Experiencing the Ups and Downs at an Arts and Crafts Fair
On May 29th, we attended the Patchwork Show in Santa Ana. This being our second time at a local fair and still being pretty green at selling – it has been an exciting and humbling experience. Not that it should be anything less!
The experience of being a fair vendor is as much thrilling as it is stressful. From the arduous hours of preparation to the early whirlwind morning set up, you definitely feel the rush of adrenaline (mixed with caffeine of course) to keep you going. Then once your booth has been completed and matching what you had envisioned (hopefully), it's time to see the response.
Spending eight hours under your canopy with your products sounds like a trying day, but we were surprised at how fast time passes. With shoppers stopping by and giving nice compliments about your items, the warm and fuzzy feelings help to bring out those customer service skills. The moment you receive a positive response, a smile or just interest in your message is the BEST feeling ever. After all that you've put into your branding, set up and products, having a moment of shared connection makes it all worthwhile. Having a total stranger show faith in your product by being moved to purchase really is a tribute to what you've created.
Of course, there is the flipside to those positive moments. There are of course many times that turn into the WORST feelings ever. Those challenging moments of rejection or lack of interest makes you feel very small and unworthy. Suddenly that previous glow you had from a new customer customer subsides and sometimes turns into juvenile awkwardness. Your inside voice though tries to be encouraging and tells you that "every no leads to a yes" – strengthening you to remain positive. It has to be repeated that with more practice, you will get to know your customers better, and equally as important, to understand yourself in the overall process.
This is the roller coaster ride that we encountered in our 10x10 booth - face to face with fans, shoppers and those who don't connect with our message. These moments, good or bad, only occur between human beings. With that, we are thankful and motivated to continue our journey and attend more upcoming events. Next up: we'll be in Venice, California to attend Artists and Fleas on June 25th.
If you have encountered similar experiences or thoughts, we'd love to hear about them!