Vending Stories: Pembroke Street Festival {Episode 1}

It's been a while since I've been doing any serious crafting, but crafting is one of the things I love to do, so I thought it would be well worth it to jump back into the swing of things with a vending event.  You know, for old times sake.
My Vending Space #
I decided the start with the Pembroke Street Festival at the beginning of November.  I hadn't made any new fiber arts projects so what I decided to do was focus on getting back into the swing of things and set up what I already had made with reduced prices.  My goal was and is is to rid of all of my previous projects.  Slowly but surely they are dwindling down.  Anyhoo, back to this vending story.

This was my first big event where I vended completely on my own.  It was hard.  Although my mom and I packed the van down the night before and I made sure to organize my materials in containers of like items (very helpful), when it came to the actual event, I literally was at the mercy of the other vendors.  Let me say this:  If you have to vend on your own, get there earlier than usual so that you can beg for help setting up your tent without getting in the way of other vendors setting up their spaces.  For me, this was a lesson in humility and trust.

Why humility and trust?  It's humbling to be a single vendor in the midst of vending pairs and vending families.  You learn how to approach a total stranger and you also get a good dose of patience.  No matter how independent you think you are at times, one person cannot put up one of those vending tents.  And sometimes it takes 2 or 3 people.  Now with all my additional help, my super duper heavy duty commercial tent broke (only my second time using it), but a vendor gave me a solution to getting an exchange (and it worked - later on that).

Why trust?  Because you will have to use the restroom and someone will have to watch your items.  What I've learned is that, the vending community is very friendly.  I've yet to have a bad experience in that department.  (I hope I didn't jinx myself.)

I ended up selling some photo bookmarks, whipped shea butter, and some scarves.  What I learned?  You really have to have something specific to target your audience.  I'm still working on my style, but in this area of my state, there is a large Lumbee Indian population and so even though my photography was given many thumbs up, I learned that I needed to have some prints that would be special to them.  More nature images and I have been asked about turtles and eagles specifically.  Something to think about...

Ok, that's the end of Vending Story #1.  Stay tuned for the next two stories.

p.s.  I did not make enough to cover the booth fee or travel expenses, but I still enjoyed the event very much.  However, should I vend on this day next year, I think I will try a indoor bazaar where I can focus on one or two items for a table, not a booth.

Happy Crafting,

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  1. Kudos to you for making a go at it! Every bit of it is a learning experience. :)

  2. It's not easy doing things alone but you are brave! Even though you did not make back the booth and travel fees it sounds like what you have learned through the process makes it worth it.


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