The Art Walk was a wash in terms of sales, but it was definitely a great learning experience. The weather wasn’t great (spitting rain and overcast all day), but I staked out a perfect spot outside under the awning of a closed bank. All the participants were pretty spread out, and the weather kept most of them indoors, so enticing customers to visit my lone booth was tricky. I gave out a bunch of business cards though. Also, the camp chair I brought broke almost immediately, so I’ll have to replace it.
Now, the pros…
Like I mentioned before, it was a great learning experience for a first timer. I was really happy with my display, particularly the ladder shelving that my husband built for me which was inspired by some ideas I saw on Pintrest (see them here). The ladder display was easily built, quickly sets up/breaks down, fits nicely in my four-door Elantra, and flat packs for storage. So EASY! I also enjoyed the little details I added to the display: colorful bowls for my business cards, handmade price tags, neatly folded fabrics tied with ribbon, etc. I got a lot of compliments on the turkeys (as well as giggles) and the hand dyed fabrics. I purchased a Square connector for my iPhone so I could do credit card transactions. Square is a terrific product! Their web and iPhone interfaces are very easy – definitely recommended! I also bought a waterproof vinyl banner with grommets from Staples by ordering through their website. I uploaded my custom image and picked up the next day from the Staples in my town – very easy! It cost $35, but honestly it was worth it.
Things I will do for next time…
- Offer more items made from my hand dyed fabric. Selling pre-cut fat quarters of my fabrics in bundles weren’t really of interest to this crowd, but a lot of people liked the patterns and textures.
- Build more visual height on the card table so that items are displayed in tiers. It will help with visibility and create more space for inventory. Do the same on the ladder shelving too for some visual interest and fullness.
- Set up an Etsy or Square shop. If people aren’t interested in buying at an event, they can always go online if they change their mind.
- Bring art to work on other than my sketchbook. I always like watching artists demo their work, so I should follow suit.
Best pro tip for doing an arts and crafts fair: A cute baby brings in a crowd! My daughter was the best “booth babe” ever!