Last week I did something I had never done before – two art fairs in two days. On Saturday, I found myself in Hartford for their holiday craft fair, and on Sunday I went to Brookfield for theirs. Beyond just doing two fairs in two days, I was doing it on my own as my lovely parents (my normal show-day crew!) had left town for a well-deserved vacation. But as they were both indoors and required no actual tent set up (simply tables and shelves and what not), I had faith that I could do it on my own. A little slower than we could normally get things put together, but there was the aforementioned faith in my own ability.
And I was right, by the way. I was more than able to handle it all on my own. Not that I don’t love having the help, and will accept it gladly! But when it comes down to it, I can set up a (tent-free) booth on my own. Unloading and re-loading the car is the hardest part!
I have to admit that when I signed up for the two fairs, I anticipated that Brookfield (Sunday) would be the better of the two days. I heard good things about it – large size, large attendance – and so I was hopeful. I added on the Hartford show because (frankly) it was near enough to drive to without getting up too early, and I was accepted and thought I would give it a try.
So imagine my surprise when Saturday got off to a rarin’ good start! Prints were selling, magnets were selling, even a framed piece and a large silkscreen print that I was beginning to fear would never sell a copy! I had some great conversations with customers (thank you, customers!), which is always nice and makes the day go even quicker. And all around me, fellow artists were mentioning that they were going to the Brookfield show the next day as well, and that they’d had great luck there in the past. I was excited, seeing my sales on Saturday and thinking that Sunday would be even better!
But it’s amazing how different two days can be. And I know it’s the chance you take as an artist that puts themselves out there. I am very glad I did so well on Saturday, because I didn’t even make my booth fee in sales on Sunday. Disappointment all around! And let me tell you, a day like that lasts forever.
I still came out ahead for the weekend, thank goodness, and I’ll likely sign up for both the shows again next year (if they’ll have me). It could have just been “one of those things” where the day wasn’t right for sales on Sunday. Disappointing, but chin up and move on.
I have one more fair left this year. November 24th at Menomonee Falls high school for the Jingle Bell Craft Fair. While I always hope for a great day (like Hartford was!), I will be very content to end on a break-even sort of note, but I’ll be even happier if people come out and do some end-of-the-year shopping! If you’re in the area, I hope to see you there!