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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

November Novelties - 2019 - The first of the Holiday Boutiques

Yesterday I spent the day behind a table at the So. San Francisco Elks Ladies Holiday Luncheon showing my little creations.  I had a lot of positive feedback and made enough money to cover the cost of renting the table plus a profit.  I was thrilled to say the least.

With each craft fair I participate in, I learn something.  Yesterday was no exception.  In addition to trying new ways to display things, I had tagged all my items with a code that made it so much easier to keep track of what I was selling.  When someone bought something, I took the tag off the item and didn't need to worry about finding it on the inventory sheet right away.  At the same time, the tag has the price on it so if someone was buying multiple cards (YES!) I could easily add the price up instead of trying to keep the figures in my head.  When I had a break between customers, I was able to go through the inventory sheet and mark the items I sold from the numbers on the tags.  Then I could go into the Etsy shop and take the items out of inventory so no one buys something that is already sold.  At one of the fairs I actually got a notice that someone had purchased some cards online from the Etsy shop and I had to go quickly through and pull them off the display for the same reason.  Oh to have such problems all the time! 

The next big thing I learned is that I have to be more aware of my customers.  I am always friendly and like to explain how my mini-albums are made with lots of interaction and places for pictures, etc.  I also point out which ones can be made into custom orders for different occasions.  I listen to the shoppers telling me about what they are looking for or who they want to buy for so I can direct them to the right spot, but thinking back on a conversation with a woman from yesterday I realize I may have missed a great opportunity.  She was telling me about a store she has in San Francisco, an art store, where she gives lessons to kids after school.  We were talking about how that was such a great thing to do and she said that the kids were very proud of their art work.  I commented that it was much better to get them involved in art than wandering the streets or playing video games.  In other words, I had a detailed conversation with her.  She took one of my business cards and said that she would display it along with some of the cards she bought in her store.  I said, "Thank you very much!  That is so kind."  What I DIDN'T say was, "Maybe we could talk about some sort of consignment arrangement and I could make some cards for you to sell in the store," or "Maybe we could talk about me coming up and showing your kids how to make some cards or mini-albums."  Unfortunately, since she paid with cash I have no record of what her name is or any way to connect with her.  Perhaps from now on I'll have a sign up sheet to collect email addresses for people who seem interested so that I have a way to contact people when I make something I think might interest them.  There was another woman asking about penguins or Nutcrackers.   

I have a couple of weeks before my next show so I have time to figure out something to use to collect this information and make some more items to sell.  I'll add more penguins and Nutcrackers just in case.  I also gave a shout out to the full moon last night and hope that the woman (or someone from her shop) contacts me so I can bring up the possibility of working together. 
Last night's full moon

One more thing I realized is that because I am an introvert, days like yesterday are a little bit draining for me.  I was in bed by nine PM and didn't even have my usual cup of tea or read.  In fact, my daughter insists I fell asleep in mid-conversation with her.  I won't believe that but I was definitely tired and even though I had to set up and take down the display by myself, it really isn't that physical of an activity.  I have read about people who are introverted needing time to decompress after socializing but I never realized until yesterday that it is something I deal with as well. 

How about you?  Ever re-think a conversation that could have led to an opportunity you might have missed?  See the full moon last night?  Experience a need for time to unwind after a social function?


  1. Hi, Janet!

    This is an interesting post, dear friend. I am happy to know your table at the craft fair is a success and that you are constantly learning how to operate it more efficiently and boost sales. I especially enjoyed the part about the missed opportunity with that art shop woman because it reminds me of one of my shortcomings. I am an extrovert on the blog circuit but, Like you, an introvert in real life social settings. I keep to myself and am not usually very assertive. I too have missed the kind of networking opportunity you described. If you have another show coming up a couple of weeks from now, there's a good chance that same woman or someone associated with her will visit. You might also try doing an online search to locate her shop and get in touch with her. I hope you do manage to connect with her again and come up with a mutually beneficial arrangement.

    Enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend Janet!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement. I considered searching for art stores in San Francisco to see if I could find her. I am grateful that she took my card and seemed so interested. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who missed an opportunity. Thanks for visiting, my friend.

  2. I'm glad it went well. I'm sure there are always new things to learn in business. I totally get the need to unwind after a social event.

    1. I didn't realize that it was the introvert in me that needed to breathe. I was really encouraged with this event. The last time I did it, I didn't do as well.


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