To craft fair, or not to craft fair? How to bust ass and make 7 cents an hour.

To craft fair, or not to craft fair? How to bust ass and make 7 cents an hour.

The craft fair I attended this weekend was a flop. After a week of organizing, sorting, and making new merchandise, over 100 items, I was so ready to sell some stuff. I also had to buy a tent and a table. My awesome brother had weights for the tent and had a table to spare. Some craft fairs will loan out tables, but this was an outdoor event, so we had to BOOT (bring our own tents.)

It was sort of an “enter at your own risk” event. It was a first timer for the group that organized the craft fair and weather here is always unpredictable during monsoon season. It could be flooding two miles away and be completely sunny where we were. The craft fair was about an hour from home and set up time was at 7:00. I woke up at 5:00 a.m., was ready at six, and my help (bro, bro’s partner, and sis) were ready to go around 6:40. Bless those that agree to help a crazy crafter in the morning, for she ain’t no saint.

We arrived at this gargantuous, (yes, I no speak English well right now) worship mother ship, place out in the middle of nowheresville. The view was amazing. My brother met my sis and me there to help us set up the tent. Quick aside, there should totally be a brother’s day on the calendar. It was just me and another vendor setting up along with the woman who organized the fair. Hmm, just us two, I wondered. Scary.

I greeted the woman in charge, did some paperwork, and confirmed my donation of one item, a pair of earrings, for a silent auction. I never found out if any of the thirty people that actually came to shop at the craft fair did any bidding at all for the auction.

Yeah, you read that last sentence correctly. I think there were about thirty people in the four and half hours of the event that actually came to shop. I think about ten of those thirty people stopped by my table. One bought a pair of earrings.

A pair of ten dollar earrings.

There is something to learn here. Only do craft fairs that you know have good turn outs and that are at great locations that a lot of people in your city/state are familiar with. Don’t go too cheap, either. Find a middle ground if you can’t front $200 for a weekend event. Shoot for one somewhere between $50 and $100. Make sure that those organizing the event at least put out roadside signs announcing that there is a craft fair happening. Signs help.

This is my set up:

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Not very fancy, but I’ve busted ass to get it to look this decent. My brother made the larger earring displays and geisha table runner for me.

This was the incredible view of the Sandia mountain range from my makeshift storefront:

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The storm clouds went around us. Too bad there wasn’t like a thousand people shopping, because the weather was awesome.

These are the earrings I sold:

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In the end it’s those that always find time to help and support me, like my brother, his partner, and my sister that matter most. Like one vendor said yesterday, “I love making tutus! My daughter is my inspiration.”

That’s what I’m talking about. Peace out.

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The first of a three part interview with my artist brother, George Padilla.

My brother has been creative ever since I can remember. He’s dabbled in culinary arts and interior decorating, which cultivated sewing and paper crafts. His creativity has evolved into a culmination of everything that he does. He currently works on canvas using incostics (he explains incostics to dorky me in the video), acrylics, found objects, and paper.

I find my brother to be multifaceted and, like me, he’s mostly self taught in the current artwork that he does. If you can look past my dorkiness in this interview, you’ll find my brother to be articulate and engaging. He’s been a big influence and inspiration to me and I’m happy to present to you his own personal journey with art. This will be a three part video blog. Please enjoy the first video of my interview with my brother, George Padilla!

(Following the video are pictures of his pieces that were hard to see in the video.)

photo 11 photo 10 photo 9
 photo 5 photo 6