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Thursday, 17 June 2010

Back From the Fair

The Contemporary Craft Fair was fantastic: great people, great venue, the sun shone brightly everyday and the sales were great!
But that is a lie. The first part is all true, but were the sales that great after all?
No. But then again there seems to be this strange way of justifying things, "it's your first time, if you cover your cost you are doing extremely well and if you actually make any money on top of it, you are doing really well and are extremely lucky." Hmmm... You see, I'm not sure if that really is doing well? But according to that I did do very well...

But isn't the whole point of any business to make money that will then pay the bills and leave you with some extra to enjoy life? Or have I truly misunderstood the concept of having a successful business altogether? Help me, have I lost my mind?!! Trying to make money out of pretty things, and worse, not even useful things, I must be insane!

I tried to quiz my fellow exhibitors about their sales and how well they are doing, but it is very hard to get the truth out of them. Nobody wants to admit that it isn't great (alltough you can read it from their faces), because they have just trekked across the country, camped in a field with a portaloo next to them and smile at people when they think their beautifully handcrafted items are too expensive.

 I love when customers ask you how long it took you and you lie, topping up the hours, but even then they exclaim: "Is that all?! And then you watch their faces when they calculate that you are pretty much getting the minimum wage, but even that seems too much for them. I suppose we shouldn't be making any money at all! The love of what you are doing should be enough!!

And then there are those poor people who don't sell anything at all and nor do they take any orders, but "the feedback has been amazing", they say. And worst of all they are so happy about it! But slowly even their smiles are becoming more forced as the days go by. And yeah, you can pay your bills with a good feedback, can't you!!!

Now, I must apologize for all of those who feel that I am letting the-ever-happy-crafting-community down, but isn't it time to face the facts or am I the only one feeling like this???!!! And surely there are other people outside the craft makers that feel short exchanged?

But, to finish with a bit more positiveness, there were people who were making money and are actually making money out of their craft businesses. So I suppose it just takes time like everyone is telling me and I am clearly not patient enough. So more patience and more hard work and we'll get there....
Plus I have to add here that I really did have very nice time there and the people around me were most fantastic and so funny. So all in all I did have a great weekend! xxx

Friday, 4 June 2010

Less than a week to go!!

Somehow it is Friday, again!

Plans for the Contemporary Craft Fair are going well. As always, I would have like to do more, but I think I'll have enough stock....

I'm very excited to get down to Bovey Tracey next Thursday and set my table amongst so many other lovely things! If you visit the Fair's website you can click through the exhibitors websites and oooh what a wonderful things you can find!! The danger here for me is that I might spend all that I earn (and hopefully that is lots and lots!) and I also wonder how on earth will I manage to stay by my table when there is soooo much to see!

And not to mention about the workshops: jewellery making, basket weaving, woodcarving, felt making etc. etc. If I was clever enough I would have organized someone to look after my stand day after day whilst I would be spending my days attending one workshop after another! Maybe next time.....
And I suppose I should mention here, in case someone is thinking of attending one of the workshops, that for most them you need to book in advance, but the website will have all the details.

There is also Materials and Making Avenue, a place to buy artist's books and materials, beads, textile supplies etc. so that you can start making your own creations!

I am not too sure how clear this map is (due to my lack of technical abilities), but I thought it would be nice to show it to you. I'll be at the British Toymakers Guild tent, so come and see us there!