I absolutely promise that this is the last post about the ***** craft fair.
It was a very mixed experience which was often quite difficult for me, a natural introvert who is not good at selling herself. Yes, perhaps it would have been better to have stayed at home, but I wanted to push myself and have some contact with buyers, and see what people liked and didn't like.
First things first: I covered the stall fee, and made a small profit too, so that was a huge weight off my mind.
However, I didn't sell as much as I'd hoped, and to be honest I think that had more than a little to do with the standard of the fair and the quality of the other sellers. Apart from a lovely potter called Sylvia, there was not much else there to interest me, and quite a lot else that positively set my teeth on edge. I'm not being snobby here: many stalls were selling stock that they'd quite obviously bought in that was of a very low standard: Power Rangers hats and scarves, metallic fake leather handbags, plastic rucksacks. Not the sort of thing I expected to find at a National Trust property craft fair, but that was my first lesson: always check your craft fair very, very carefully. If they don't vet the sellers, be wary.
My second lesson was about stall design: you need height, and you need to create order. People like to feel in their own little world, and height at the back makes it seem more like a shop. Also, too much busyness confuses the eye. On day two I rearranged everything in rows and blocks and this worked a lot better.
My third lesson is a bit vaguer, but has to do with psychology: I need to learn when to give information, when to gently push, and when to apparently immerse myself in a paperback. Again, not all things that come naturally to an introvert, but which I must work on if I am to be successful in the future.
I came home both days utterly exhausted and rather depressed, but a couple of days of mental recharging has allowed me to regroup and start to feel positive and creative again. The house also feels a lot better after a serious blasting to rid it of dust, dirt, and a million little threads trodden over every carpeted surface.
My next job is to get my online shop up and running, so it's time to put my computer nerd specs on and pull my anorak hood up over my head. Come back soon and see if I've succeeded, or whether I've been eaten alive by html....
More pics on Flickr, if you can face them...