Tales Of A Craft Fair Newbie

207My family and I spent the past week getting ready for our first craft fair. What started out as a side hustle to make money for a mission trip to Nicaragua, has turned into months of crafting. Once we finished selling for the trip, we had a lot of left-overs and wanted to do something with them. And, since we enjoy doing these projects, we thought, why not have a booth at Oxfordfest? So after months of crafting and planning, Saturday was the big day!

The Monday prior the the fair, my husband built a display rack for our signs. Then, we all spent the evening bringing our inventory down from upstairs and getting prices and hangers on everything. Later, Roger painted some wooden pumpkins and I put raffia bows on them.

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I also spent some time turning arrows he had cut out into photo holders, and finishing up some photo display frames. Finally, I did some painting to complete another photo display project that I wasn’t happy with before. I liked the way it turned out, which is not always the case when I try to paint tired, so overall, it was a productive night.

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On Tuesday, we decorated one of our pallet Christmas trees that I had painted green the weekend before and finished sanding the other trees. I also finished up a deer head sign that I had been needing to get done for weeks. This was one of those simple projects that I just kept putting off..not sure why, but I was glad to be done with it! I love crafting, but I am ready for a break!

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Wednesday evening, I decided it was time to finish up some frames. I still had two left on the back porch that needed to be painted, to have holes drilled and have twine added.

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Thursday night, I had to take a little break to attend the homecoming parade. Both my nephews were in the parade and my dad made this darling little car to drive in it. I couldn’t miss it!

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By Friday, there was still so much to do! I have a couple of bigger projects sitting in my craft room that I didn’t finish in time, but that’s okay. We did what we could do.  And speaking of the craft room…to say that it is a disaster area is putting it mildly! I get so caught up in the frenzy of getting a project done under the best of circumstances. But with time running out, I have littered the floor with bits of twine and ribbon and who knows what else. Not to mention the unfortunate paint-slinging incident. I was so intent on what I was doing that I didn’t even realize until days later that I had shaken a paint container with a loose lid and splattered black paint all over the wall and a picture hanging above my work table. Not sure how I didn’t see it when it happened, but fortunately, my husband hasn’t noticed yet. Maybe I can even figure out a way to get it off without him ever finding out? (This might be a little tricky since it’s on the log wall…but like Scarlet O’Hara, I will think about that tomorrow.) Friday afternoon, we went to the bank to get change, tried out the Square card reader we ordered for the fair and purchased a tent. Then, we headed out to set up our booth. 24-hour security was provided, so we were able to leave our stuff there overnight.

Saturday morning, we were up before daylight, and made it to Oxfordfest by a little after 6:00 a.m. Here we are, ready to get started!

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But on the way there, so many thoughts raced through my mind. What if people don’t like our stuff? What if we don’t sell a thing? What if all these months of work have been for nothing? I prayed, asking God to bless our efforts. And that was when all the worries left my mind. The first miles of the trip it was totally dark, but when the first light started breaking, it was breath-taking. Just seeing the outline of the mountains, dark against the lightening sky, reminded me how big our God is. I had prayed for success, but got something even better! Just feeling His presence so strongly and knowing that whatever happened at the craft fair, it was okay, because He is enough in every circumstance! Success or failure, He is still good. And he knows there is so much more to it to me than a one-day craft fair. He understands that there are larger goals at stake right now, that will lead to greater ministry opportunities through more financial freedom. So the rest of the ride turned into a time of worship. And tears. And trying not to cry so I wouldn’t trash my make-up and would still be presentable by show-time! It was a great time with Him! (My husband was in another vehicle, so it was just me and the Lord.)

As a bonus, He did bless our crafting efforts! We made a good bit of money at Oxfordfest. (We made almost enough to finish paying for my daughter’s braces. This will be one less thing to pay on, and every little bit helps!) We also learned a lot about set-up and display and how to market our products more effectively. Next time, we will probably invest in a larger booth, and we will display a sign to indicate that we take debit and credit cards. We didn’t do this, and only a few people used their cards, so I think we could have potentially made more sales if we had made it known that we had a card reader.  I also learned that you can’t force down a tent. I was ready to get the thing down, pulled too hard, and broke one of the supports, but hopefully it can be fixed with a little duck tape. Apparently, I don’t know my own strength! 

So, now, ideas are popping around in my mind like popcorn! I got some ideas of some things I would like to try and I can’t wait to see what the future holds! Probably another craft fair in the near future!

 

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