Monday, 26 August 2013

Show Stopping?

We were up bright and early to set up my stand in the Craft marquee at the Ashwell Show where we have sat all day in a hot tent.
 
 
I felt I had a wide variety of stitched goods to cater for all tastes and purses, I did demonstrations of needle felting and monster making and yet the interest was underwhelming to say the least!

 
Perhaps that is unfair as several people did make positive comments, especially about the sock monsters... althought it's always the negative things that stick in the mind. Like the lady who on picking up a £7.50 pin cushion (that probably took at least a couple of hours to make) and remarked in a loud voice of disgust to her friend... " Have you seen the price of that?" Not to mention the numerous children who seemed to think I was there merely to provide a table full of toys for them to pick up and play with.

 
Don't get me wrong. It is a great show and a lot of people put in an awful lot of hard work. But mostly it is about horses and dogs... and a day out for the family on bank holiday Monday. People don't seem to come out to go shopping. And I feel a little deflated.

 
I did sell one tea cosy and one sock monster (Rowley has gone to a new home)... that was all. On the positive side though, it was enough to buy a bottle of gin, a lemon and a couple of bottles of tonic water on the way home. Cheers!!!

21 comments:

  1. Sorry you had such a bad show. Hope your weeks gets better. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. The G&T = a positive outcome in my books. At least you gave it your best shot. The show that is not the G&T!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm sorry people were so rude but hope the G&Ts are doing their job. It's disappointing when you've put so much effort into preparing for an event. It's a shame the sockmonsters couldn't blow them a raspberry!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well you posted an hour ago now, so surely the effects of the gin have begun to work and hopefully you don't feel so despondent now!!
    That's craft fairs for you, I'm not a huge fan because they are full of people who think they can make the items themselves or who want them for next to nothing!
    Don't take it personally, your work is lovely and 'those' people don't deserve to own it anyway!
    V xxx

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sorry to hear that Handmade was not fully embraced for you.
    I have had responses like that at Craft Fairs and on one occasion I decided tell said person exactly how long it took to make and cost of materials. Then followed this up with the fact that my items were one offs and not avialable in any highstreet shop or from China. It was not until I carefully explained that she understood that £5.00 for a fabric notebook cover (reusable as well) was not much really.. We live in a society where we have become so used to cheap trash from abroad that it is sometimes not possible to see quality when we come upon it!
    I love the corsage I won in a giveaway you hosted a while back and it is still going strong unlike a corsage made of inferior materials because the glue had dried up and was given to me as a birthday present from a highstreet shop! Keep Calm and drink GIN Gina, sounds like a good idea to me.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sorry to hear you had a rough time - people seem to think that home made means it should be cheaper! And that as it's your hobby you should do it for free!!!!! I hope the well deserved G&T numbed the smarting!
    I hope you have a better time at your next show xx

    ReplyDelete
  7. People can be so rude. Often heard is "I could make that for a lot less". So why don't they go and do it then. I agree with Sarah that people think hand made should be cheap. I think your stand looked great and glad that at least a couple of things went to good homes.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Gina, it's so hard to know what will please the public. As you know, my job involves daily contact with potential customers for a very well known fashion company.

    Whenever a new person enters the door of the shop we never know just what that person is thinking, whether she/he is truly shopping, whether we will understand what they are looking for...and whether we will it.

    This is repeated over and over, day after day, and some of the mystery of this initial wonder fills every encounter.

    xo

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thought your stand far outshone most of the others and might I say your prices are very good and cannot possibly reflect the time and effort.
    It was a pleasant day out but seems to be more about just that. Onwards and upwards.Chin up and best foot forward.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh Gina - hope you feel more positive today. I know you're the sort of person that has to do a job well and that shows in all the work you put into your stall content and presentation.

    I did an all day stall at FolkEast on Saturday. It meant a 5am start and 2hr drive before setting up and demonstrating block cutting while my lovely assistant/husband manned the stall. After 7 hrs I'd just covered the modest stall fee! But a flurry of sales encouraged us to stay open for another hour and a half - and in the last hour nearly quadrupled the takings - thanks to my iPad being set up to accept PayPal/credit card payments.

