Sunday, 26 May 2013

My week.

This last week started off as usual. Monday was spent looking at other people's blogs thanks to Handmade Monday, putting a couple of items onto the website and some sewing. Tuesday was much the same.  

Wednesday morning was spent popping to my Mum's (after acquiring a large vintage white cotton , ever so soft from lots of washing, a large cross-stitched table mat with three matching napkin and two beautiful china flower brooches at the charity shop). Where I did a spot of knitting whilst we were putting the world to rights. In the afternoon I completed Eleanor the rabbit and couple more felt flower corsages.

Thursday I started packing my suitcases for the fair at the Bluecoat (see my last post), made some signs for my fair table, printed some fabric with names for my rabbits and cats and Pride and Prejudice quotes for the P and P heart I'm making. I also made the name labels for the two cats and the rabbit that I'd recently finished and did more sewing.

Friday I completed my packing for the fair (a couple of years ago we'd still have been packing suitcases, but with clothes rather than vintage and handmade bits and bobs, for our holiday to Glengarry, when we still had money!). I made a needle case and cut out bits of lovely fabric for a couple more to take with me for something to do at the fair (as my husband would tell you I can't just 'sit' I have to have something in my hands, even if I don't actually do much!).

Saturday started (and continued with) beautiful sunshine, though it was a little chilly. The other half and I caught the bus okay and we arrived at the Bluecoat with just over and hour to set up before the start of the fair. Unfortunately, the management of the fair was a bit scratchy. There was no-one to meet you or even a plan to see where you were. We were advised by another stall holder that the names of stallholders were written on the floor which is how we found where we were. The rooms were a bit snug too, there wasn't really enough space between stalls, especially where people had hanging rails of clothes which people wanted to browse through. A number of times things (fortunately nothing breakable) were knocked onto the floor!

Other stalls.

A view of the Elsie May and Bertha table, that's my Mum, Shirley, that I've managed to catch half of!

A big disappointment of the day was that we didn't make the day's cost (table and travel) back. There were quite a few people at the fair and a lot of them looked at what we had and said how lovely everything was, but that didn't materialise into sales. This was the third fair in a row where I hadn't made back my costs . So, because of this I won't be able to do anymore for the foreseeable future. 

My website isn't doing any better, I can't remember the last time I had a sale through there. On there I've done all the search engine optimising that I can, I advertise via Facebook and Twitter. I'm going to have another try at having a sale on Facebook, but even the last one of those I did didn't generate any sales.

I know this sounds like I'm having a moan, and to be honest I am. Loads of people I follow, whether via their blog, facebook or twitter feeds, are selling and I don't begrudge them their sales, they're all producing beautiful stuff but i can't see what they're doing right and what I'm doing wrong!

For want of anything better to do, I'll carry on making, using the materials I have and adding to the website. I'll be writing this blog and Facebooking and Twittering too.

It's my 24th wedding anniversary tomorrow and we'll be having champagne (a bottle my little sister gave me last Christmas) so that'll be a happy start to next week. I'm always happy with a glass of champagne in my hand!

I hope everyone has enjoyed their holiday weekend, with Memorial Day in the US of A and the spring (yes, really even if it isn't spring weather) bank holiday in the UK or your normal weekend if you're elsewhere.


As usual I'm taking part in Handmade Monday. Pop over there to read about what my fellow bloggers have been up to.


  1. Sorry to hear things are not going right at the moment, and I do think we are all allowed a moan at times! I really don't think you are alone in the low sales, it's quite a topic of conversations at the fairs I do.
    Enjoy the champagne tomorrow (congrats on 24 years) and hopefully things will look brighter soon :)

  2. It's such a shame the fairs are not working out, but even when you make money at them, it can be hard to justify the time spent for the return. It's also hard to know why one thing sells and another doesn't - one of the good things about fairs is the feedback from customers, which you can learn from. There's less of that online, people don't usually tell you why they don't buy! Here's hoping sales do pick up for you soon x

