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How are the craft shows coming along?


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Glittergirl, my store is so slow. I have to go out and sell candles to pay the rent. I have been filling it up with cutsy stuff I find at garage sales. I find the neatest things. Mostly new and can put a cheap price on them for my customers. That is keeping the doors open. I am usually so busy I am gripping about it. October is huge for me. I couldn't even do my 2 top shows this year because I didn't have the money to make the candles. That hurt. So I gave it to God. I figure he can figure this out for me better than I can. I do know now how much money I used to waste. That will come in handy. I am hoping we get some good reports on the shows. I need some positive attitude back soon.:grin2:

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I just did my first show last weekend, my sales were very good. After the show received a phone call for more of my dipped bears. I have another show next week 2 days, I really not sure what to expect from it, the sales seem to be down each year, but they are changing some things up this year maybe it will help. My Mom was saying that she heard it advertised on the radio last week, first year they have ever done this maybe it will help here's hoping.

Pam F

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My (usually) big show was a couple of weeks ago and it sucked so bad. There were a lot of reasons so I can't really chalk it up to slow sales (like they coupled with a horse show and charged $5 admission).

But I do have another 2-day this weekend and 2 more in November. I surely hope they are hopping!

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Have one this weekend that I decided to do last minute. A lady I work with said it has been a really nice one in all the past years so encouraged me to do it....however, the application info said that a seperate area would be provided for non craft vendors which in one way I'm glad 'cause I hate doing a craft show along side Mary Kay, Home interiors and flea market quality die cast cars, then again I was thinking they are desperate for vendors so let these types in. I was also thinking that since tables are still available this late...hmmm. I'm not putting any new money into what I'm making, just using up supplies. I also have a bunch of stuff left from the 2 day fall festival I did in beginning of October which I did do okay with it considering it is a very small festival. I'll be sure to post results provided there are any. I plan on having a lot of cheaper things since sometimes people really want to buy something but might not have $$ to purchase much.

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I am doing my first largest show of the year and we'll see. This show brings in good money and has been going on for 37 years which everyone stands at the door waiting. I am hoping it will be good, but this area has people with money. Very well supported and talk of the town. If I don't do well there I probably won't do well at the other two shows. My 45 stores haven't ordered at all for the Christmas season. So I am not sure what people are doing. I guess I am going to sell cheap this weekend. I don't think people will be willing to pay very much for anything. So If I can keep my prices low I think I will do ok.

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My show over the weekend was the show from hell. Never again will I go out of town. It was an outdoor event promoting a haunted hospital in WV. Those people had no idea what they were doing very unorganized. For starters on the application it said min 12,000 people maximum 50,000 so I really brought my A game I made several thousand tarts and case after case of candles for this show. I might have seen 2500 people. To make a long story short it rained the first day all day and it was so windy and cold. I made 21.00 my first night I closed up because the rain was so bad. No one was buying anyway. But everyone said how good it smelled. I went to get my room earlier that day and while I was gone the wind took my canopy and it put a hole in someone elses tent. I felt so bad luckily all she wanted was a candle in return. Saturday I made my booth back plus my motel for 2 days. But it was cold and about 40 degrees. Nobody really showed up til dark. Most wanted to buy but wanted to do the hospital tour first then buy so they did not have to carry it. But the place stayed open to 2 am and i was too cold to wait on sales. I'm still out my gas and food I spent while I was down there. I talked to other vendors and they didn't do well either no one said they were going back next year. Top it all off my mother in law went with me to help. Now I need a new ez up. I did get 2 nights of well deserved sleep at the motel. When I came home I got "I told you so" from my hubby. I hate when he is right. Next day a friend of my husband works with said his sister was intrested in a wholesale account I had let her put a candle in her salon and she said the ladies went crazy over it. She came down and bought a bunch of things for her salon. I know I had plenty to offer. Anyway now I have plenty of stock for other shows. Plus I have 410 candles to make for my fundraiser so I guess I should be thankful and let this be a lesson learned that you don't always have good days and that you have to take the good with the bad.

Thanks for hearing my vent. It really was a bad weekend though.

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Well darn. Doesn't sound good. I am having luck selling to the businesses. If you have not tried that, it is worth a try. I carry my little basket, or rolling suitcase to the bigger places. I do pretty good that way. I hope that all the rest of the shows are awesome you have are awesome. We need to come up with a product that people need. That is what sells. I know, we can make a magic money candle. Tell them it will bring money when they burn it. :yay: Boy I wish that would work. The Chinese do that with their lucky cat. They beleive it too. Sell chea;er, but do it with a sale. They buy sale items a lot better than just a lower price.

