So my sister and I have finally branched out, stepped away from our safety zone behind the computer keyboard and have began selling our products in person, very scary. Over the last two weeks we have attended a total of four craft fairs, and what an ordeal they have been! Let me first start off by saying that I am still very new to the Bay Area of California and because of this sometimes I do not understand exactly how far away certain areas are in regards to my home. This geographical misunderstanding is how Rag Bag Artistry found itself in the social room of a Methodist Church in the out of the way city of Salinas. Now Salinas is a farming town, a small little home town (much like Milledgeville Georgia, where our family is currently living) and Salinas is a good hour and a half away from Fremont, when the traffic is good. Thus Ali and I set out for Salinas at five in the morning on November 5 to reach the Methodist Church by seven. For those of you interested in one day spreading your business from Etsy to Craft Fairs and such one suggestion, unless your product sells directly to older women, do not sell at church charity events, it’s just not worth it. Thankfully we were able to make our money back and pay for gas but altogether the experience was lacking.
Along with our trip to the Methodist Church we returned Saturday for another event in Salinas which was very well advertised and was supposed to be very active, or not. Another tip for those interested in selling in person, just because an event is heavily advertised does not mean that there will be lots of people attending. This second event in the local Salinas’ Salvation Army community center was a complete bust, most of our business came from other vendors bored and walking around buying from each other. In situations like this the best thing a seller can do is stay put or they will find themselves spending money instead of earning it. Thankfully we were able to keep put and left not too depleted.,
Later Saturday evening Ali and I found ourselves in a sports bar on a golf course, about an hour away from home selling our crafts in their back room. Ali is an avid snowboarder (she just went this past weekend!) and was a member of “Rusty Bindings” an online meetup group for snow board and ski lovers. They host an event every few weeks at this bar and we just happened to stumble upon their holiday craft show meetup, and got a chance to sell at an event FOR FREE!
So the moral of this post is don’t give up selling at craft fairs, you will get some stinkers, you might get a good sell or you might find something unexpected.