Well, it was certainly an interesting weekend! On Saturday Tom & I left the little ones having a sleepover at Grandma & Grandpa's house whilst we went to watch Jerry Seinfeld do stand up at the Manchester Arena. It was amazing. I don't think I have laughed so much ever. There were moments when I thought I might fall off my chair, stop breathing, or truly collapse in a heap of giggles. A fantastic night out.
And on Sunday, I had a stall at a local craft fair. Where I learnt a couple of important lessons.
I wish I could say it was a huge success and that I loved every minute of it. But it wasn't, and I didn't. The fair itself was lovely, the ladies who organised it did a fantastic job. Lots of lovely stalls, vintage & craft, tea & cakes, and a wonderful singer providing entertainment.
I loved my new display stands, and I think my stall looked quite pretty. I sold an average amount of products, not spectacular but not terrible. I had lots of lovely comments, but unfortunately some not so lovely ones too.
~ Lesson number one... you can't please all of the people all of the time.
As sweet as most people at the fair were, a few made comments that surprised me & made me feel a little sad. For example, I overheard a couple of children asking their mum if they could have a paper doll each. Their mum said "no, they are a complete waste of money, you will play with it for an hour or so & then throw it in the bin." The little girls were really disappointed.
It wasn't so much that they were told no, more that the mum told her daughters right in front of me that my own products were a complete waste of money. Not so fun to hear. She wasn't the only parent with that view either.
~ Lesson number two... not every market place is the right one for you.
It seems that paper products are not in fashion in this particular location, rather jewellery & accessories are the more popular choices. At first I felt as though I was in the wrong, maybe my products weren't good enough, varied enough or generally lovely enough. But today I realise that it's not my products. It just wasn't quite the right marketplace for me.
~ Lesson number three... an activity zone at one end of the table is space very well used.
I set up a little area with free colouring sheets, crayons, larger display versions of the Clara paper doll for playing with, and a bowl of business cards. It seemed to go down well, and children bored of trailing around after their parents hung out at the end of my table colouring & playing. It was really nice to see. Shame their parents weren't so enthusiastic.
~ Lesson number four... don't dwell on the negatives.
Admittedly this is pretty difficult to do when you are surrounded by so many lovely people on and off line. I felt terribly disheartened yesterday, and I let the negative seep in far more than I should have. I fretted about numerous things, thinking that I would never be successful at a fair again. Wondering if I should ever bother doing a more high profile trade fair & pitch to retailers rather than customers. Thinking that if people at a local fair weren't too interested surely it would only be worse at a big trade fair. And really wondering if my products are, in fact, any good after all.
But today I came to my senses. Today I can see it for the experience it was - a really lovely craft fair that wasn't quite the right market for me. And remembering the truth - you really can't please all of the people all of the time. And I guess you shouldn't try to.
Oh, and remembering that I like my products, which is what really counts right?!