It's been hard to know how to categorize Lizi's craft show experience over the weekend. The best I've been able to express it is that the craft show did not do well; but within those circumstances, Lizi did very well. She didn't make a lot of money, but there were other vendors there who made nothing at all. The experience was good, and she did a fine job; hopefully the next time she tries something like this, her efforts will be better rewarded.
And being more of a bystander this time allowed me some time to think about this whole handcrafting movement, if we can call it that.
- I was reminded that just because a thing can be made, it does not necessarily follow that it should be made. I saw so many examples, but here's one: You can make a potholder out of cheap acrylic yarn, if you want it to melt the first time you pick up a hot pan with it.
- Don't even try to compete with Wal-Mart. Make something they don't have, or make it so over-the-top better that there's no question of its value.
- And I think I saw more clearly than ever that one mistake I've made is thinking that my customers were people like me. The problem with that is that personally, I go around and look at other booths thinking "I could make that, if I wanted or needed one." Trying to sell to someone like myself has led me to underprice my items, almost apologetically. I'm not sure exactly who I should try to sell to, but now I know that it's not me. ;)
So what can we glean from these random thoughts? Crafters, if you're going to try to sell at all, have enough love for your craft to use the very best of your talents; have enough respect for your talent to use good materials; and believe in your product enough to price it for what it's worth.