Thursday is here and I’m taking today to recognize and celebrate that my husband and I reached our goal this past year for participating in craft and art shows around Minnesota. Recently, we sat down at our favorite cafe and planned for this year to reach an even higher goal for our handmades.
Inside my brain is wondering how I’m going to get my novel published while I’m trying to grow another side business. I hear the echoes of prodigies that only zeroed in on one focus for years on end. Apparently, my brain just doesn’t like doing that but at least I’m doing something.
When I first started, I had no idea what I was doing and I was at the wrong shows with the wrong things. On a whim, I put out some handmade clay pieces a comic show and they all sold out. I was trying to figure out what people wanted but I kept trying.
There were shows when I was one of those sad people smiling but watching people pass by my table. I heard a lot of crickets until I learned out what types of crowds went to specific events. I also tried a lot of new shows that didn’t have a following but my eyes watched and took note of what people picked up and looked at the longest.
I also thought I had to bring everything and I still struggle with that part. My husband tries to reign me in and I have a mini tantrum until I nod my head and realize that it doesn’t all fit in our vehicle. I’ve learned to pick and change up some of my designs depending on the show.
If I have my books in stock, I bring them but I found a shop that will keep them on hand so that I don’t have to lug heavy boxes around. Slow times are filled with blogging, TikToks, and other social media instead of sitting there looking bored. But I get up and talk to the people who stop by.
Meeting other people who are interested in the same thing gives both of us a boost. I talk to the vendors next to me when there is a break but both of us hope that it’s too busy.
I guess the point of sharing this post is that you need to be brave when you start out selling anything. There will be slow and busy times but always learn from your shows. Go to the events first if you’re not sure about sitting on the other side of the table. You might have to change what kinds of books, crafts, or art to bring depending on what event you’re at. Ask other people questions at the events.
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to put your work out there. Then, sell it with conversation and a smile. There are going to be some people who are skiddish and will veer away if you make eye contact. I can’t explain this because I’m not one of them. If you pay attention, then you may even come up with new stories to share.
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