The best part about any year coming to a close is all the amazing Year in Review lists. I love ’em, and I bet you do too. Or, at least, I hope you do because I’m about to make a few Year in Review lists myself! 2014 was an important year for Halyard as it went from part time hobby to full time job. With that shift came a variety of other awesome changes that I will outline in top ten lists over the next couple of days.
Top Ten Craft Show Moments
At number 10: A person at a craft show asked me how much my flags were. I answered and they proceeded to SCOFF, say “Whew” and make a stank face. Normally in situations like these I am so taken aback by people’s rude-Judeness that I have nothing to say in return. However, this time I was able to muster “That’s a really curious thing to say about my work,” in a calm voice. I was SO proud of myself in that moment because I finally understood the immortal words of Taylor Swift: “The haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, I shake it off, I shake it off.” This seemingly negative experience made the top ten list because it helped me realize that I can indeed deal with the haters without crying and breaking things and injuring people.
Number 9: This is another initially negative turned positive experience. It seems as though cheese boards are HOT HOT HOT right now. At craft shows, people would frequently come up to me and ask “Are these cheese boards?” It was so frequent that I even started putting up signage indicating that the flags were decorative and not cheese boards. Cheese boards, cheese boards, cheese boards, the phrase was haunting my nightmares. But this persistent question lead me to realize: I can make more than just decorative flags. You’ll have to stay tuned for the final list to hear how this saga has concluded.
Number 8: For those of you not in the crafting biz, most of the time you have to apply to craft shows and then you are informed whether or not you got into that craft show, much like applying for a credit card. However, like credit cards, you can be PRE APPROVED for a craft show by being invited to a show. The first time I was invited to a craft show was the Stouffville Creek Retirement Christmas Craft Show and although the show didn’t equal a lot of sales, the invite certainly equaled a huge ego boost for me.
Number 7: I participated in a lovely craft show this Christmas season called West Rouge Holiday Artisan Sale. It was inexpensive to be in it and was in a community centre in the middle of a lovely residential neighbourhood. I didn’t have high hopes for an abundance of sales at this show but BOY WAS I WRONG. It was an amazing show where the whole neighbourhood came out and the customers were so delightful and kind and willing to purchase my flags. To this day, it was the most enjoyable craft show I have attended.
Number 6: After participating in 11 craft shows in 2014 I learned that their tends to be a constant trait amongst other vendors: all they want to do is help you succeed. They will share helpful tips from which craft shows are best to how to deal with finances as a business owner to building a thicker skin against those pesky haters. It’s a curious little community that I have found myself a part of and I’m proud to be in it.
Number 5: As made evident in moment number 10, I will often experience a negative reaction when customers hear the price of my flags. However, there is the rare scenario in which a customer insists that I am not charging enough for my flags. Every time that happens at a craft show, I am so grateful to that person. I’m especially grateful when someone says that I’m not charging enough after a long day of stank face responses to my prices. It is this kind of positive feedback that keeps me going.
Number 4: If you follow me on Instagram you will have already heard about this delightful moment. A groom-to-be saw me and my flags at Made by Hand. He proceeded to email me to ask if I would be willing to make a different flag for each table at his impending wedding. This couple has travelled far and wide so they decided to have countries denote each table rather than numbers. I’m making a small double sided flag that stands up on its own for each table for their June wedding. I can’t wait to share pictures of the little flags with all of you.
Number 3: At the final craft show I did, a gentleman decisively purchased one flag, got in his car and drove away. As he was driving away he thought to himself “Why don’t I just finish all of my Christmas shopping right now?” He turned around, came back to the show, and bought two more flags. If you are looking to be the ideal customer, take notes on this guy.
Number 2: A rock ‘n’ roll musican said to me about my flags “They’re all evil in their own way.” I doubt anyone will ever say anything cooler about my flags.
And finally, my number 1 craft show moment: When I was invited in person at Made by Hand to apply to One of a Kind by their delightful vendor coordinator Lynn. If I could bottle the feeling I had in that moment and sell it, I would be a millionaire.
Tomorrow: the ego stroking list called Top Customer Feedback.