  3. I know it is very soul destroying not selling, I thought of giving up plenty of times, but at the end of the day I enjoy making! I feel like i'm doing everything I can with the time that I have ( I also work full time), Im not sure what else to do, i blog, am on twitter, instagram and pinterest. I agree I look at others and think what are they doing to have success but i'm not. All we can do is just persevere and hope that our time comes. Good luck, keep trying x

  4. Really sorry to hear about your business. It is such a shame. I am sure that you have thought about this but what about having a party and inviting everyone around to browse through your products? Sorry for not being able to really help. Just try to focus on the enjoyment side for a while. xx

  5. sounds like you've had a busy week!

    I'm sorry that the craft fair didn't go well, i think everyone in the crafty world is finding that sales are hard to come by at the moment so you're not alone (and its no reflection on the loveliness of your creations!)

    congratulations on your anniversary :) x

  6. Wow, you've been really busy this week. I have some brooches like that which I inherited from my Grandma and Mum - they're so pretty aren't they.
    I'm so sorry that things aren't going well sales wise. I only sell through Facebook at the moment and found that it really works for me. I try to be chatty on there and not only sell but try and post snippets about me and what I'm up to as well so that people can maybe engage with the person behind the product? Don't get too downhearted and carry on with what you're doing. Your creations are beautiful. xxx

  7. Firstly, your creations are lovely.
    I'm sorry the fairs have been disappointing for you. I was at a fair today (my first) and whilst I just about made back my stall fee sales were slow for everyone there. The problem seemed to be lack of footfall.
    I've personally found Facebook to be a good outlet for my bags. As tickledpinkcrafts has said trying to be chatty, posting interesting snippets & info helps. x

  8. I think everyone's been having quite a slow time for sales at the moment - I know that it's been like that for the independent shops/business in my area, as well as for me! So slow! It can be really disheartening but I'm just trying to concentrate on other things. I've managed to get my Christmas range all designed :)

  9. It's disappointing to hear that the fairs haven't gone so well. I know everyone's strapped for cash but I really don't think the bad weather is helping. Your needlecase is gorgeous and the rabbit is really sweet. I hope things pick up.
    Ali x

  10. I'm sorry to hear about the craft fair. I think it's happening a lot around the country at the moment.

    Your makes are lovely so please don't be too disheartened. I'm sure things will pick up very soon xx

  11. Sorry to hear about the fair and I can sympathise with you on every level with regards to the website/facebook sales front so you are not alone, I sometimes feel like I'm talking to myself! First sign of madness, quite possibly

  12. I think most people are finding fairs a struggle at the moment, its not easy selling at all at the moment. Have you thought about teaching or taking commissions? I find that's the best way to earn the odd few pennies here and there. I'm also testing out a market stall with a crafty friend as that's a relatively inexpensive way to sell - we're spending less than the cost of a table for a whole day. Its also been suggested to me that I spend more time knitting / crocheting away from home, perhaps sitting in the park or a cafe with a cheap cuppa. If you have a local craft shop they also might want demonstrators, you might not get paid but people will come and talk to you about what you're doing and its certainly helped my friend and I fill places on courses we offer. Keep your chin up and remember what you make is beautiful x

  13. Just noticed the comment I left is not there - must have been a gremlin last night. Anyway sorry I didn't get to the Bluecoat last weekend like I hoped - I was recovering from a tooth extraction. I know what you mean about FB - I see lots of people talking about their sales and yet I've had none from there at all. Sometimes I wonder what to do next!

  14. Not selling at fairs is so very disheartening - it is a cost that you have to stop and think about before committing to any more. I used to tell myself 'perhaps the next one....' Up until appx 2 years ago I used to do fairs throughout the year - the ones from January to around August were always disappointing and yet I did them the next year. I then decided enough is enough and with the odd exception of ones I might get persuaded to do, I stick to my guns and don't do any until September to December. I am always hopeful that if people are going to buy from us handmade bods, it will be at that time of year.

    Keep smiling, your work is lovely. Hope you have a good week.