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My business is mostly wholesale and I have been as busy as ever. Also retail from the internet has picked up. This is mostly tarts but candles have sold better this year than most. Just finished an order for 170 candles and maybe 50 dozen tarts. Have to make over 1000 tarts to finish another order then hurry and get another, larger to me, order that has to ship by Nov. 5th. I'm stopping Christmas order friday so they'll get them in time to sell. I'm not as quick as some of you all so it takes awhile to get their orders ready.

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I just had the show from HEAVEN! I brought in double what I normally do and I didn't come down on a single candle!:yay: It was the best show ever...very well organized and well run. What a blast that was! I was busy the entire time and it was in my home town so I didn't have to drive far. I set up mostly the night before, so that was easy. I wish all my shows were like this last one. I have another this weekend, so I have been busy restocking and working on a fundraiser (1000 candles!) due by the week before Thanksgiving. What am I doing on here you ask? Well, I am at work...not much to do right now....worrying about how I'm going to get all this done!

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I do shows every weekend and there have definitely been a lot of slow ones. On the other hand I had a good one earlier this month where I had my best show ever. Even thou sales have been slow in general I am making a better income than last year and my sales have been increasing every year since I started selling.

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We just did a small show over the weekend. We weren't going to do it, got in at the last minute, with a very, very small booth. But a large show that is normally in our town was cancelled due to lack of vendors. About 5 years ago I couldn't get in to it, it was so huge. Now folded up. Not a good sign.

We did all right at the small show, about what we did last year. Kept busy the whole time. Only sold two candles, but then there were lots of candle booths. And it was a beautiful day, too warm for candle sales here. Sold mostly melts, bath and body products and air fresheners. We have a shop also, and it was very slow last week. We are in a very small town that was hit by the flood this spring, so have some extra challenges. And then the economy on top of everything else. As baby boomers with our money tied up in 401s, pretty scary. We aren't spending like normal until we see how things settle. Our retiree medical jumped up 4 times for next year, 3 times the year before. Not sure where that is going to end up at. Lots of factors playing for people right now.

We have signed up for a holiday market at a mall in a larger city that will run every Saturday until Christmas. We are going to give it a try, but then we have to hire somone to run the shop while we do it. Catch 22, who knows what is best. We are after regular customers, and the shows are cheaper then advertising, and we get product and pamphlets in lots of peoples hands. We keep saying the customers we have are the best in the world, we just need more of them.

There was also a couple that had about 4 booths linked beside us selling stuff like Kirklands, 1/2 off. They did well, but I saw an older couple across from them sitting there with their beautiful hand made wooden crafts just sitting all day. They were reasonably priced, but couldn't compete with 1/2 off China made stuff. Big mistake on part of oraganizers to get vendors. I hope someone complains.

We are pretty optimistic. Our county is doing a county wide promotion to shop local, so hoping that helps. Everybody is going to be competing for Christmas dollars, big time. We need to play on people's emotions, to get an edge.

Good luck to all.

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My shows have been up and down so cannot decide whether it is going to be a bad season or not. Was off this weekend and have spent Saturday making lotion.

Most of my October shoppers were shopping for themselves. every once in awhile I would get someone doing Christmas shopping.

Mostly bar soap, liquid soap and lotion. I make goat milk products but also have candles.

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I am into my second day of our Holiday craft show. Saturday was so slow. People were mostly buying food type stuff. As for craft stuff, not much. People brought their own bags to fill but I didn't see that the bags were even half full. I hope today goes alot better. I sold mostly melts/tarts and a few candles. I have the candles discounted so much that I am only making $2-3 per candle profit. I am quite disappointed, but I wasn't expecting people to buy like they have been in the passed few years. At least I got two large orders from stores and one new store that wants my Christmas scents that my competition doesn't sell. Yupee...... I was so suprised, because the stores are ordering a little late. We'll see how I do today....

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After 3 awesome shows we finally had a clunker yesterday. It stink-stank-stunk!!! The profit after booth and COG was just enough to go out to a good dinner with a few margaritas...so we did-lol :laugh2:

Only one more show to go and my season is over. I'm ready.

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I'm doing the same ones I did last year and sales are low this year. I have1 big one on Novemeber 9th and I hope I at least make the same amount or more like I did last year.

Then I have small community craft fairs comming up that I hope do well they are every weekend till the middle of December.

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Well I just got back from a show - and it was BAD! I made the cost of the table and a little more - but not much more! things are slow - a few people that I talked to didnt even make enough to cover the table. There were alot of people out - just no one buying much! What a bummer! what a way to start off the season. I have 2 more already paid for and booked this year - and then I think I am done. I am not going to seek out any more shows. Just not worth it!

