Summer Sales and Festivals
I do not do a ton of in-person sales. As an introvert, although I truly love meeting everyone and chatting about my items and craft, it is pretty draining for me to be honest. Also, when I am selling from home I don't need childcare. However, I do believe in putting yourself out there - both literally and figuratively- and that means doing at least several live events a year. This year I am participating in Perry Country Council of the Arts Arts and Drafts Fundraiser and the 2nd Annual Susquehanna Folk Festival. The sales occur back-to-back the last two weekends of July, so I am getting more bang-for-my-buck in preparations at least, but I know I'll be drained by the end of both shows.
As I write this, I am in between the sales. Last weekend (July 20, 2019) was the Arts and Drafts event and oh my gosh was it hot! Like, seriously, it was heat indexed to be around 115°F, officially one of the hottest days central PA has had in about four years. Great weather for selling quilts outdoors, no?! Anyway, the show must go on, and it did, with minimal attendance. Honestly, I can't blame anyone for the lack of patrons to the show because if I hadn't paid to be there I wouldn't have came out under those conditions either. I was so hot and feeling light headed at one point, I began putting ice cubes in my banana and tying it around my head. That trick and lots of cups of water definitely helped stave off a total meltdown.
My husband typically helps me when I sell in person, and I am truly grateful for all of his help and support. Not only is it fun to have him with, but he also keeps my spirits up when things are not going as well as I'd hoped. He made the best of his day by enjoying beverages from the brewery in between his duties.
All in all the day was fun and I did sell a decent amount of goods to make the show worthwhile, especially considering the lack of attendance. The best part of the day is always catching up with old customers and friends and meeting new ones, and on that point the day was excellent!
Now I am awaiting the Susquehanna Folk Festival sale on July 27 and 28th at Round Top Mountain Resort. At least that weekend is forecast to be sunny and in the upper 80°sF, so weather-wise we should be doing much better. My husband and I did the show last year and had a really fun time overall. The festival takes place over several days and has a strong music focus. The vendor area is less-well attended that all of the musical stages, but I did have a good weekend when it was all over. Saturday was the slowest day, so I am keen to see if increased advertising for the vendors improves sales on both days.
Last year our booth was set up right next to the main stage and we were able to get an excellent view of most performances. Honestly, I am not that into folk music, but it was still exciting and fun! Hopefully we will have a similar experience this year and a little better sales to go along with it.
In summation, in-person sales are extremely difficult to predict. They can be tiring and require a ton of behind the scenes work most patrons will never even notice. I spent about two weeks before my shows checking inventory, preparing displays and packing everything. We arrive several hours before open and stay after close. Joy does come from interactions and leads for future sales, but I have paid to be there and I have a number in my mind that I am hoping to sell to feel like the day was a financial success. So even though I do find it is good to go live sometimes, it is sure a heck of a lot easier to sell from the comfort of my home studio!
Hope to see you out there! xoxo Janice
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