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Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Busy as a Bee!

How is it almost the end of the Summer?  How is it that I am now so busy that 14 hour shifts are the norm?  If I could have the pay cheque to support the hard graft I think I could somehow cope - but after averaging it out at a terrible £4 an hour I am distraught.  I am even beginning to think that working full time at my trained profession wouldn't be as bad as this hard slog :(  But today is a slump - most days I wouldn't trade my two businesses for the world!

Many successful handmade business blogs and articles I have read state that the first few years are an absolute horror show of juggling work, life and family - the light at the end of my dreary tunnel!  I am trying to remember that I am doing this so that I have the luxury of working from home 90% of the time and still be able to afford the finer (well at least not smart price basics!) things in life.

Summer means craft fairs!  I have now totaled 3 since the beginning of July and although the money that has changed hands has been abysmal, I have learnt a lot and to some degree enjoyed doing them.

This was my hallway the night before my very first craft fair at Hoburne Park.  In hindsight it doesn't actually look like that much stock, but at the time it felt like tons!

This was Hoburne Park Craft Fair held by The Dorset Etsy Team on Sunday 7th July - my first formal craft fair.  I cannot even begin to calculate the amount of time that went into researching, creating stock, props and packaging - it was the best part of 40 hours and after taking £14.50 I was pretty bummed.

On Saturday July 20th I went to Honeybrook farm to try a second attempt.  At 2pm I had taken about £2.50 and was ready to go home.  By 3pm this had risen to £12.50 and by the end of the day £34.  Not great but a definite improvement!

A few days after the Honeybrook farm fair I decided to crazily turn my hand to organising our own fair on my local high street.  The council were over-joyed and I got to turn my hand to a bit of designing (still love my flyer design).  We only had 5 stalls and in hindsight our location was not exactly great.

I think I fared the worse on the day - £4 in sales :( The wind was also so bad that I managed to lose a frame (blew over and smashed) and my poor cards got battered to pieces.  I wanted to give up but realized that this attitude isn't going to help push the business!

So I have had a little re-think about the stock I take to craft fairs.  Cards are notoriously slow sellers - plus mine were getting too battered by the elements.  My Jewellery was not easily seen and I spent most of the day re-arranging it after it had been blown about.  A lot of my items are personalized and although it's a great idea to take samples along it isn't going to be financially viable to over-load my stall with none purchasable items - it doesn't make for good impulse buys!

So my thinking cap is well and truly on because in under two weeks I have the biggest event I have ever dared to tackle - the pitch fee is £45 and it's a two day event!  I am scared, worried and anxious that this is going to leave me severely out of pocket!  I will persevere and hopefully report back with new items and a positive attitude!

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