Say It Ain’t So: Craft Fairs and Retail Workers

Maybe it’s just the fact that I work in retail and I see the things that people will drop money on in a big retail store or maybe it’s the fact that I’m put off and butt hurt from the fact that we had a craft fair just recently and just barely made back what we paid for our space rental.
Now, I know, I know, this isn’t totally related to my job, that’s okay.  We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming shortly.  This is just a weekly bonus. 
My girlfriend, her aunt, and I recently decided to go in on a booth at a craft fair at a local church.  Now, this is a pretty big church and the fall festival they have every year is supposed to be pretty popular.  But boy, were we wrong with that.  It would make me feel better (in an odd way) to say that we didn’t sell hardly anything because our stuff sucks.  Nope, not the case.  Our stuff was good, great, and so were the wares of all of the other people there.  Barely any of us sold anything.  The ladies selling jams and jellies did pretty well as did the typical Avon and Scentsy representatives.  But the rest of us?  Well, let’s just say most of us stared at each other most of the day.
It was a sad, sad 6 hours for us.  My girlfriend’s aunt did the best (and by best, I mean, made more than us) with about $50, my girlfriend made $13, and I squeaked in with $7.25.  My mom contributed items to our table and made $5 coming up last.  Pretty sad, huh?
Now, if you think about the fact that this was our first craft show together, that’s okay, right?  I mean, it definitely wasn’t good, but it wasn’t totally terrible either.  I really wish we had done better, though.  It was disappointing and upsetting to say the least.
But I think what irritated me the most is the fact that you will see people drop $50 on an oil burner with a teeny light bulb to melt their Scentsy wax things.  Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Scentsy, but are you friggen kidding me?  You will spend $50 on that when other tables offer you some handmade, unique items for half that price and you still won’t do it?  People want handmade for nothing.  It’s absolutely ridiculous.
Let’s not think about the fact that machines make most of the items you get in stores.  Let’s not think about how much longer it takes to sew a pillow by hand or make a piece of jewelry by hand.  Let’s not think about the fact that buying materials at retail price as an individual seller can cost you an arm and a leg.  No.  Let’s just think about the fact that boy oh boy!  Scentsy has that liver-shaped oil burner on sale for $35!
Okay, so maybe I am bitter.  But so what?  We all worked hard on our items and to have these people come by, coo over what we have, ask the price and then deposit it back on the table because they don’t want to pay our prices for handmade goodies.  They’d rather spend their money on the known items.
That being said, I’m seriously thinking about getting back into business with Etsy.  I used to do it a few years ago.  I didn’t have too much success with it, but I think I’ve got some more business savvy going for me and I think I can make it work.  So if any of you are interested, keep a weathered eye about, I’ll post about it from time to time to break up the monotony of my service desk ramblings.
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