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I just did my first show last weekend, my sales were very good. After the show received a phone call for more of my dipped bears. I have another show next week 2 days, I really not sure what to expect from it, the sales seem to be down each year, but they are changing some things up this year maybe it will help. My Mom was saying that she heard it advertised on the radio last week, first year they have ever done this maybe it will help here's hoping.

Pam F

Just finished my 2 day show this weekend, I had my all time sales at this show, for the combination of the two days I doubled my usual sales. It was so nice to have customers that were looking for you, it makes you feel good about your product when you have repeat customers hoping to find you at a show.

Pam F

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hotmama2700,

I'm so sorry for what happened to you. You have such a great attitude about it all and the story made me laugh (it was the craft show from hell). Hope you do better on your next shows you do.

My sister and I are in one this week-end that we have done the past few years and I have no idea what to expect with the economy in a slump. I'm not making as much stuff as I did last year and am trying to keep prices reasonable but do want to make a bit of a profit if I can.

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Did my last one of the year this past weekend and it was awful. I made $38.00 (table was $30.00). It was a show sponsored by the school's band and I was told in years past it was all through the halls and they usually had a really good turn out, so thought I'd try it. The application also stated that a separate area would be designated for non-homemade craft vendors, which I thought was great 'cause I hate going to craft shows seeing Mary Kay, Avon, etc. The school is under construction so they changed the main entrance from the cafeteria to they gym. They were charging $1.00 per person (even kids) to get it in. I heard the lady in charge say they took in $352.00 at the door. The traffic flow was way off because there weren't enough crafters in the gym...it looked very empty (gym was $40.00) and of those "crafters" one was Cookie Lee jewelry, Tastefully Simple and some kind of "Green" cleaning stuff that was shown on Oprah.

There was also a candle vendor who took up 3 spaces. He was selling mug candles and I knew I had seen them somewhere before, but thought maybe at a different show. As I was setting up this guy came up and asked how long due my jars burn and I told him that I get approximately 30-40 hours out of the 8 oz. if it is burned correctly and they were soy. His response was "Oh really, that's just amazing" and walked off, I should've known he was the vendor. As I was taking my stuff out of the gym, I noticed his boxes had a upc on them....then I heard him saying to another vendor that he buys them at a craft store wholesale and resales them...UGH! He was selling tons of them and he didn't have anything but the 16 oz. in the mason jar mug, no melts, no votives, etc. The other soy candle person was way at the other end of the show from me and her labels were typed on a plain white rectangular label that had company name, her name, address, phone, email and fragrance all on the one label that wrapped alomst around the whole jar, wicks were crooked, wax was dripped down the side of the jars and the votives looked like they had gone through the war. Not sure if she sold anything or not.

There were no tables set up in the hallway right outside of the gym so you had to take a left then another left and go up a ramp and then turned right to get to the other tables. There were signs hanging but a lot of people commented on that they didn't know we were up there and there was a side door open that people were scooting out. The ladies in charge were a bit disappointed in the chinese auction as well, they had it at the end and it was set up in a hallway that was sort of dark so it was hard to really see what all was there. They should've had it at the beginning before people spent all their $$. I also felt that they could've had some holiday music playing and thought that since it was band sponsored that maybe the band should've been set up to play sometimes during the day...even if it was just their jazz band or a small sampling. People were buying 'cause I saw them carrying around bags of stuff, just not off of me or the people on either side of me. Oh well, the rest of my stuff will go to my sister's friends xmas store when they open the christmas tree farm in a couple of weeks and the rest will go into the archives for next year.

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I did a show this past Saturday and did $700 in sales. :yay: I make candles, lotion, lip balm, soap and body spray. My most popular scent in bath and body was Abercrombie and Fitch. The volume of people was down but everyone who went to the show was buying. I will be doing one more show in December, I hope it is the same.

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I just did my first show for the Christmas season this past Friday night and Saturday and was $115.00 down from last year. Everyone just paid their $3 and just looked and browsed and the time dragged. The entrance fee is $165.00 which is the highest show I do and I made a profit and really had no idea what to expect this year with the economy.

I have one next Tuesday on Nov 18, then one on Saturday Nov 22 and my last one on Dec 6th and 7th which is one I always do and it's the Christmas show of the market I sell at so usually get regular customers. Trying not to have my hopes up too much and just glad I have a full time on top of this.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well I thought I'd post another update. After that show I've done 3 more: the second one was a new one for me and was at the university I work at and it was amazing and people were buying which was wonderful, the third one was also a new one at a school and it wasn't good at all as there were lots of lookey loos, the fourth one again was great and at the University and it was our second time doing it.

This week-end is my final show of the year and I've never done 5 Christmas fairs so I'm feeling really tired out plus I work full time so it's been a juggling act.

Hope everyone else is doing well.

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