Cannot believe it's over... kinda like a wedding... months & months of planning all for one day. One day that goes by in a blink of an eye. One day....and it's over. The day/night before, I literally was on ZERO amount of sleep, and an entirely too much caffeine - my heart was racing & I was going about 1500 miles a minute finishing last minute things!
BUT - it was an AHmazing experience, learned a lot of what I would do again...and what I would NOT do again. And it was definitely fun! I had sooooo many people come by my booth & express there well-wishes and/or how proud they were of me...so that felt tremendous and really lifted me up. So much love from so many...I just feel so blessed to have people (family, friends, co-workers) around me that support my love of sewing/crafting! I remember I kept thinking, "wow...I'm a VENDOR - finally....at the same street fair I grew up going to every year, I'm actually on the other side of it now!" I felt really grown up...which sounds odd saying, considering I'm 30 years old, haha!
So - first things first... Our BOOTH!
|First apron I've made entirely from scratch...love how it turned out!|
Though it was primarily "Custom from Calista" goodies, a portion of it was stocked full of gorgeous hair accessories from my friend Danielle, who owns "Poisies Handmade" - adorbs!
I was so overwhelmed that morning from a combo of annoyances... didn't get into bed until around midnight... missed my alarm by 45 min... then my (& James') bathroom outlets mysteriously decided to NOT work - causing my already panicked mind to freak out. And guess what? The outlets worked just fine the next day...how does that happen?!
We arrived around 6:15am & set up pretty quickly, having 4 people there made that part easy. But then once James left, I felt like my mind was shutting down on me and I couldn't think. I didn't know where I wanted things or how to place different items. I was a silent MESS! Then my friend/co-worker Melissa showed up in the nick of time...She took charge of product placement & made everything look so brilliantly organized....talk about a LIFESAVER!! I could never thank her enough!!
The weather was nice for set up, overcast & cool...and we had a spot just outside a Whole Foods and a brand new restaurant/bar...so I thought for sure that would bring a ton of people our way. Around mid-morning...I started wondering where the HECK everyone was at! I've been to this street fair I don't know how many times in my life (being an Encinitas native), and I know how packed it normally is. You can hardly walk since it's usually so congested with people strolling along, stopping to check out booths. So I knew something was off.
Turns out there was some other events happening that weekend, and maybe the weather turned everyone away. Our booth neighbor told us he's been doing street fairs since the 70's, and this was the first time he'd seen this particular fair so low in attendance. Lovely. So that explains why I didn't walk away with 5 billion dollars, haha!
Anyway, onto 'what I learned' from this whole street fair thing...here's my TOP 10:
1. Get enough SLEEP. I cannot stress this enough. I was so tired, running on fumes the days leading up to the street fair. By the time it was all over, I literally felt like all my life force had been sucked out of me.
2. Make a LIST - a really super detailed one. I'm talking, down to "pens, tape, products, cash, etc". Check off everything the night before. And pack your car(s) up the night before as well. Here's MY LIST.
3. Have proper SIGNAGE. For everything... your biz name on a large & visible banner, product names/prices, etc. Super important. People want to be able to see things, and find info themselves, rather than asking "how much is this??".
4. Bring FOOD! I remember looking at other lists online, and thinking..."nah, there's tons of food at the street fair, I'll grab some yummy grub while I'm there". Nope. I only left my booth maybe 3 times to use the restroom at Whole Foods (& one time I bought a banana on my way out). And luckily, a sweet friend of mine brought me a sandwich, which I almost denied. So that was about the extent of my food intake for the entire day. Oh, and a butt load of coffee, yet again.
5. Enlist HELPERS! Super critical. You cannot do it all, seriously. One or 2 is good, depending on the size of your booth. I had one, and the girl I shared a booth with had one - space was a little tight!
6. SIT - at least a few times throughout the day. I did not. (except to pee! haha) Baaaaaaaad idea. I don't think I've ever been so exhausted (besides giving birth) in my life...and have NEVER felt the pain in my feet, as I did at the end of the day. Like I said earlier, I was running around like a mad woman the entire week prior, and the day before was on my feet crafting ALL day long. Then standing at the booth from 6:15am until 5pm... that'll do you in.
7. TALK to everyone that comes in your booth. Smile. Be personable. I had some great conversations & met so many nice people - I think that goes a long way when you're a vendor. No one wants to buy something from a grouchy person that barely speaks. Engage with them. Compliment something they're wearing. Show them around - they may see obvious items, but you may want to point out the less obvious as well.
8. Take CREDIT CARDS! I used the PayPal Here card reader & iPhone app. Both worked great! I loved that I could pre-load all of my products, along with photos & prices (either with or without tax included...I recommend adding tax into your costs so you don't have to fiddle with calculating tax on everything...especially for those paying with cash. Total life saver!
9. Do a detailed TRIAL RUN set up a week before. If I could do it over again I would've been more detailed in my trial set up. We set up the canopy & tables out on our cul-de-sac, just to get an idea of how long it'd take to put them all together - but I did NOT figure out where I wanted all my products to go and do a complete set up...that was a fail.
10. And finally...Don't Worry, be HAPPY!...just try not to stress yourself out :-)
Here's a few other photos of our booth set up: