Saturday, 23 October 2010

Nothing to fear but fear itself?

'Handmade Gift Tags - Wish Upon A Star' by "EdgeInspired" on etsy

Well...I promised to keep you updated on how things are going offline as I try and sell at craft shows while having a limited budget and jobhunting.

I had the second of my monthly meetings with my Prince's Trust mentor which brought mixed news. Firstly I was told my application for a grant had been successful and I was glad I hadn't had it returned to me for more information as a lot of them have to be apparently!

I had submitted some of my handmade items to a very well established traditional craft show who had offered me a reduced price stand but I was told my items wouldn't fit with the show. This didn't surprise me as I thought it was a tall order. I have only really been crafting for a couple of years and couldn't see myself retaining my confidence or selling really well alongside artists who have regional reputations and cash boxes to match.

But all is not lost and I am investigating more craft shows to sell at as this is a condition of my grant. I have to seal a deal with a craft show and buy all my materials as quickly as possible and get making so I can ask for the grant via a refund.

So here is the issue. Nerves. I've never sold before at a craft show and it feels so much more serious than selling online. After all, I never hear any catty comments when someone clicks on to my shop - just the hearts, which thankfully are increasing every day now (probably due to me becoming a member of two teams but hopefully not just because of this).

It's a big step. I've practiced what I would say in response to horrible comments and I know I won't be offended now if someone picks up some mittens and asks what they are...after all online customers can see my hand in them and offline customers can't.

Overall I think the grant will entice me and push me over the nerves. I will be able to order a huge injection of craft materials just at a time when I have taken a huge cut in my income. I hope you will see the benefits of this in the online shop too. There have been so many occasions when I have wanted to make an item in a few colours but the budget hasn't stretched and I haven't wanted to take the risk after not selling.

I'd love to hear any tips for my first ever craft show/fair : )

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