My First Craft Show

My First Craft Show

Posted by Bill McBeth on

I Did It! Wood Artisan made its first appearance at a craft show.

With my very first craft show behind me, all I can do is breath a sigh of relief that I did it and now I know what to expect for future shows.
I signed up for the show in May which gave me 6 months to get ready for the show.  However, I lost my job and went through some tough times and coupled with my tendency to procrastinate on my personal projects, I didn't really start getting crafts ready for the show until about October. I regret that the 5 months  I was out of work that I didn't do more in the workshop, but as the saying goes "hindsight is 20/20."

The Millard West Craft Show is a larger craft show in the area and they do it twice a year spring and fall. There were over 200 vendors and the show organizers were great and did a great job. The money goes to the High School baseball team and the baseball team helps the vendors carry in and take out their stuff. It was a great experience and a very smooth operation.

Of course, I had my reservations about doing the show. I thought it might be too big for my debut as a craft vendor.  So I decided to ask my Father In-Law if he wanted to share a booth with me. This ensured that I had someone to talk to and that we could at least sit together.  After-all he is one of my favorite people in my life and I enjoy the time I get to spend with him. I know that is not how most men feel about their In-Law's but I am all about not following the norm. The day of the show I was a little bit intimidated by the number of vendors and the two vendors in my area selling similar products, one of which is my Father In-Law's twin brother who make some of the most gorgeous cutting boards and segmented turnings. The whole night before I kept asking myself, "would I be able to pull it off?" "Did I even come close to making enough inventory?" "Are my crafts good enough to sell?" Luckily my wife stepped in and put together a gorgeous booth for me so that was one thing I didn't have to worry about.  She also had a shirt made with my logo on it.  She is such a wonderful gal!

Even with my reservations I knew this was the next step in taking the business to the next level and getting my name out there. This was not only a chance to showcase my work but to:

  • Promote my business
  • Meet and greet potential customers in my local area
  • Meet other vendors and crafters
  • Check out my competition
  • Get a feeling on how these things work

Unfortunately it wasn't may day. I made a lot of contacts, gave out a lot of business cards, and had some good conversations about my products. People were just not buying. I spoke with the other similar vendors and they were having the same luck as me. On the bright side I made enough to cover my booth fees and I went ahead and signed up for the spring show in March. I got a ton of positive feedback about my products and how gorgeous they were. Overall, I didn't make a ton of money, but I did get a ton of experience. Yes I was nervous, it was a new experience and I am very happy that I did it.

Some of the lessons that I learned:

  • Procrastination is my Achilles heel.
  • Add some products that I didn't that were on my list to get done in the first place.
  • New display for my Ornaments--they got lost in the tree and didn't stand out.
  • Add a little more color to my booth.

I have another craft show on December 3rd. It is a much smaller event and I am very much looking forward to the experience and maybe, just maybe, makes some sales. Thanks for reading.



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