Annual Fair comes alive…!

This weekend has been a busy and rather tiring one for me.
The Annual Middleton fair was on yesterday and today was one of my regular markets.
The Fair had been booked and paid for months ago and as the date approached I was getting nervous, a little apprehensive, not knowing what it was going to be like.

Click here to read more about the Fair and see images from last years Scarecrow competition.

The last time I was in Tassie at Fair time, 8 yrs ago, I was Very pregnant and hadn’t even picked up a pair of pliers, let alone started stringing beads together.  Fast forward 8 yrs to today and it is the biggest fair I have attended to date.  Of course nerves are good, I believe that if you aren’t a little bit nervous there’s a problem.  Once the gazebo was erected and I began emptying boxes, arranging bags, busts and beads it all flowed and I was set up in near record time.  Not that I have a record to bust or anything…

The crowd was good and steady throughout the day until about 3pm, although other stall holders said it was down on last years attendance.
I’m not a fan of country music but on location it sounds alright and it was quiet enough, or is that loud enough, to not get in the way and be annoying.  I saw someone walking their goats, a horse, sorry, a dog that wanted to sniff at everything including my headless friend and the best comment I heard all day was from a young child, say around 7 or 8 stating to his mother “…but we’re sposed to have fun at the fair, you said it would be fun…”  as they walked past.  Mum and I just looked at each other and laughed.  Not really sure what he was expecting – maybe more ‘rides’.  A Country Fair here is not like a show, we have animal pens and pony rides, a mini magic show and the like.  Seriously, I think some people have never travelled the 40 mins out of town before. 🙂   (Town = Hobart)

When we first arrived here and I started markets again, I was disappointed that I made little or no sales.  I quickly figured out the demographic and spending power here is alot different to Mt Isa.  Aside from the obvious income one, people here like things that are different to what I make, and I am still struggling to find my niche.
I now take each market as it comes and have no expectations on what is going to happen.  Each event is a PR exercise and used for putting my face, name and beads out there.  It’s a pity though and hard to make conversation when people don’t respond to a smile or ‘good morning’ though.   Sales are a bonus and it’s great to help customers with their choices.

(on an aside, why do people not give feedback, I’ve sent two items interstate and have not heard if they’ve been received yet)

I only made a few sales and then one lady came back for a second time!

my gazebo - complete with headless friend 🙂

one table of goodies 🙂

the other table - I should have put the other side of the mesh wall up, but oh well, it didn't stop the lookers. 🙂

bags hanging on the side...

Today at Woodbridge was a really slow day.  Not sure why, but not many crafty people made sales – food always sells well though. 🙂

Last night I was exhausted. On my feet most of the day and then having to empty bags and boxes, while thinking about what to take for a smaller scale table.  I did sleep well, and was not happy with the alarm at 6.30 this morning.  I had to finish packing one box before I left.

So Sunday afternoon, 5pm, coffee in hand, boxes ready to unpack (jewellery in my office drawers storage….) I am really feeling it.

Today's table(s) at Woodbridge

Tomorrow morning has been pre booked for a sleep in. (5.30 pm.  I’ve just received a call organising Mr 7’s social life, so it’s off to meet his friend and seeing as it’s at the gym I may aswell get a workout in at the same time..)

I will hunt down some pictures and show you some bizarre interpretations of the humble scarecrow another day.  I do have one here… my favourite of the ones I’ve seen.

self explanatory

Keep smiling,  you never know who might be watching 🙂
Jennifer

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9 responses to “Annual Fair comes alive…!

  1. Jen, your creations are beautiful individuals awaiting adoption, and just need to find the right home to go to with a loving parent 🙂 Be sure that when someone DOES buy something, it’s because they really love it and want to have it or give it as a special present. It can be frustrating at markets when you see people buying loads of trashy stuff but turning up their noses at specialty crafts, but that’s the world we live in isn’t it? They would never appreciate finely crafted jewellery or bags anyway. Keep creating and giving pleasure to those who DO buy your creations!

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  2. Thanks for sharing your struggles along with your victories. I have had shows where if I say “Good Morning” people bolt! And, I am the least agressive salesperson around. I’ve also had shows where people enjoy a little conversation. I can never predict sales. My philosophy is that if you love something, you will buy it — and I certainly don’t want anyone buying something and then regretting it when they get home because they felt pressured by me. Each of my jewelry designs is one-of-a-kind and my hope is they all find the perfect home where they will be loved, worn, and bring joy to the wearer. At the end of some days, my confidence in that hope is a bit battered! I always have to remind myself that I see a lot of jewelry I love or find fascinating and beautiful — but that doesn’t mean it is something I will wear. I suspect I am not the minority. And, I have to fight the temptation to follow trends and try to have something on the table everyone will like – I have to follow who I am. My niche is just that — mine. It won’t appeal to everyone. But, if I don’t love designing it and those who know me can’t identify it as one of my pieces — why would I think it special enough for someone to invest in? Just my thoughts, based on my experiences. I’m still learning! I think I’m starting to find my niche – it is a process. Have a beautiful day!

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    • Thanks Angie. You echo my thoughts exactly. And I don’t think that we in the minority on that one either. I might ask you to do a guest post for me one day. 🙂 I struggle with the whole ‘salesperson’ thing. I have tried ignoring people (seriously) unless they show an interest in something right up to being effervescant(?) and ‘out there’ (that was a bit scary and not nice, to the customers). Is it so hard for people to acknowledge you?
      Some weeks are good, some not so. The market the week before Xmas was my best EVER and my confidence was restored. Do you have a blog, I’d love to read about what you do. J 🙂

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      • I don’t really have a current blog. I opened a store in ArtFire in November and thought maybe I’d blog there. Perhaps I still will. I have a couple entries. I have and “old” blog that I started in 2008 — but haven’t been able to resurrect. I would love to have a blog – I just don’t have enough time to do everything I want to! I struggle daily to juggle the demands of my business career (adminstrator in an office) – my passion career (jewelry designer) – wife (one husband!) – mother (2 adult children) – leader in my church – friend – bookkeeper (church and home businesses) – and much more. None untypical of a woman in today’s society! I am honored that you would consider having me do a guest post! You can find out a bit about me at these places: http://www.facebook.com/delightful treasures http://www.delightful-treasures.com and http://www.artfire.com/Delightful-Treasures

        Have a beautiful day! (PS – The historical blog is http://delightful-treasures.blogspot.com/
        Angie

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      • You are busy aren’t you! I haven’t looked at ArtFire, to be honest. I will scoot over and check out out your old blog aswell as the FB page. I like your perspective on things and when I figure the right topic, or you can choose, I’d love for you to write something.
        Thanks and have yourself a great day 🙂

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  3. Ah, if I could stand through an exhausting day, and then have energy for a workout, I would think I’d died and gone to heaven! I hope you sleep as much as you need today to make up for the weekend. Your display is lovely, btw!

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    • Thanks Judith, my display seems to change regularly although the basics are the same. I was able to sit for most of today though. Made it easier. I find that I get to a point where I need to do a workout. And Ive been too busy for my usual one. So I’m taking the opportunity while its there. You com only do as much as you are capable and comfortable doing. 🙂

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