    At least we were able to enjoy an amazing concert in the evening before the long drive home.

    It's the only fair I'll do this year (my best friend was on the organising team otherwise I wouldn't have done this one). I wonder if the average punter realises all the work that we've done?

    Hope you enjoyed the G&T
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  11. Your stall looked beautiful, Gina. I am sorry to read that so much effort got such a low return. It doesn't inspire me to take up the venture of doing fairs. However I have heard other, more positive stories too, so don't give up, yet. x

    ReplyDelete
  12. My heart sinks whenever I read something about people not putting a sensible value on a handmade item but I think it is a perennial issue that will keep happening. It's a long time since I did a craft fair and that's because I started to question why I was there, usually making a lot of small things that might sell when I'd really rather be creating something else. If the audience is anyone other than your real top customer profile with disposable income to boot then I think you have ask if it's worth it for any handmade artist these days. Never fear Gina, another day will dawn... hope it's not through a gin laden hangover though?

    ReplyDelete
  13. What a shame, Gina! At least you got some G & T...

    ReplyDelete
  14. Your pin cushion critic would get a shock if she looked at the pin cushion prices in the Selvedge shop then!

    Do you think the downside of the hand crafts revival is fewer people buying hand made things?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Forget the people that were rude or those that didn't buy at the show and focus on all those that love your work, of which there are a lot. Didn't you have a successful Open Studio event? I thought so. I rest my case...

    ReplyDelete
  16. It is so demoralising when that happens. I absolutely hate doing fairs now after a couple of 'failures'. It sucks all the confidence out of me, hope you aren't feeling the same. PAH to the snooty rude commenter. What does she know about unique and beautiful workmanship?
    Ax

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh Gina, I really feel for you! I've had those comments often. "If I get the fabric would you make me one of those, they cost so much in the shops?" or, on receiving an explanation of how the price reflects the amount of hours, skill and expertise compared to a cheaper imported mass produced item, "and you expect US to pay for that?!". Not to mention those people that ask detailed questions such as "where do you buy this or that material", "how do you make this or that bit" only to hear them remark to a friend on the way out - "I'll make you one of those when I get home". I still do some fairs, but more as a social outing and expression of solidarity with our local Creative Co-op than to sell (if I cover the cost of the pitch that's a bonus!).

    ReplyDelete
  18. You can please some of the people some of the time but not all the people all the time - isn't that what they say. Trouble is if it was in some designer shop they would pay through the nose willingly - the stall looked really lovely. Hope you enjoyed the Gin!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I think the previous comments have said it all! I remember when I did wedding fairs, I did always get plenty of orders but had to stand and listen to comments such as ' I could do that' or ' that's expensive, so and so does them better and cheaper', it's hard to stand there smile and bite your lip at the same time! The best ones were when they'd try to photograph them so they could get Auntie to try and make one, in those days there weren't mobile phones. I''d take pleasure in stopping them, then if they asked what book I'd copied it from saying 'I hadn't! I went to college for 3 years and did bakery and sugar design'
    Your work is lovely Gina and your prices reflect the hours you put into it, the public are always looking for something cheap , the problem being that some people do sell cheap and that undermines those that want to keep crafts at a good high standard and not sell tat!

    ReplyDelete
  20. that's why my friends and I gave up our card stall Gina - it's very disheartening when you hear throw away comments about cost and other comments that indicate people have no idea how much time you spend putting your creative goods together. people aren't prepared to pay for the time you've put into making something original (and I'd include myself in that category on occasion)I thought your stall looked lovely though. You just have to pick yourself up and go on to the next one - which will be better! x

    ReplyDelete
  21. You are very talented and have made some lovely things. Sadly it's nearly always the same at these events. People go for a day out and usually just browse, say how great things are and put them down again! Frustrating, but at least you enjoyed the gin :)

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for leaving me a comment. I love to read what you have to say and try to reply directly by email when possible... although it sometimes takes me a while!