Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sterlingfest

I did it. Mission completion! Yesterday was Sterlingfest and I pulled off a successful booth selling my handmade jewelry. This was a big deal for me. I'm not sure I even let myself think about how big a deal it was, really, until it was done. ... I won't get too existential on you... but yesterday I felt really... proud of myself. Amazed that I could do something like that. Happy with my accomplishment.

Sales weren't great. The vendors all seemed to agree that this day was full of more "lookers" than "buyers". But it was a success none the less. I got lots of compliments, handed out lots of my business cards, and made a semi-respectable amount of sales. Sure, I wish I'd sold more. I'd have loved to come home with no jewelry at all left! But I feel good about it anyway. I think my booth set-up was a total success and I really enjoyed the day. I had two girlfriends there with me most of the day so we had fun chatting. The weather was a gorgeous mid-to-high 70's. I would have baked in the sun had it not been for the canopy.

Here's a pretty awful photo of me in front of my booth.



This table had most of my jewelry on it. The other table had my pendants, the socks my Mom beaded, and my friends "Southern Living" catalog.

Here's a close up of the beautiful necklace tree that my Dad made for me. I got plenty of compliments on the beautiful pieces he made from the other jewelry vendors (who all stopped by before it started and seem duly intimidated by ME!)

The other table with the great socks and a few other miscellaneous "Chic Made" things.
Here's a close up of one of the bracelet displays my Dad made and how I set out some matching sets on the table.

The bracelets that were laying on the table actually seemed to sell better than the ones of the great wooden displays. I think people liked being able to see the whole thing and touch and feel a little easier. I started rotating them between the table and the display about half way through.


My best-sellers were child and baby sized bracelets and the $4 earrings. I think this event really had more of a "free entertainment for the family" vibe than a "shop till you drop" vibe and I think that was part of my downfall. People were buying tokens to remember the day by - not investing in jewelry. I started mentioning Christmas gifts in my "schpeel" and I think I made one extra sale that way. And I did make at least one sale because I was willing to "customize" (I added a photo frame to a bracelet). I even got an extra sale by pointing out matching earrings to go with her bracelet. I think I was a pretty good sales-lady. I also spoke with a couple of people about doing real custom pieces totally from scratch. We'll see if those people ever get back to me though.

All in all - a success. I think I could happily be one of those people who does a "fair" every weekend. But that's just not going to happen at this point in my life. I think I'm going to sign up for a local craft fair in March that was mentioned to me. A couple of these a year is all I can pull off right now I think. I'll stick to Etsy. One, I was seriously stressed leading up to this. Two, it took up an entire Saturday which is valuable property to my young family. And three, did I mention I was seriously stressed? I really didn't sleep well all week leading up to this.

13 comments:

Farmer Joe said...

Congratulations! Big time! You know, a very large portion of the stress that lead up to this event was undoubtedly a result of the first time jitters. You didn't know how your booth would turn out, how folks would receive your labors, what the competition would be like, etc. Next time you go, you'll be the cool veteran with a game plan and experience. I would think the stress would be greatly reduced.

It sounds like you had a fun day relaxing with a few close friends talking to people about something you love. That sounds like a pretty good day.

You approached it with the right attitude and it sounds like all the success was a result of that. Way to go!

SewsCute said...

I am happy for you that you had such a great day!! I did the whole booth thing when I sold kitchen wares.....but I like making jewlry lots more then trying to talk people into having a kitchen show at their house!! Realy, I think your things are lovely!

Jessica said...

Congratulations on your success! I just have to say that you look fabulous!! All the working out has paid off.

erica said...

I'm so ridiculously proud of you. you are showing me daily that my life still matters even when i'm 'just a mom' and that being a mom doesn't mean to not be me. thanks nancy!

angela michelle said...

I agree with Joe that next time you won't be as stressed. Your table display looks beautiful. I can see why people would be less likely to take jewelry off your beautiful displays, but they really add to your presentation. I'm so glad you're existentially fortified!

Jolie said...

Congratulations Nancy...you dad's wood work looked awesome too!

ladyshanae said...

Great job! I was thinking about you this weekend and I'm glad all went well! Way to go, girl!

Now go give all of your munchkins kisses from me cuz I sure miss all y'all!

Kelly Jo said...

nice work Nancy!! It looks like a beautiful day and your first of many!!

Cheryl said...

Hi Nancy! Your booth and your display thingies and jewelry looked great! I am very, very impressed.

Nancy Clark said...

Great job! I hope you get to do some more, and that now that you've done it, you'll be less stressed!

Elieson Family said...

Yeah Nancy! Had so much fun there on Saturday! Way to go!

The Wood Family said...

Congrats on a good first time booth! I'm glad you had a good experience. Your jewelry looks great. In response to your question about FIVE DAYS AGO (I'm a little slow...), no... we don't have a blog. Everyone I know has a blog, but we're not one of them...sorry :)

Paice Family said...

Nancy, I am totally amazed at all you do! I am a little jealous that you have something that you love to do that is totally you, and you can make money to boot! I am trying to find a niche I have instead of doing kid stuff all the time. I love your jewelry! I'll have to show Chris your website and maybe I'll get something cute for my birthday. You go girl!