First of all: A massive thank you to all of you who did me the favour of following me on Instagram for my crafts account Scissors and Smiles. I only opened it yesterday but now that I have it, I intend to keep it going with pictures of the stuff I make – and some of the behind-the-scenes. A big thank you also to you for making the effort to leave a comment or a like. Very much appreciated!
And now the low-down. The craft fair went… so-so. Before I get more into it, I’ll show you a little bit of my set-up. I took a small video for you. Sorry for the low lighting – the light was not particularly bright in the venue.
The Christmas market took place in what used to be (or is?) a nightclub in central Dublin. The location was actually really good – right beside the main shopping center on the South side of Dublin city centre, opposite the terminus of one of the tram lines. The venue consists of several different levels, with little nooks and crannies with banquette seating and tables. I was placed in one of those, with a couple of steps up from the main pathway through the venue.
Most of the shoppers did actually step up onto the raised platform there. I shared it with a guy selling handmade wooden chopping boards opposite me. Here is a closer look at my table set-up.
I wasn’t sure whether people knew what a junk journal actually is, so I had made a little sign that explains what they are. Usually shoppers *love* reading explanations on stalls. Not sure whether it really made any difference here. I received lots of nice comments, and a lot of people actually could not believe I had made them myself.
Since Little Miss Guylty was kind enough to help, and since she is a bit of a crafter herself, I suggested she sold some of her bottlecap badges, too, to make a bit of money for the poor student. We made a little display for it, and I thought it was hilarious.
I don’t really want to say I am disappointed (because I had made sure to keep my expectations really low), but my efforts weren’t exactly bestsellers, either, even though I had priced them lower than on Etsy (where I have to factor in P/P). The outcome was… I just broke even. That is, I sold 1 journal and 8 micro mini books and that way made exactly enough to cover the 65 Euro fee for the stall. Not exactly successful.
In general, it can be said that handmade things are not really that much appreciated here in Ireland. It’s something I have noticed long ago. And thus, even though the items were all priced in such a way that they did not even reflect their value in terms of time it took to make them (when applying the minimum wage to my efforts), they were obviously still too expensive. I do understand that if you need a notebook/diary/journal, you can buy one for mere pennies. But that’s sort of beside the point – the journals are hand-made, one-of-a-kind pieces, so of course they’ll be more expensive than an industrially printed and bound copy book…
Footfall during the market could have been better, too, I must say. There were only a handful of occasions when there were more than three people standing at the stall. Most of the time, the whole market looked relatively quiet. I was not the only one who was struggling to make a sale. My friends At It Again, who were there selling their prints, cards and books, and who are regulars at all the markets in Dublin, also just made enough to cover the costs and pay for their bought lunch.
And thus the high point of the afternoon, was the surprise visit from my lovely husband, who turned up with a flask of hot tea and mince pies which he had freshly baked.
So, I came back with a full bag. I guess I have lots of Christmas pressies at the ready now. 😂 And I can restock my Etsy shop. The experience was still valuable for me, no question. It’s always nerve-wracking to put yourself out there with the things you create. The conversations with the shoppers were nice, though, sale or not. But I know now that markets are not the way forward.
Nonetheless, thank you to you for your encouragement in the shape of lovely tweets and comments on Twitter and IG. They really made my day. 😘