worked full time as a secretary in a bank, she longed to
be able to give up her job, for the last six months she
had been attending craft fairs, where she sold her work
that she made in her spare time, she produced various gifts
for the home, using decorative craft techniques.
Amy's husband was always very supportive, he would help
her set up her stall and generally do anything he could
to help, he was always positive about Amy's work and very
proud of her creative talents, however an issue was developing
between the couple over the Craft fairs, Bob was becoming
disillusioned with the event organiser, Amy's sales were
not very good, he privately thought the organiser was not
doing all he could to promote these venues, believing she
should be selling much more at the events, he could also
see that she too, was beginning to lose confidence.
arrived and they set off to Mr Bliar's craft event, on the
Jim observed once again 'No signs for the fair' he said,
Amy sighed loudly 'No' she replied, reminding herself to
speak to Mr Bliar about this.
days rent was £38.00 normally it was a two day event
exhibitors were told they must attend both days or they
would not be guaranteed a stall.
arrived at the venue which was a council run hall behind
a swimming pool, they almost missed the turn off, luckily,
from the corner of his eye Jim caught a glimpse of a rather
small hand written sign saying Craft fair with an arrow
pointing to the left.
hall was very dingy and very small, surrounding the hall
was a large Council estate across the way was a large playing
field where it appeared a Car boot Sale was taking place.
tables were laid out as usual in a large rectangle with
stalls surrounding the edge of the hall walls, leaving a
small Aisle for the customers.
told Amy 'you know love, you would probably be better off
over there at
that boot sale, you would take more money, I bet.' Amy ignored
on Amy had found Mr Bliar and aired her views about the
lack of adverts and was seeking reassurance that the visitor
numbers would be better.
Amy that perhaps it is her products that are too expensive
and if she were to put the prices down she may find she
gets better sales.
had once again not advertised the venue and due to the large
amounts of wine he had drank the night before, he had only
just managed to get up early enough to put the sign up at
the road entrance. Normally he put up two or three on route,
yet lately he just never seemed to find the time.
venue he had also put up the entrance fee to £3.00
he shrugs to himself there will be lots of passers by that
10.15 before Amy sees any people browsing the aisles, mainly
single mums with pushchairs, most seemed to be shocked at
having to pay to get in, there were quite a few pensioners,
many people she guessed were coming in after the Boot sale.
Amy's mind was mulling over what Mr Bliar had said about
her prices being too high and was seriously considering
putting them down, after all she reasoned he has been in
this business for a long time he must know what he is talking
day dragged on and on, lots of noisy children who kept fingering
her goods, lots of women making comments normally negative
about her work, she was beginning to feel very downhearted,
looking at her lovely work, all she could think was that
it must all be rubbish, otherwise people would buy. After
all you can't keep making excuses, she had sold bits and
pieces over the months but only once had she broke even,
she knew in her heart that something was wrong with what
she was doing, she just didn't know what!
p.m. the hall was almost deserted, Amy was reading a book
something caught her eye and she realised a lady was browsing
at her stall, she didn't look up as she thought the women
would move away, still the lady browsed, still Amy did not
look at the lady, she would probably make some choice comment
she told herself, she had heard them all that morning.
make that,' A favourite
nice but not worth the money,' was another, and of course
the favourite, 'Michelle's daughter does that, its much
better and cheaper'
interrupted her thoughts
there,' greeted the lady, 'How much is this?' she pointed
to a large picture that Amy had photographed, framed finished
with gold gilding.
It had taken her over four hours to do the frame alone,
the cost of all the materials and the frame was fifteen
'It's thirty pounds', said amy, Oh right, was the reply
and the lady hurried off.
was crushed, her immediate feeling was disappointment and
then confusion, then she blamed the price, concluding that
it must be too expensive.
time later this lady returned with her husband, she charged
up to Amy,
Again,' she chirped. 'I've brought back my carrying man,'
she smiled, 'Right then, I'll take the photograph, plus,
I'll take that and that,'
she began handing the items to Amy, until finally she was
through, she had spent over one hundred pounds
was stunned and elated the lady handed her a business card
'I just love your work, it is so original, but you know,
you really should charge more money.'
Amy was astonished, 'Really, do you think so!' she replied,
'yes I do, normally I would pay up to fifty pounds for such
a photograph, actually I have a buyer for it already.'
'A Buyer!' Amy echoed
'Yes my dear, came the tart reply, he'll pay up to one hundred
pounds for pictures with arty frames like this, do you have
a card I can take,' asked the women as she handed amy her
read her business Card it said:
actually I don't have a business card,' Amy offered lamely.
'Oh well can you give me ring I 'd like to see your work
on regular basis, you know it was such a fluke that I found
'Really why's that?' Amy asked
'Well I check all the local papers every weekend for craft
fairs, as I buy on behalf of my clients, I only just saw
the tiniest sign for this one as I was on my way to my sisters
house, there were no adverts for the fair at all, your event
organiser should put something in the papers to let people
know about it.'
'Well he is supposed to', Amy defended Mr Bliar.
'Perhaps you should check it out with him,' replied Kerry,
'by the way, what is your name?'
Amy was embarrassed she flushed a royal red and offered
shyly, 'I'm Amy.'
'Well Amy you will call me won't you? what is your business
name, just so, when you ring I remember you,'
'Err, I haven't got that far yet it's...., well it's, just
The Interior designer looked at Amy and said, OK then..
'Just Amy', hope to hear from you soon, Bye for now.
lady was gone.
Amy's Story we can learn some valuable
your prospects (customers)
very important to target your Customers, are they really
at Craft fairs? or could they be somewhere else.
has slipped into doing Craft Fairs because that is what
the industry dictates. She hasn't answered basic questions
about herself and her products, she has taken the word of
the Craft Industry.
good are craft fairs? Only as good as the Event organisers.
all the different Craft event organisers in your area find
much is charged on the door.
are the Venues.
each organiser promotes the event.
the said locations, look at the surrounding area, is it
easy to reach? is there ample parking?
the houses around the venue assess whether the people living
there will be interested in such an event and if they have
the money to spend on items such as yours.
the location warrant the rental cost of a stall?
assess whether it may be cost effective to try a car Boot
Sale in that area or a market stall.
sales and market stalls normally cost between £8.00
to £25.00 per day, which is a lot less than your average
craft fair, it also has considerably more buyers attending.
Boot Sales can be under cover, many markets operate inside
site is in a good position visit the next open craft fair,
check out the advertising and promotion of the event, how
many weeks prior to the event does promotion start etc.
When travelling to the show note down how many signs/adverts
you see on the main roads pointing the way to the show.
you get to the venue note down the entrance fee and whether
there is a queue to get in.
visit venues on both Saturday and Sunday to assess the difference.
nonsense to be told you must be present both days, the organiser
will still fit you in for just Sunday if you push for it.
at the venue ask people how they are doing and how busy
they have been.
must do all this before you even book a stall at a craft
FAIL TO PREPARE IS TO PREPARE TO FAIL
Amy found out the hard way.
from the Web site An Artist in Business
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