super saturated.Just too hard to get a foothold especially when folks are selling these items for ridiculously low prices.Sometimes I shake my head and can't figure out how they are even covering the cost of materials.Still, we just keep trying.I know the right venue exists.I'm determined to find it.Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone!

  3. no, you're definitely not alone!! :)

  4. I can sympathise. I had a stall at a local church fair, took me ages setting up all of my handmade things then I sat and waited. And waited. Turns out only the older generation turns up at this sort of thing, even though I was promised a younger turnout. They didn't seem to appreciated my goods. Never mind, lesson learnt.

    Bee happy x
    Have a delicious day!

  5. lovely blog!
    gorgeous photos!!!!
    take care,

  6. you aren't the only one w/a "craft fair" nightmare my dear. I read your post with a twisted sense of comfort to know that I am not the only to endure one of the selling nightmares. I finally decided to the the plunge and do my first EVER craft fair.
    Me and my hubby arrived early, we set out my handmade cards/books, fabric items, and handmade jewelry...and waited.....and waited. I watched as the Tupperware vendor, the manufactured jewelry vendor and the junk table vendor all made sales!!! Yes, they called this a "craft fair".....
    The vendor lady next to me was selling homemade body oils, and she(the oild sheik) would slather EVERYONE/ANYONE passing by her stall. These oil-infused people would then meander over to my tables and proceed to handle ALL of my paper good, fabric items and jewelry....ughhhhh. I spent the whole wasted day wiping down my items to save them from oil-infused ruin!!!
    To boot, it was a really windy day, I ended up w/a respiratory infection, missed 4 days of work...and am trying to recover from this non-sale tragedy.
    But I'm no quitter...will try again. Wish me luck and I wish you luck as well with your next craft fair....