Summer Wrap-Up: Craft Fairs

Oct 10, 2014 by

So uh… where did summer go? >_>;

For us, it went flying by (on a broomstick, that crafty witch…) and we hardly seemed to see any of it. We were kept very busy with three craft fairs that occurred very close together, Gwen’s wedding, and my photography workshop. Which also happened in about the same time frame.

To summarize, our summer looked roughly like so:

  • August 2nd – Front Street Art Fest in Ballston Spa
  • August 23rd – Mabee Farms Craft Fair in Rotterdam Junction
  • September 13th – Charlton Presbyterian Church Craft Fair in Charlton
  • September 17th – I gave a photography workshop in Albany
  • October 4th – Gwen got married (and it was lovely)

That’s a lot of stuff in about oh… two months. And for most of the summer we were preparing for all of these things. Well, that and getting everything in order to make ourselves an official business. Boredom was not ever present for us, however, sleeplessness was…

Front Street Art Fest 2014

Setup at Front Street Art Fest in Ballston Spa

The craft fairs though were lovely. We had a great time at each of them, and we were so happy to see so many different people come visit our little corner of an event and browse our goods (you become a favorite person if you make a purchase 😉 ). At the Front Street Art Fest I even found out that some of you lovely shoppers follow us already on Facebook and this blog. It was an extremely exciting moment for me, and I thank you for letting me know! Gwen unfortunately could not be at Front Street with me, but maybe next year… However, if you are a fan of ours and are stopping by, please tell us! Often it’s the highlight of our day, and we’d love to talk to you. Face to face is so much better than computer to computer after all.

I have to thank all the friends that did come out to help for Front Street since Gwen could not be in attendance that day (family stuff/wedding stuff was happening). Andie, Wendy, and Steve were all fabulous so that I always had a booth buddy and support with what I was doing. You may not be aware of it, but it’s a lot for one person to handle a craft fair alone. Between speaking with potential customers, handling cash, writing receipts, and finding a way to eat or use the bathroom; there’s a lot going on. Having a booth buddy (or two!) is always helpful, so I was very grateful to our friends for helping out. I was also very grateful to how patient all those who stopped by were with us, because when you as a customer are patient, it makes everything a million times better. We love that. ♥

Mabee Farms Craft Fair 2014

Setup at Mabee Farms Craft Fair in Rotterdam Junction

Mabee Farms was fun too, in that it was at a historical site and all day we had this gorgeous view of the Mohawk river. So the scenery worked to our advantage a bit, because everyone wanted to come over and see us. The only downside to that particular location were all the mosquito bites we took home as a souvenir. We definitely could do without that next time, so if we do Mabee Farms again we’ll go prepared with some sort of insect repellant (like fresh lavender, as mosquitoes hate it).

By far our favorite craft fair this summer though, despite all the things that went wrong, was the Charlton Presbyterian Church. To give an idea of how much this day got off on the wrong foot, let me summarize. I thought that it started at 10am, making setup from 9:45am. That meant we needed to leave Gwen’s home by 8am to arrive by 8:30am, which would leave plenty of setup time. It was cloudy and threatening drizzle, and kind of chilly that morning. At about 7:20am, car not packed or anything yet, I checked the application to verify the address… only to realize the craft fair starts at 9am. My mother helped me get everything in the car, and I left my house by 7:50am to head to Gwen’s. We’re not going to discuss how I made it there by 8:00am, but lets just say it helps to really know the roads. So I laid it on Gwen that I screwed up the time, and we really needed to pack what was at her house and go. Unfortunately, there were still a few things that needed to be done there, but I kept my anxiety at bay (which was for the best, because it only seemed like it took eons to complete the minor things that needed doing), and we left around 8:10am. Somehow we still made it to the church by 8:30, but this only leaves 30min to setup and be on-time.

Naturally, we were a bit worried that we’d be frowned upon for being late and such.

Charlton Presbyterian Church Craft Fair 2014

Setup at Charlton Presbyterian Church in Charlton

Bless this church, it was the complete opposite. There was a gentleman there who was more than happy to help us setup the tent, tables, and chairs. The organizer told us to take our time and let her know if we needed any help. And we actually did manage to get setup by 9:15am. Every step of the way during the day people were making sure we had everything we needed, offering assistance if necessary, and the likes. There was a free doughnut and beverage (coffee, tea, or hot cocoa) for each crafter. And in the event of rain, we were told that we could pack up early of our own discretion and leave, no hard feelings. In fact, they were worried that we wouldn’t want to come back because of all that! It was a great change of pace from the sorts of craft fairs that aren’t able to dedicate that kind of time and energy to those selling their wares. I think I can summarize how nice these church members and facilitators were in one fell swoop.

Gwen and I are not average-size ladies. We’re very petite, and we struggle to gain weight so we’re very skinny (I know, many of you suddenly hate us, but believe me it’s not as awesome as it sounds). It was freezing outside as far as we were concerned (a balmy 50-something degrees if I recall correctly…). One of the ladies decided Gwen was simply too cold, and gave her a large sweater to wear. Her own large sweater. No questions asked, no worry that it could get ruined or something. You just don’t see things like that often anymore.

We did end up leaving early though, around 1:00pm. The rain started coming down far too hard, and we learned that unfortunately, the nice vent in the top of the tent that helps with the wind unfortunately also allows rain to come down the bars and drip everywhere… including all over our products if we weren’t careful to move them.

Regardless, this was the best turnout we had all summer. By which I mean the people who came to this craft fair were ready for it, and weren’t just browsing – they fully intended to shop. One of the issues we have run into is that the craft fair hasn’t been as well advertised as one would like (and we understand it’s difficult to determine the best course of advertising these days with so many options and a budget to consider), and the people visiting might not have been aware and therefore don’t have the cash to spare; so they’re just browsing. Which is fine, we love you anyways. But it can be very disappointing as well.

In Charlton, the community came out to support, and it was very heartwarming.

We will be back Charlton, prepare yourselves. 😉

All-in-all though, we’ve enjoyed each and every craft fair we did this summer, and we’re already strategising for next summer.

Up and coming we have one final craft fair called the One Stop Holiday Shop in Saratoga Springs. You can find more information here on the facebook event that has all the details. We did this one last year and it was a great success, so we’re looking forward to another great day. This event has both crafters and direct sellers, so there’s something for everyone and it’s conveniently right around the time you’ll need to finish up your holiday shopping. So if you’re in the area, be sure to come check it out!

We look forward to seeing you soon! And if you can’t make a craft fair, be sure  check out our Etsy!

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