Craft Shows – Go With Your Gut

I did my first craft show of the year this past Saturday. I had skipped the majority of the local May shows because of our wedding so when I heard about this show I figured why not give it a shot. I’m usually weary of shows I haven’t done before but I went into it with the mentality that I won’t know how it is unless I try it.

As it got closer to the show date, I started having second thoughts. By this time it was too late to cancel for a full refund. I focused on prepping a lot of stock, making sure I had enough of everything, re-writing my signs so they looked fresh and new. I wanted to make the best effort I could to prepare so I knew that if the show was a flop there was nothing I could have done to rectify it.

In the end, I broke even. It could’ve been worse, but it could’ve been a lot better. Thankfully, I had J with me. He took over my booth when I had to sit down (because it was so hot in the building I felt light-headed). He also just helped to keep the mood light with mindless chatter about nothing. I love him.
What I learned is that I really need to start trusting my gut. It’s really easy to get sucked into “possibilities.” There are times when taking chances pays off, but when I have a bad feeling about them, I need to take a step back.
Aahhh the lessons learned through owning a business. They are never ending. Have you learned any business lessons lately?
11 Comments
  1. Victoria Meyers 3 years ago

    I remember that happening a lot with my old etsy shop! I’d sign up for an event just because it was new or cheap or seemed like it had potential, and it would bomb. With this second go around, I’m being VERY selective and careful with picking events (also, I’m working MUCH harder to make sure my line is actually easy to shop at a live event, which I wasn’t very good at before), and while maybe business is a little less exciting than it used to be, I’m not losing any money, so I’m happy.

  2. this is all so true. it’s good to go with your gut. 🙂

  3. Ashley Rae 3 years ago

    I am doing my first “big” craft show in July. I have done small ones last holiday season, and I do farmer’s markets. I am sooooo nervous, and maybe having a bad feeling. But I know I just have to do it, its too new of a thing for me to know if this is a bad feeling or just nerves. I am freaking out with hoping I have enough stock, to, I hope I at least sell something. ugh.

  4. gina 3 years ago

    so, so true. shows are so much work and when they’re a bust, it’s so frustrating!

  5. designwithj9 3 years ago

    I hear ya. It is frustrating to know what to do when building a business. I have to just keep pushing on to the next thing until it turns out to be MY BIG THING!

    Janeane
    http://www.designwithj9.wordpress.com

  6. Marilyn Perez 3 years ago

    I’ve learned to go with my gut too! I’ve had shows like this where they were just “there”. That’s too bad about the heat, I can imagine it sucking the energy out of the day. Just take it as a chance for additional exposure for your business. 🙂

  7. Dawn 3 years ago

    That’s something my grandmother always told me to follow–my gut. I’ve learned–from both listening and failing to listen to it–that following that “gut instinct” was always the best decision. When I took acting classes a few years later, we talked about “esoteric brains.” An esoteric brain is, in short, what your “gut feeling” is. An esoteric brain is where emotions lie, where feelings lie, where fears and love and doubts and desires hide. (You can imagine, then, that we “tapped into” our esoteric brain quite frequently when acting.) It’s hard to make a wrong decision when you do what feels right. I’m glad to hear you broke even, but I’m sorry it wasn’t the best of experiences. That said, it was an experience, and it gave you an idea of what you would like to do (or avoid) in the future! Your display, by the way, looks great!

  8. Kelsea Echo 3 years ago

    The craft show thing can be so hard. It’s so, so much work! And I’ve definitely done some that sounded interesting but weren’t worth the time or effort. I tried doing a craft show & fashion show event the winter when I was still writing in Pink Wonderland. I think prepping for that + blogging + going through a major breakup were the main reasons I couldn’t handle my blog + business anymore. But hey, live and learn, right?

    Btw, I started a new blog and wanted to say hi – you were so super sweet helping me when I was raising money for the heart walk two years ago! <3 I recently quit my full-time job and decided to go for the small business/blog thing (scary!), so I’m sure I’m in for a bunch of small business mistakes over the next few years! 🙂

  9. Emily Spada 3 years ago

    I’ve had some bad business experiences lately, in the wholesale aspect of things. Be careful of who your do business with. I’ve almost completely given up on craft shows because I never make ANY money at them.

  10. Megan 3 years ago

    Last year my sister and I did all the shows we possibly could, even splitting up for a couple of weekends. Some were big (and long, long, looong) and some were small. We learnt that it’s not that awesome to spread ourselves so thin. Also, just because a show is 5 days long in a huge venue doesn’t mean shiz.

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