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Monday, August 1, 2011

Seedless Watermelon Head

Wow, I'm feeling really overwhelmed right now.  If you've been following  my blog (admittedly, there haven't been many posts to follow lately) or my facebook page, you know that I signed up for a craft vendor booth at the Carytown Watermelon Festival coming up soon.  Well, "soon" has become 6 days away, and I am now filled with self-doubt and anxiety.  Awesome.  I have been working my ass off trying to get enough jewelry made for this festival, as well as trying to figure out displays and marketing.  I have no idea what I'm doing.  None.
Last fall, I decided I would have a small table set up at the Barbeque Festival in Lexington, NC in conjuction with High Rock Outfitters, an awesome coffee shop/kayak/outdoor adventure shop which sells some of my jewelry.  Well, the festival was a complete bust for me.  I didn't sell a single piece of jewelry.  Apparently, barbeque folk are not art jewelry folk.  I know, big surprise, right?  Fortunately though, I didn't have anything but time (making jewelry, etc) invested in it. 
This festival is a different story in that regard.  I think I may have bitten off a big ol' piece of somethin' I can't chew.  I have been wanting to break into the craft fair / festival scene for a while, and when I found out about the Watermelon Festival, I thought it might be a great opportunity in my own new town, etc.  I applied in April, and when I hadn't heard anything by June, I figured I hadn't been accepted.  No big deal.  By then, I had talked to more people, and had been given some advice about not applying for shows that were really about something else, like music or food or whatever.  Fine.  Well, one day I checked my bank statement and my check for the entry fee had been cashed.  No email or acceptance letter or anything, just a cashed check.  So I had to dig around and find someone to contact, who got back to me a few days later saying that yes, information would be sent soon, but that if my check had been cashed then I was in.  Ok...... So that was my first clue that this might be a little squirrelly.  But I had paid my booth fee, so I was doing it.  And I got to work. 
Now, knowing that this festival was not just a craft show, I thought I better make some lower end pieces because that's probably the crowd that's going to be there.  Hopefully a little more willing to spend some money on jewelry than barbeque folk, but still, it would be mainly impulse buys.  I'm thinking $30 and under will be the majority of sales.  So I have a stockpile of small simple copper earrings in circle and triangle shapes that I will sell for around $10.  I have sets of wine glass charms that will be $12-15.  I have sun-catchers made of copper wire and sea glass for about $20, and I made watermelon enamel jewlery! 

Now, I was a little afraid that making watermelon jewelry specifically for the watermelon festival was a little whorey.  But I actually like them.  I think they're pretty cool.  And they're not way off from my style.  I mean, yes, it's literal, but I don't think it bothers me.  I'm going to try to keep the prices lower, but I did actually spend some time on these, and I don't want to sell myself short either.  Maybe I will offer a  festival discount on these to boost sales.
I'm also taking new disc jewelry - the smaller earrings are $35-40.  And I'm taking some of the new Reef Jewelry line, even though I don't really expect to sell any of those because I think they are probably pretty expensive for this kind of event - $40-80 - but they're eye-catching, and maybe someone will see them and be drawn into the booth or maybe take a business card for and remember them future purchases.
But I have invested not only a lot of time into this, but a sum of money as well.  The booth fee, tables and chairs (I was able to borrow a 10x10 tent from my parents though, so that's good), display items such as trays and sand to fill them as well as table cloths, Mark made me very nice framed screens to hang jewelry on, and other jewelry-related items such as chains and earwires, and whatnot. 
And now it's six days before the show, and I feel like I've made a huge investment in something that will have little return.  I'm just freaking out a little bit because I have no idea what to expect.  I feel like my head is a seedless watermelon.  I'm excited, too, but mostly anxious right now.  I'm sure my moods will fluctuate a lot as all the preparations come to a close this week. 
I'll post a checklist and other prep stuff in a few days, and definitely an update on how the festival goes down.  So check back soon!  And if you're in the Richmond area, please plan to stop by and see us at the festival!  Thans for reading!

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