This month I participated in Crafty Nashville and I went to Portland, TN for the Strawberry Festival!
Crafty Nashville was a new event to me, put together by Rachel Vaughn. I’m actually doing this same event this fall! I set my tent up Friday afternoon, which, really freaked me out because the tent went up with no problems! It was like it wasn’t even the same tent! Anyway, I was set up next to some really fun people, which helped the day go by. I didn’t get a ton of sales, but I did get enough to make the event a little profitable. There was another craft fair going on in town the same day, so I think everyone was expecting more turnout than we got. It was a really fun event, everything was organized really well, I knew where to go and when to be there, it was a nice, stress free day! I do need to make a few more things this week, because my next event is THIS SATURDAY!
The Portland Strawberry Festival…hmm…
So, this was an event that I’d heard of before I even wanted to do a craft fair, so I was kind of excited to participate. It was the 75th annual Strawberry festival, and I was kind of surprised how difficult it was to get any information from a website, the disorganization online in general really. It was even hard to get a phone number or email address to be able to get in contact with a real person and ask questions. For example, I emailed someone and got a response three days later. I also called after I emailed, and got a call back the next day, which was fine, especially if I’d just waited on the email…which came across like “why don’t you already know what to do?” I digress.
The forecast was calling for a really nice day, high in the mid 70’s, sunny, rainbows…this was not the weather that happened. It never got over 60, it was a little drizzly, and very windy. The weather’s no one’s fault, I was just thankful I talked myself into wearing jeans and an extra layer of clothes. So I was making the best of things, left the top off of the tent because I didn’t want it to blow away, borrowed some zip ties from my neighbors, and had everything as cute as possible.
Cute as it was, the Portland community wasn’t exactly my customer base. I had several people want to buy my quilt tops, which, hello, no I’m not done with them! I had a lot of people asking me about quilting services, and a lot of people asking about custom orders. I also had several people ask me about holding items. I really don’t like when people ask me to hold items. I don’t have any guarantee they’re going to buy it, I could potentially miss a sale because I was holding an item for someone, etc. I also had some people try to haggle with me, which, no. This isn’t a yard sale. Do you haggle at the mall? Do you haggle at the gas station? Prices are set and if you want something you’d pay what it’s set at. To give you an idea of how people were coming in and out of my booth all day, a 12 year old girl said it best “this stuff is really cute, but it’s too expensive.”
All in all, I don’t think I’ll participate in the Portland Strawberry festival again. I did make a few sales, but they were few and far between, and not worth the effort.
I was in a crummy mood after the Strawberry Festival, and my face was super sunburned. (I looked like a strawberry. A strawberry that was wearing glasses.) But luckily my sweet husband put it into perspective for me. I didn’t make very many sales Saturday, but he said if I’m having fun then it’s all worth it. Also, I’m doing so many fairs this year, it’s kind of like I’m “testing the circuit” so I’m seeing what will work for me and what won’t. Thanks for that, babe. 🙂
I have a few weeks before the next fair, so I’ve got a little bit of breathing room. Until next time, happy sewing!