The last of my shows for this year took place in November. I did the Grace Church Fall Fair at Grace Congregtional Church in Rutland on November 22& 23 and the Women’s Festival of Crafts in Burlington on November 30 & December 1st.
The Grace show far exceeded my expectations in sales. The show was part church bazaar and part craft show. Vendors like me, who were not members of the church were placed in the hall along with the church bake sale table. There were an assortment of really wonderful crafts including handmade jewelry, weaving, pet bandanas, sea glass crafts, terrariums, soaps, and cutting boards and felting. I had some of my own felted objects, ornaments and scarves, along with notecards printed from my collages and a few originals (framed and unframed). I was really happy with the sales, which were mainly from the felted soaps. I am no longer going to produce those, so I was happy to get rid of most of my remaining stock at this show. The low booth fee and the proximity to home made this a show with little risk other than time. I was pleased to have some time to work on needle felting projects between sales and was thrilled with the outcome of this show. It is definitely on my list for next year
The weekend after Thanksgiving was the Women’s Festival of Crafts in Burlington. This was what I considered my “big show” for the year. Since it was an hour and a half from home, I decided to rent a hotel room for one night, which almost doubled my cost of doing this show. I had really great sales of smaller items as soon as the show opened, but it died down by afternoon on Saturday. Thankfully on Sunday I sold a few scarves, which really helped with my totals. Overall i made a small profit at this show, but the overall experience was worth it. The event had many wonderful female artists in attendance, many of whom are veterans of the Vermont craft scene. The show coordinators did a great job organizing and promoting the event. I think with some tweaking, I could do this show again with even better results, so it remains on my list of possibilities for next year.
At the Grace show, one of the scarf purchasers was a parishioner at my church. She wore it to service on the following Sunday and it got so much attention that I now have 3 more orders! I’m hoping that next year I can work on making one or two of these a week so I have about 30-40 ready for show season.
I also will be making alot of wool angels next year, too. I sold ever single one I made this year, and had a reorder of them from Sweet Grass Gallery. I would like to make enough of these so I have at least a dozen to sell per show, plus a few dozen for any place that wants to sell them on consignment.
Once I am done with my scarf orders for this year, I have lots of baking (cookies, candies and cinnamon rolls!), lots of gift shopping and even some crafting (rag quilts) that need to happen before the 25th. After which I get to truly rest and enjoy some time off with my family before the new year. Then, its back to work! I hope to hammer out a production schedule at the beginning of January, so that I can get my inventory built up well before the shows start up again. I’m sure I’ll post my thoughts on that next year. Til then, remember to shop local and buy handmade this holiday season, and have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!