Friday, March 30, 2007
I Like Making Stuff
I always have. Now, I'm trying to make a living making stuff... sheesh. It's fun, but there are plenty of challenges.
Mainly I like selling at craft fairs and such. I have a great time. Traveling, camping out, meeting interesting folks. I love all that. The up side (along with all that stuff) is I'm getting full retail price for all my goods, personal interaction with my customers and therefore direct feedback.
The down side, I suppose, is the added cost of travel, booth fees... and personal energy. Physical and emotional. Well, that's not really a down side I guess, but a cost none the less. The travel, setup, and breakdown takes lots of physical energy. And being 'on' all weekend, schmoozing customers and such, is exhausting as well.
Still, it is my preferred mode of selling... versus say, wholesaling to shops. That's a separate post I think.
The problem I'm trying to solve right now is, well... there are only so many craft shows. The ones that are good for my stuff are the juried (that is, the show folks look at your goods and make sure they're good quality hand crafts) hand-made only craft fairs. I have done pretty well at imports-allowed shows... but never great and more often poorly. I just can't compete with $10 dresses, you know?
So, I need to (A) find more of these high quality shows to do... there are a few things to figure out here. The bay area has the most, but the competition and cost is high. Not sure I'm quite ready for the super A+ ones yet. Also I do live in the boonies, it's at least 4-6 hours to any shows outside my county. So, finding good ones is a learning process, trial and error.
And/or (B) figure out a way to do better at the schlockier shows. I've considered creating a craft activity booth, which would be fun. But that's also a totally new business, one which would be difficult to do alone. I could add more buy/sell ie cheaper clothing to my selection... but, as the title says, I like to make stuff. Not just sell it. I've also tried scaling my goods down to the least expensive items, but really those aren't what sell the best, even at a crappy show.
So, I'm working on it. I do need to get some more wholesale action probably... and figure out how to get more orders from my web site. I think I'll be taking some business workshops, that might help too.
Yeah. It's not easy saving the world with mermaids you know...