IceMyst Designs Goes To The Show

IceMyst Designs Chainmaille JewelryIt would appear, by looking at the date of my last post, that I am a big time slacker.  Okay, so maybe I am as far as blogging goes. I’ve been a little busy. Lots of projects to work on, like IceMyst Designs… and then of course there IS the Cody monster… He’s walking now, ya know? And getting into everything he shouldn’t be. Like kids do.

Anyways,  my most recent project, however, was a surprise craft show. I had talked about it a while back with my neighbor, Denise, and then for some crazy, unknown reason I completely forgot about it! How on earth do you forget something like that??  I have yet to figure that out… since I’m the one that usually remembers everything for everyone else!!

I’ve never done a show before. Never even thought I could, but Denise applied to one and added my IceMyst Designs chainmaille jewelry to her item list. I talked to her exactly 2 weeks before the show and learned I was in it. She was doing the show with or without me, as she had been planning on doing one and had a good inventory (she makes these gorgeous painted slates that she can customize), but I was determined to get my foot in this surprise door opening and got busy!

I had 2 weeks and barely anything to show. My husband was busy building me a 4ft display case that would fit on a folding table.  I spent nearly every “free” moment glued to my pliers. About 3 days before the show I dumped one of my boxes of rings. I’m not talking about rings you wear on your fingers. I’m talking about teeny, tiny, little jump rings in 13 different sizes (how about 24 g 1/16 ID and the like for my fellow maillers) … and THOUSANDS of them. All over the floor. I spent several hours sorting just enough to get all the different sizes so I could still see what I had to work with, but the majority of the rings are still in one jumbled lump in a bowl. One of these days….

I ended up with about 40 pairs of earrings, 4 bracelets, 2 necklaces and a handful of key chains. Not a whole lot, but it was enough to fill my display case. I had some of the earrings and one of the necklaces hanging on these neat copper trees that my husband makes and the rest I had carefully laid out on the base of the display case (which was lined in black velvet). I brought some more of my husbands trees, too, as they tend to be a big hit with everyone.

All in all the show didn’t go so well. We all got lots of compliments on our things, but no buyers. It seemed to be a problem among all the vendors. The show was more of a Fall Festival than a craft show. No one was really there to shop. There was a lot of “flea market, mass-produced junk” and “dollar items”. ( Wanna buy a rock? 2 for $1.00!) There were pony rides, rock climbing, face & pumpkin painting, live music and of course food. The food vendors seemed to be the only ones selling anything. I did see a handful of kids walking around with cheap plastic and blow up toys… The rest of us were just enjoying the festivities.

Sales or not, we DID have a good time and it was totally worth the experience. Our booth neighbor was a trip, the music was good and the weather (aside from a little sun blasting in our faces towards the end of the day) was beautiful. Besides, we had the cutest booth in the whole place! We had fall decorations, table cloths and even a bale of hay for displaying these cute stuffed pumpkins that Denise had made. Everyone else just had their tents, racks and tables. BORING!! :-p

Ah well… now that I know what I’m doing and have a base inventory I’ll be able to keep stocking up without spending every waking moment attached to my pliers.

We’re not going to do any more festivals, but we are going to try to get into some REAL craft shows. She’s doing one in Louisiana in a few weeks actually. She’s done lots before and used to have a shop, so I’m just going to follow her lead and be grateful for an experienced partner (who just happens to be an awesome neighbor, too). Wish us luck!