July 02, 2012
I made myself some business goals this year, and one of them was:
Participate in my very first craft fair.
I am terrified of this goal.
It, like business itself, is another gamble. I might not sell anything. I might sell out of everything!
The thought of preparing a display, cash management, marketing in the physical realm is enough to make my head spin.
I recently joined the PDX Etsy Team, and I attended my first monthly meetup, where I voiced my fears. Everyone was awesome with their advice, and it wasn’t just all hearts and flowers.
There are indeed risks involved. There are costs involved. But it’s really more about being smart about your investment. After all, you are investing some money into your booth fee and your booth itself, and you’re investing your time into preparing for the fair and being a part of the fair. You need to be smart about WHO is putting on the craft fair, and what amount of investment they are putting into it in order for everyone to be successful.
Given that the majority of my items are baby-related, it’s not in my best interests to apply for a jewelry show. But one of the shop owners at the meetup (she makes soap! Amazing-smelling soap!) mentioned one that Cotton Babies in Vancouver was doing. It was low-cost, fantastic location, and the booth fee was inexpensive.
The only thing: it’s in JULY.
As in this month.
On my drive home from the meetup, I thought long and hard about it. This might be the best first craft fair for me. Once I arrived home and put The Boy to bed, I got online and searched for Cotton Babies’ event calendar on their website to see what the craft fair was all about.
It’s called “Exclusively by Mommy,” and it’ll be at their Vancouver store (which is in a prime location–lots of potential traffic, as it’s right next to Fred Meyer). It’s July 14, from 10am-2pm. Perfect! I would have time to set up in the morning, sell my heart out, and pack up in time to get in line for the Timbers match against LA (I’m looking at you, Mr. Neck-Tattooed David Beckham!).
I decided to just do it. I sent an inquiry email to the event coordinator with a link to my shop. I cringed as I hit “send.”
The next day, they replied back.
I am in.
I immediately began writing out my to-do list.
I’m really doing this.
It’s a risk, but I’m excited.
And as Rob always manages to say while in the midst of a game of Risk, “that’s the Risk you have to take.”
See you at Cotton Babies in Vancouver on July 14!
Hey there, I'm Holly Marsh (Maker/Illustrator/Mama/Nerd), the force behind MarshMueller. I started the company in 2011 after getting frustrated with the ho-hum options in big box stores when creating my first son's woodland-animal-themed nursery. I hand-pick every fabric, thread color, and zipper, design my own sewing patterns, and moosh them all together to create rad products for parents and gift-givers in my Astoria, Oregon studio (aka MarshMueller Secret Labs).