I’m trying a new thing where I’m not a wimp and my most recent attempt at being bold was to sell some of my calligraphy designs at a Craft fair, selling Christmas cards and gift tags. It was such a fun and challenging experience.
Here are 5 things I learned at my first craft fair:
People are nice
okay, bit of a generalisation here but my point is that on the whole, when you put yourself out there, people will be kind. I had countless encouragements, not just from my very lovely but very bias friends but from complete strangers. So many people wanted to offer genuine words of support and contribute to a small (miniscule) business by buying my cards and gift tags.
Selling your artwork makes you vulnerable
I’ve worked in jobs where I’ve made sales before, I’ve sat behind a till and served customers but nothing compares to selling your own work. For one you’re emotionally invested in your product, you’ve spent time, energy and money into creating it so if you’re ever considering selling your own work be prepared to take rejection personally. Not everyone will enjoy your designs, its a highly subjective and competitive market so just be confident in your work and know that it may not be for everyone, but that’s the case with pretty much everything.
Money is a thing
I had been so focused on the creative side of preparing for my stall that I’d forgotten about all the money side of things; figuring out profit, pricing, getting a float together. The fact that maths is not my strong point (if you know me you know this is an understatement), probably didn’t help either and I got myself in a bit of a stress which can be avoided by getting your finances all sorted in advance.
Know your target audience
So I was trying to sell Christmas cards to students…and turns out students don’t really send Christmas cards. I still made a profit but I realised I could have done a lot better if I’d branched out and put my designs on different items. I know it sounds obvious but never underestimate really thinking about who you’re selling to and what they’d be most likely to purchase.
Selling your work is rewarding
The most valuable thing I learned from the craft fair was how amazing selling your own designs feels. Having complete ownership over your stock, seeing the entire process through from creation to selling is really special and I felt pretty proud of myself as I packed away at the end of the day. If you have an artistic talent that you’re keeping to yourself I really encourage you to put yourself out there and have a go!
Check out my Christmas cards over on my ETSY shop 🙂