Well....it's done...

The Old Court Days Festival is over.  I've spent the past 24 hours or so chewing my thoughts, and I can't make them any easier to swallow.  So, I will just say it as simply as possible.  I really didn't enjoy the experience one bit!

The Pros:
(which aren't many)
I got my name "out there"...whatever that means.
I was able to meet a small handful of people interested in my period clothing.  They took my card and told me about a few Theatres, Historical Societies and Reenactment Groups that I might be interested in.
I met a nice family who are involved in the civilian side of the civil war reenactment group in Perryville, KY.  They invited me to "come and play" with them whenever I want. I don't own one article of 1860's era clothing, but have vowed to make that my next project over the next year.  (Needless to say, this was the highlight of my experience with the Fair.)

The Cons:
I spent MONTHS preparing for this event, spending a countless number of hours sewing away on purses and aprons when I could have been spending time with my family.
I spent more money on gas, food, and booth fees than I made the entire weekend (not to mention the cost of material or time spent making them).
I only sold 3 aprons and 2 purses! Most of those were to people that knew me or my Mom.
Also, I sat under a stuffy canopy for three days in sweltering 89 degree weather.

I talked with several of the other merchants about how bad business was.  Some of them have been coming to the event for several years now, and they said they had NEVER seen business so slow.  People were there...it wasn't that the event was empty...they would just walk past the booth, slowly, sometimes remarking on the items inside, but rarely stopping.  Those that did stop exclaimed how LOVELY my things were...how well made, and affordable...but then they would smile and walk back out into the sun.

*SIGH*

It was definitely an experience...but not one that I'm wanting to repeat again anytime soon.  I know, I shouldn't be so hasty to throw in the towel, but I'm not one to allow myself to get bitten twice by the same beast.  I don't know....maybe I will think about it again...if it's a different event....just maybe...but I don't think I will do that one again.



*Incidentally: I wasn't selling the Regency Gowns you see in the pictures above....they were there as examples only in case someone wanted to commission me.

*And about the Raffle for the Missionaries:  Only one poor soul was kind enough to throw in a dollar.  So, she was the winner of the apron.  But, $1 wasn't enough to make a uniform.  My mom felt bad and donated another $9 for a total of $10, enough for 2 uniforms... which I will make.  I would still like to use my sewing talent for this cause in an even bigger way, 2 uniforms just aren't enough, and I may do more yet.  It all depends on the financial circumstances of the orphanage.... more to come on this in a later post.

Comments

Persuaded said…
It was interesting to hear all about your experience with this... I'm glad you were so frank. I have thought about making things to sell at craft fairs and the like, but I am so not a business woman! I can't imagine making any money, honestly... but perhaps I'm being pessimistic. I'd love to hear more about other experiences you have with this sort of thing!

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