Greetings friends and family! I'm back from the first two craft bazaars of this season and wanted to share results and photos.
I have not been on the craft fair or trade show scene since I sold my gift basket and balloon delivery business in 2001.
There is a part of me that really missed the interaction with potential customers and the other vendors. Another part of me had sort of forgotten how much work goes into preparing for these shows. I have literally been in my kitchen most of October, but I am not complaining. I do love baking and cooking and it appears that all my efforts were worthwhile.
Some of you know that I've been searching for suitable employment for 4 years, off and on. Mostly on. When I say "suitable", read non retail. I worked two different retail jobs and my body quickly reminded me that I'm not in the spring chicken category anymore. Denial set in and I was determined to prove otherwise, but in the end those jobs caused some health issues that a year later I'm still dealing with to a degree. Finding office work in this economy and again with my age against me hasn't panned out yet. So I began to think outside the box, so to speak.
For more years that I want to admit here, I've been praised for my cooking and baking skills. When I first participated in craft bazaars, I sold my fudge and it always went over very, very well. As I ventured into the world of event planning and gift baskets et al, fudge making was relegated to only Christmas time.
As summer ended, and we settled into this new home and city, I decided to sign up for some seasonal bazaars and test how receptive people would be to my fudge as well as some of my other baked sweets.
First booth for this season
The response has been overwhelmingly positive and I admit I've been both surprised and of course delighted in the encouraging words I've heard this month. Initially, I'd considered not offering tasting samples but now I cannot fathom the thought.
|One bite is all it takes!|
Once folks tasted my baked goods, they were sold! The banana streusel bread sold out at both events, shocking me. I am convinced that I could have sold as much as I could have baked. My first set of (250) business cards are almost gone. I hope that I make enough good contacts this season to spur orders throughout the coming year and beyond.
In the meantime, I'm concentrating on ways to improve. I want to make my booth(s) more presentable and I just ordered a really cute apron (French themed; so "me") that I intend to wear during shows as a uniform, if you will. I want to grow my blog as it's advertised on my business cards and can be such a useful tool in marketing and advertising.
I only have two more events this season but then who knows. As a previous business owner, I feel half the battle is finding a marketable product. Fait accompli.