23 November 2010

Dimondale Holiday Craft Show 2010

Last year, as you may recall, I participated in the Dimondale Holiday Craft Show with potter CraftedClay. This year we once more ventured into the realm of craft shows. 

Although the show took place over two days, I only sold two items at the very last minute. My sales were effected by three factors: setting, economy and market.

Overall, we had less foot traffic that last year. Two factors played into the setting: location and timing. 

Dimondale is a small village close to Lansing, MIThe show was held at a series of houses. We were not located within the main cluster of houses and the map showed our house between two roads, so it was easy for people to miss us. 

Also, a nearby town, Holt, held their holiday show the same weekend, which may have effected turnout. Also, the Silver Bells in the City Parade was Friday night and Michigan State University played Purdue in East Lansing on Saturday. 

I do not need to reiterate the current economic situation. People are trying to be thrifty, to conserve their money for items they need rather than want. Most people who walked through the house did not purchase anything.

My shop, With Eyes Lifted, is marketed to the twenty- to forty-something indie or bohemian; that is, a shopper seeking unique accessories, jewelry and d├ęcor for her modern lifestyle. I use recycled materials when I can, so many of my items are limited quantity. Similarly, CraftedClay focuses on quirky, one-of-a-kind pottery.

We had several women walk through the house only to apologize that she "didn't have anything jump out" at her. The women were not interested in our style. We may do better in a focused market.

The lack of sales was somewhat discouraging, but it was still relaxing. I chatted about crafting, drank amazing (non-alcoholic) wassail and played with some cool cats. 

We decided to not participate next year. Setting up an in-house craft show takes time and effort, and it is a bit too much. That said, I will cherish the friendship, memories and experience I have gained from the show.

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