In lieu of Inspired Monday this week, I wanted to post about how my art & craft show this weekend went.  Maybe this will be inspiring to somebody, though…it was inspiring for me at the time, and a big learning experience too.

It’s my booth!  You can tell it’s windy ’cause the Sowing and Tree Woman paintings are blowing away from the grid.
Honestly, there’s not a lot I would do differently…although this was my first craft show selling my own work, I’ve done several helping someone else sell their work, so I kind of knew how things should go.
And this is how they went…

The setup actually went really quickly, since I had two helpers with me (my mom and my husband, thanks guys!).  So although I brought a table and grid panels, and had to assemble the grid walls, hang my original paintings on those, set up displays of stones and magnets, put up signs, realize my signs weren’t going to work since it was super windy, reposition signs, and a bunch more things…it actually didn’t take terribly long.

See what I meant about the mirrored tray?
And then…we waited.  Actually, this is something I would do differently next time: I got there at four, since the outer gates would close to non-ticket-holders at six, and I figured it might take me a while to set up and get settled in, but I could have arrived at five and it wouldn’t have made a difference.  At this particular venue, people didn’t start arriving for the concert until well after five, and it didn’t take long to set up either, as I said.  Plus it was way hot at four.  Waaaaayyyyy hot.  I was really glad we brought a cooler of water bottles, let’s just say that…
Now, I have to be honest…I didn’t sell all that much.  I sold a couple stones, a couple notecards…and it was mostly to people I had invited to come.  But this was just a first show, so I’m not too bothered by that.  I still got my name out there, I got people looking at my work, heard some interesting comments, got to do some covert market research (seeing what people looked at and picked up, which is always very interesting…prints weren’t as popular as I thought they might be, and greeting cards were more popular).  And I gave out a couple business cards and had people ask me about pet portraits, so that was a win too!
Monterey Court: once a motel, now art heaven.
All in all, it was a good experience.  The venue was really lovely, and I will definitely be selling there again.  I might even reach out to other Tucson artists and see if anyone else wants to exhibit there with me next time – Monterey Court is a great place, and they did a lot of work on it; they deserve to have more people come there. (They also had an amazing band playing, and equally amazing food…I’ll probably be back solely as a customer some time!)
Main lessons learned here: when it comes to a craft fair, you need preparation, preparation, and preparation.  And not to get discouraged when sales aren’t through the roof, because there will always be more craft fairs to do.  This inspired me to look for even more fairs and festivals to apply to for the fall season!