I planned on writing this post immediately following the Mini Crafty Fair (that was all the way back on December 16!). But I’m glad I waited a bit to give myself a little perspective on the whole business of things. Also this is my third recap in a week. You sick of them yet?
But let’s start at the beginning! Back in December, I set up my first-ever booth at the Goodman Community Center in Madison for the Mini Crafty Fair. I’d been applying to fairs for a few months (after deciding to act on a longtime goal) and I was thrilled to set up shop with the Crafty Fair. It was a pretty chaotic ride, but I’m thrilled I did it. Here’s how the whole journey went:
The Days Before
Leading up to the big day, I was an absolute wreck. And by “leading up” I mean at least the three weeks prior. I was stressed to the max about hitting an arbitrary goal I set for myself. You see, I wanted to create at least 50 hoops to take with me and I was going to get to that number or die trying. While I sacrificed a lot of time and shed quite a few tears, I made it!
During my extended panic period, I didn’t have much time to worry about my display. I had been looking for ideas online and was coming up empty. Instead of panicking about not having the most creative setup, I trusted my gut and drew up a pretty simple plan.
My dad, God bless him, made me two easels for displaying hoops. With those, I had a pretty good scaffolding for my setup. I just filled it in with a simple runner that I sewed, a felt letter board (#basiccraftingbitch) and some twinkle lights that I impulse bought at Target.
For how little time I put into planning the table (though, don’t get me wrong, I still put in some time). I was thrilled with how it turned out! It was pretty minimal, but it was easy to set up, easy to shop (hopefully) and a total breeze to disassemble.
The Fair Itself
The day-of, I was lucky enough to have the help of my mom. She picked up up at the crack of dawn (OK, just 7:45am) and drove me all they way out to Madison and helped me set up my table.
Since my booth wasn’t that elaborate, it took only a few minutes to set up and we had plenty of time to see what a lot of the other crafters were up to (and even buy a few things ourselves, like this adorable Old Fashioned ornament!).
The fair opened at 10:00 and I was lucky enough to get a sale in the first ten minutes! A sweet girl picked up a little blerg hoop and I was officially in business! Throughout the morning, I sold a few of my favorite pieces off to really great ladies and that really put me in a good mood. Well, that and being visited by my sisters, aunts, husband, mother-in-law and my oldest friend. Special guests are always welcome!
Admittedly, I kind of got down on myself for the last hour of the fair. I had made a handful of sales, but didn’t really make the splash I was hoping. Maybe my references were a little too specific (that’s what my mom said, but I stand by all my You go, Glen Coco! hoops); more likely, my expectations were way too high. Mostly I came to the uncomfortable conclusion that I spent so much of my free time making an absurd amount of hoops, and in the end, a lot of that work wasn’t necessary.
But I’m not going to get down on myself about that now, because at the end of the day, I set a goal for myself and I achieved it! Plus, if I decide to do another fair in the future, I’ve got a little experience under my belt!
The Cherry On Top
After a long day of hoop hawking, my family was sweet enough to indulge me at the Old Fashioned on the Capitol square. This place is one of my favorite restaurants, and they’re the only bar I know of (south of Wausau, at least) that sells brandy slushes. So I got to sip on one of those and enjoyed some beer cheese soup, onion rings and a prime rib sandwich. It was a good way to wrap up the day and it felt like a great kick-off to the holidays.
At the end of the day, this was a HUGE learning experience for me. And I sort of have the itch to do another!