Missing in Action….


I won’t be around for long today as I finally have to get to grips with the house of doom and all that that entails.  It has taken a very back burner because I have been so busy getting things finished for a number of Craft Fairs that have been a complete waste of space.  Organisers quite happy to take your £25 table fee for very minimal promotion.  I’m sorry but a banner or an announcement in the What’s On section is just not good enough.  I won’t name and shame the organisations involved but there were approximately 30 traders at the show yesterday, some with more than one table and very few of us sold anything at all. I sold a House Mouse card for £1.50.  I may have a commission for a table runner but that’s not confirmed yet.

My fellow traders said, well it is for a charity, and I was happy to pay the inflated fee because of that.  But even charities should work for that fee.  I would be interested to hear what others have experienced.  Variously I have encountered venues without lighting and heating, where I had to assist getting tables out, dirty toilets and no promotion.  Organisations seem to be of the view that there only responsibility is to provide the venue.  We operate on our own insurance and I generally do some promotion of events myself, probably  much to the ennui of my Facebook friends and tweeps.  One  venue even sold itself as having multiple coach loads turning up to every event; at the first one I attended four people turned up and they refunded our money and agreed to move it to a Saturday which they duly did.  However their one banner by way of publicity still had the Thursday on it The lack of promotion and the tiny footfall meant that after three goes I have kicked it into touch.

Perhaps I should start organising them myself.  Again, anyone with any experience of this please comment or message me.

Anyway, the things that I have been working on recently are the lovely set of four coaster with bees called “Wonder where the Boidies is” it being Spring and in memory of my dad who said without fail every Spring, “Spring is sprung, the sap is ris, I wonder where the boidies is”.

I have also been making some place mats which I have called “Mystery Tour“.  I’m not sure if the Beatles did travel in a campervan on

the Magical Mystery Tour but they should have done; they did, however come to Plymouth during its production.

And obviously, I have finished another quilt.  This time from a pre-printed quilt panel.  I quite enjoyed it but think on balance I prefer the piecing.  I have a number of projects on the go and will get back to them next week – we have some things to sort out, apart from the house of doom (the garden of despair chief amongst them).

“Catch a falling star” isn’t on Etsy yet as I want to take some better photos and it’s too big to stick on a bit of fabric and crop out the doominess.

I would like to thank Vicky for a lovely mention on her Hulu Crafts website.  Both links are well worth a visit, her blog is fascinating and her shop is my very idea of heaven.

Lastly but not least please, please, please go over to Handmade Monday and enjoy the talent that is there.

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12 comments

  1. RosMadeMe

    Yes – start up your own… I often think when I see a badly organised show, I could do this so much better. In fact that is the reason why I started to sell at shows when I saw that the quality of some of the goods for sale was not up to snuff, or my my snuff!

    There is no excuse for lack of advertising, especially through FB, Twitter and the other virtual formats followed up by a bit of foot slogging with local shops, then the local free papers and local radio.

    I think you should go for it… the other thing is that we would be really good at choosing when we did it.

  2. quiltaholic

    In my experience organisations promise the moon and don’t even deliver customers. If nobody attends how can anybody buy? If nobody advertises how can anybody know about it?

  3. Oh Sew Tempting

    That is such a shame! I went to a craft show (and I use that phrase very loosely) a couple of weekends ago near where I live. There was no sign outside to grab customers even though it was on a very busy seafront. There were no lights on inside and no heating. The stall holders were freezing! I chatted with quite a few of them, thinking that I might do a couple of shows (as I’d read you were giving it a go) and I was there for about an hour. There were no other customers even looking at stalls. I didn’t buy anything either. There were plenty of people walking past on their Sunday morning walk and it would have been easy to go and drum up customers if someone had cared to usher them in. When I read the literature about holding a stall, it warned stall holders not to pack up before 4pm as it didn’t look good in front of customers! It just seemed like a cash-in for the organisers who were willing to make their few hundred for the day. One word of caution about the commission. Don’t make anything without full payment up front for the materials plus some of your time. One of the stall holders was trying to sell a very large lacy knit jumper for £15 because someone had asked her ot make it and then, when she said it was ready to collect, received a text to say they had changed their mind! I’m sure you’d be brilliant at organising a show of your own. Sorry for the long comment (again).
    P.S. The boidies definitely think it is Spring up here 🙂

  4. Joseph Tierney (@Joe_Tierney)

    This all makes for very interesting reading, I’m doing a show on 1st of April! Have done one for the venue before and it was well attended but people weren’t buying… Hopefully this time things will be better:-) I’d say organise your own if you can, you should check to see if your local town has A BID (Business Improvement District) as these are often looking at ways to get people into town centres and may be able to lend a hand or help with finance/promotion.

    Good luck

    Joe

    • fionamaclachlanmorris

      Thanks for your feedback Joe and good luck for 1 April – i was going to be doing one then but have a better looking, cheaper table fee one on Easter Saturday so hopefully … Will look into the BID; thanks.

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