Hooray! The Queen Bee Market was last weekend!
And it went well. This is my second time as a vendor with Queen Bee (read about the first time here) and again, it was a good experience. I like the idea of stamps at a craft fair. I think they are a bit easier to "get" than mixed paper books (through probably not as simple to understand as prints).
So again I'd like to break it down into "What worked" & "What I'd change" in a recap post.
What worked :
the booth / I loved my booth. Obviously, my backdrop was graphic which was fun and totally different from the "shabby chic" look that tends to be popular at craft fairs. My brand is not "shabby chic" and so I have to go with what works for me and my product. This did and it was rad.
the stamp display / I was a bit worried about the display I built toppling over in the middle of the show. But we taped it down and it was more than secure. If I do this again, I would use the same thing but I'd consider recovering it in yellow fabric/paper instead of kraft paper so it stands out more.
the square card reader! / It didn't work for my first transaction due, I think, to user-error and connectivity issues. But after that, it was so simple to use and fast. I was so pleased. It takes any credit card, calculates sales tax & email receipts. And of course, it deposits the money (minus fees) into your account the next day.
support from Paul / He stayed with me almost the whole day (with just a few trips out for food) and I can't thank him enough. He totally kept me entertained throughout the lulls. Paul, you are my favorite.
meeting you guys! / The last Queen Bee Market I sold at was a shared check-out, so I didn't need to sit at my booth the whole time. This one, where we were our own cash box, I was at the table and it was so fun to meet blog readers. It's always so nice to meet some of the faces behind who reads here, so thank you so much for saying "hi" and making purchases. It means a lot to me (and Paul got a kick out of it too).
What I'd change :
samples / I went back and forth with this idea before the show but it probably would have been a good idea to have "sample" stamps for people to use and try out. I decided against it because I wasn't sure how difficult it would be to manage and keep the "non-sample" stamps from getting used. But based on traffic, it would have been just fine. As it was, I covered my table with kraft paper and stamped a version of each stamp so people knew what they looked like (which was helpful!), but it would have been fun to have customers try the same thing.
sample photos / Again, something else I considered, but didn't end up using this time around. It would have been fun to have blown up photos of the stamps in action. (photos like these.) I think it helps folks "see" how the stamps could be used if they are not as familiar with paper crafting.
In general :
I came away from this craft fair very pleased to have met some readers and happy with sales. But I was also reminded that events like this are an insane amount of work. (Especially when you have to drive for a few hours to get there.) Paul and I talked a lot on the way home about if it's "worth it" for me to sell in real life when my online sales numbers are so good and my product is so inexpensive to ship.
There are huge benefits to getting outside my box of course. Mostly, events like this present a challenge and keeps me thinking about what I want to be doing and how I can expand my business thoughtfully and in a way that makes sense for me. But sales wise, I am not sure if craft fairs are my "thing" when my online shop is working so well. I wonder if I could have made a similar profit by just offering a "free-shipping" sale online or something (no evidence, but it's possible). Lots of food for thought... as always.
Huge thanks to Mique for organizing such a great event. Huge thanks to those of you that came out to say hi! And huge public thanks to Paul for being amazing.