So I’ve been crafting. I did my first real craft show the first weekend of April. I laid out my wares in what I thought was an attractive way, pasted on my best smile, and tried to sell things. I didn’t sell things. Neither did too many other people, as it was a perfect storm: first time event with an unknown/untested audience, and predicted very bad weather including snow and sleet (which never materialized). I sold nothing. I didn’t make back my booth fee, I didn’t make back the cost to set up my business and my display, or the cost of the materials and time it took to create things.
I’m trying to keep a positive attitude, however, and have two more fairs coming up that I hope end up being good for me. There is a huge learning curve in this business – the things I sell may be better suited for different markets, with different attendance. Or maybe I need lower end. Or maybe my prices are too high. It really is hard to say, and I’m told the first two years are all about finding the right market for the product, and what time of year works best. So, I will keep at it.
One of the reasons I shared the picture above is to show part of my process, but also what drives me insane. Crafting is messy. Things need to stay out, lay out, finish drying, be ironed, be starched, etc. This means that every available flat surface ends up being covered. I have no room to move or do anything until a project is finished and the leftovers are put away. If a particular thing, say, a quilt takes me the better part of a week to create, then I have a space that makes me crazy for a week. Even if I put things away as I go, there are still things that need to stay out. Like the ironing board. I have to iron the fabric before I cut it. Then once I have cut it, I sew the squares together into long strips. Then I have to iron those. Then I sew the strips together to get the quilt into one piece, which then again requires more ironing. I can “sandwich” the quilt (put the backing, batting and top together and pin it to hold it until it gets quilted), but then I have to cut and iron the binding material, which will get attached to the quilted quilt. Then I can finally put the iron and ironing board away. This process takes about 8 hours over a several day period, and in my small sewing space, I’m dodging the ironing board the whole time. I am also moving between sewing machines as one is good for one thing, but another is good for others.
It is definitely easier for me to work in the craft room (which I am calling a “studio” now that I’ve made a business out of my crafting) if it is relatively neat and tidy. Having things laying about makes me feel uncomfortable. So the sooner I can put some things away, the better. Covering up sewing machines that I am not using helps too – they look neater that way and I’m not worrying about them getting dirt and lint in their working parts over the course of the project. Even if I had bigger space, I don’t think it would be any better – I’d just have more space to spread stuff out on. I know myself pretty well by now. LOL
If you’d like to see what I’m making and selling, hop on over to my Etsy store. The link will take you straight there. There are also the dates of the next few shows I’m doing, in case you are local and want to come by and say hello!