I have a 10′ x 10′ space. There is a red line of tape that marks the entrance. No one has crossed it to enter my booth. It’s 6:45 pm. This holiday shopping bazaar opened at 5:30. I’m wondering who the heck even starts their holiday shopping before Halloween. Being here was such a mistake. I never should have spent all that money to do this. No one likes my stuff. I’m going to have three more days of standing here, like this, looking stupid with my handmade neck warmers. It’s Alabama. What was I thinking?
Oh..oh..Someone just stepped over my red line. False alarm. She continued walking. She probably just lost her footing. Could ideas get any worse than me thinking to come here? My booth is supposed to be in a good spot. I’m right across from the hometown candy company. They’ve been doing this show for 20 years. People love them. I’m also next to a guy giving out margarita samples. Everyone is flipping for the stuff. Maybe between the two I’m canceled out. I’m thinking margarita….with wine? What ever happened to good, old fashioned tequila? Arbor Mist is not my style. Tequila is. Tequila and handmade scarves. No one here understands me.
It’s 6:55. Two people just crossed my line. “You must be real smart to think of an idea like this.”
No purchase was made.
I bet people would buy them if I had them made in China rather than doing it myself. They don’t understand…
“Ooh, what is this?”…..
“Rocket Science. Keep moving.”
7:10. I finally had a nice conversation about my product. Still not one sale. The candy booth has a line around the corner.
Next year I’m going to paint tiger eyes on scraps of wood and sell them.
7:28. They’re playing jingle bells. Wow. Christmas music already. And the place is decorated up like Whooville. Normally I like Christmas music. Really, I usually love everything about the holiday. But when I’m at a craft show not selling anything I turn into the grinch.
7:45. And just like that, the wind changed, started coming out of the east. I made $100 from one person on one sale. She was so excited about what I do. There are people here that understand me.
This is an excerpt from a journal I started at a recent holiday shopping bazzar. I did it because I was bored, and defeated, from not having immediate action in my booth. This is as far as I got with the entry because after that I was busy for the next three days. I’m continuing the entry here. When I go to shows to sell my product I turn the event into such an emotional rollercoaster. I can’t be the only one who does this. For that reason I wanted to share these thoughts in case anyone else feels alone.
Making stuff is the easy part. Putting yourself out there for the scrutiny of the general public is a whole different ball game. Going to this show was a tremendous learning experience for me. I was so disheartened in the beginning. By the end however, I had sold a ton of product, learned about my new customer base in Alabama, got a few offers to sell in stores, got some great tips, drew in funds for donations, met a lot of great people, and recieved more compliments than I knew what to do with.
The moral of the story here is don’t kill it before it even has a chance to get good. Take risks. Make yourself nervous, but don’t sike yourself out.
Because my first night had such a fabulous turn around I maintained a great attitude, even when bull started hitting the fan….my shoe broke, I ran out of wrapping, ran out of receipts, found out I was responsible for 10% sales tax, ran out of change, drank too much water and had to pee but couldn’t leave because I was by myself.
Now that it is all over, I would definitely do it again. I encourage you to do the same. It’s like bootcamp. See what you’re made of.