My car is finally unloaded, my sewing machine is well rested and I can actually start thinking about something other than booth design. Last weekend I attended my third craft show, the Tinicum Arts Festival in Bucks County Pennsylvania. Tinicum Park is located right outside of Frenchtown, NJ (the cutest little town) and I was excited to be part of such a big event. There were so many crafters- many woodworkers, potters and painters, even TWO broom makers! There were a few bag makers, but none as colorful as me.
It was a long weekend, and my stress level was super high because there are so many little details involved, it’s easy to forget something. Friday night we went to set up my tent and it was pouring rain so hard we couldn’t even put the tent up. My parents and I wound up leaving my tent and tables in my “spot”. The next morning my mom and I got to the field early to set up my booth. After the set up, the rain came back and we had showers off and on the entire day. Sunday thankfully saw lots of sun and people were more inclined to come out and shop. The weekend as a whole was long but I had some great sales and met some wonderful people which is what counts.
I’ve been planning my booth out in my mind for months and had new ideas I wanted to try for this show. The most eye catching addition was my name sign. I got wood letters from Michaels on super sale and my mom modge podged polka dot fabric onto each letter. My dad drilled two holes into the tops of each letter and I strung them together. We also spray varnished them so they were safe in the rain.
I’ve also been making a lot more recycled bags and wanted a larger display for them, separate from my non-recycled bags. So they got their own table, with some added shelves for height. I have a few more ideas for this section of my booth, to show the process that goes into a recycled bag.
I found this old flower cart in my parent’s barn and thought it would make a cute addition to the front of my booth to offer a small sampling of the bags I make. It was also a good opportunity to put my business cards on this table because when my booth was full, walker-bys were able to take a card and come back later.
Most of my displays stayed the same from my first few shows, as I wasn’t focused on changing their look. I love my tote bag display and the card holder display and won’t be changing them anytime soon. I would like to create a new display for my small pouches and my non recycled clutches. I love the suitcases but am ready for something new.
A majority of the comments I received were about selling on etsy. There were multiple shoppers who had their own craft and wanted to sell online but etsy intimidated them. I am a huge fan of etsy because it is an easy, inexpensive way to sell all over the world. I’m not an expert on the subject but know that etsy works for me. One day I would like my own standalone site but am happy with what etsy offers right now. If you are nervous about starting an etsy shop, just go for it! You will never be fully ready, and it takes so much work, but if you really want to sell your craft- do it!
The show was as great as it was for one reason only. My awesome support team. My dad made sure my tent was sturdy, and even made me concrete weights to tie to each side. He made sure all the extra structures, like my tote rack and flower stand, were secure. My sister helped cut fabric for my name sign and showed up with her husband on Sunday for support. My boyfriend, Drew, was fully understanding of why the apartment was a mess and I had supplies all over the place the past few weeks. He also stopped by on Sunday for a few hours. And my mom…my amazing mom. She was there the whole time. She helped me set up, she was my “right hand man” and she made sure I ate. I am so lucky that even if my family thinks I’m crazy, they support me.
I don’t have any other shows coming up but I’m looking into some winter ones. Hoboken has a holiday show and I think it would be really cool to do a show in my own town. I’m also looking into a few larger shows in the city- Brooklyn specifically.
And I’m so happy I get to think about sewing clothes again! My sister’s baby shower is in a few weeks and I am almost done with my dress. I’m also making a dress for my sister to wear, which just needs a final fitting, and I’m making a special handmade gift for the baby! It’s crazy how quickly the time is flying by, July is almost over and before we know it, there will be a little baby bundle in our lives.