Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Craft Fairs are My Own Personal Sweat Shop

Granted I have only participated in 3 Craft Fairs to date, but I have quickly figured out they are not worth my time. This last one was the final straw for me. I literally had 1 hour of sleep, staying up all night to bundle my goodies up in gift sets as was requested by the organizers, only to have have people ask to purchase the individual items out of the sets (if anything at all).

It was one of the longest days of my life. Got there at 9:30. Started selling at 11:00. Didn't stop, not even for a bathroom break until 8:00 pm, then took an hour to pack up and head home. The saddest part was that I sold twice as much at my first Craft Fair which was only 4 hours.

It is painful to think how many hours I spent making the items, minus the cost of the materials. I think it would be generous to say I made $1.00 an hour. On the up side, this has been a tremendous learning opportunity on starting a small business. I certainly have a greater appreciation for those who do it well and will not complain about the shortened hours of small shops again.

I have had the pleasure of partnering with some local schools to sell my school pride and custom ornaments as a fund raiser. These sales are proving a far better profit margin and eliminate the guess work of what will sell as I make all the ornaments to order.

I have been really excited by the variety of styles people have been requesting. As much as I love doing the school ornaments, I suppose it could get a little boring to make the same style over and over. But to my surprise, that has rarely happened and I am getting almost as many non school specific orders as I am school spirit ones. Here are a few pictures of my most recent ones:






If you are looking for an easy fundraiser for your school, please let me know. It is not to late to raise a few dollars before the holiday break. Or if you would like me to create a unique ornament, please email me. I love this stuff and would be happy to custom design something special just for you.

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