My Yarn Reduction Plan

I spoke before about my large yarn stash (How Big is Your Yarn Stash? 10.05.17).  I was working on some placemats before Christmas and needed some more blue.  In trying to locate what I needed I was a bit surprised at how much I actually have. I counted 3 bins, 4 boxes, 3 large bags and at least 1 smaller one.  Time to destash!  

Generally this means that it is time to make what I call Pet Mats. I started making these for my cats to sit on.  If you own a cat, you know that they like to sit on blankets, mats and other cozy things (including you).  Mine love to help me crochet.  Beyond the obvious yarn play that happens as I work, they also love to sit on whatever I am working on if I am working on something big.  

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A New Year and Another New Start

We have reached the beginning of another new year.  Time to reset the goals for the upcoming year.  A time when everything is new and shiny.  A time to begin again.  So while I sit here at the start of the new year, I have to reflect on what has been and where I hope to go.  

I enjoy writing so it seemed only natural for me to write a blog.  I have seen other people have success at writing and in making money at writing.  Like many others I thought I could do it too.  I have a full time job already and my husband and I both have craft businesses but at some point in my life I would like to retire and be able to have some income without having to be a greeter at Walmart.  Blogging seemed to be a way I could avoid Walmart.  Even with all this to occupy my time, I still wanted to try.

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What To Do At A Slow Show

We had a hole in our show list for this weekend so I grabbed a show because it was available.  After I just got done telling you to be sure to do your homework on a show first, I broke my own rule with this show.  My justification was that some show was better than no show on this busy craft show weekend.  As a result of not doing my homework, here we sit at a very slow show.  We are almost 2 hours into this 5 hour show and we have not had a sale.  We will be lucky to make back our booth fee and the cover the donation I was required to make.  

The problem with this show is the lack of shoppers.  This generally means that the coordinator did little or nothing to promote the show.  This supports a county 4H program so I would have expected at least 4H members to be aware of the show.  The location we are in is a bit off the main roads but well placed signs would have helped with that.  We only saw one small sign.  The few shoppers here are also lookers not purchasers. Normally by the weekend before Thanksgiving, people are starting to think Christmas gifts.  This is not the type of show where our items sell best so I already know this one is a no go for next year.  

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What Makes a Great Craft Show?

For the past at least seven years we have exhibited at Mark Twain Craft Bazaar in Westerville, Ohio.  I have spoke of this show before.  This is a long established popular show that benefits the PTO of an Elementary School.  Every year I wonder if we have tapped out this show but every year it continues to exceed my expectations.  Once again this year it was a great show.    But what makes a great show?

Not every show fits every item so it is really about what shows you feel work best for the items you sell.  It also depends on how serious of a crafter you are.  Maybe just one or two shows a year in places close to you is enough but if you are a crafter who considers it a business, finding the right show can be crucial.  Here are some things to consider as you determine the shows that work best for your items.  

Every show is different. Some allow commercial items and some only handmade items.  In the past craft shows or bazaars were a way to show off and sell your handmade items.  Now with the shift in how commercial items are marketed (31, LuLaroe, Lipsense, Scentsy, etc.), craft shows have become an important way to sell and market these type of items.  Since a shopper only has so many dollars to spend you could be competing with commercial items for those dollars.  We  have exhibited in shows that allow commercial items as well as ones that are only for handmade items.  Our sales tracking shows that we do better in handmade shows so these are the types of shows I look at for our products.  You will need to carefully read the show information before you apply in order to know if commercial items are allowed at the show if this is an important consideration for you.  

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Happy Halloween