Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Opa!! An Amazing Greek Festival

As many of you know I had a huge craft show this past weekend.  It was at a Greek Orthodox church for the annual Greek Festival.   They had amazing food:  baklava, gyro, pastitsio, spanakopita, loukoumades and much more!

Greek music played the entire time, they had dancing throughout the weekend and tours of the church.
Of course to top this event off was the amazing crafters.  There was an amazing woman who made stained glass pieces, lots of jewelry, clothing, even olive oil! 

What a long but amazing weekend!
It was Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Over the 4 days we all worked around 40 hours and well over 25,000 people attended!

It takes weeks to prepare for this type of show.  I try to build up my inventory of course but so much more goes into preparing.  I put all my pairs of earrings onto earring cards and I place stickers of my logo on the back of every card with a price.   It is so important to take advantage of all the people that you will come into contact with, by BRANDING.  I put tags on each individual rings with the size on one side and the price on the other.  Then organize all the rings by size!  This way it is easy for someone to find a ring in their size.  Of course by the end of the weekend they are not that way anymore LOL

Then I take all my boxes that I package my jewelry in, and all my receipt books and put my logo on each and every one!  I use the carbon copy sales books and I put my logo onto the customer copy. 

So the next step for me is to go through a checklist to make sure I have packed everything I need.
I have blogged the checklist before to help others... you can view the checklist here:

Make sure you have your camera and that the camera is charged, I also have a propay reader for my credit cards so I plug that in overnight into my computer to make sure it is ready to go!  The day before I go to the bank and make sure I have plenty of change.  Honestly I have no idea how to figure what amount of change I need but I brought 200 dollars worth of 10's, 5's, and some 1's.  It is always more than enough and this was a very large show so I would think that is a good amount of change for most occassions.

The day of the show I go 3 hours early because I don't want to stress out.  I can take my time unloading the car and arranging, and re-arranging my space.  I have tried to have 90% of the things I bring to the show on wheels.  I have even invested in a small fold up dolly to help carry the things that don't have wheels. 
I have 3 tables that fold in half and can be raised to 3 different levels.  I bring a lawn chair, a fan, all my displays, table covers, packaging and bags... Well here you can see what I bring here: (this is my car packed up)

I have a pretty small car and it is loaded from ceiling to floor, passengar seat, back seat every inch is taken!  

So the day of the show, I set up my display and have 1 table that is just for me to check people out and to be able to work.  That table has a stack of my packaging materials, the receipt books, and my tools and wire on it so that I can re-size rings on the spot or change clasps for the customers.

As you can see everything has my logo and website on it!  I also display my business cards on the table and mailing list sign up sheets too!  Take advantage of the traffic!!!

Here is my final setup:

Overall I found I didn't have a lot of big ticket sales.  Most purchases were one item, which was unusual.  I was very nervous after the 1st day that I wasn't going to be able to do as well as I had in the past but I ended up surpassing my previous years sales! 

I think it is really important to notice that well over half of my sales were done via a credit card!  I have almost $2000 dollars in the Propay account so imagine how much I would have made without being able to process credit cards!!  I had read somewhere that accepting credit cards can triple your sales and I believe it!  And I had almost 60 credit card sales, that is a lot.  I also handed out well over 500 business cards and had many new subscribers to my newsletter.  Even though I am exhausted and having a lot of back pain from this long weekend it was obviously an amazing experience!

So in the next couple of weeks I will be adding my FIRST e-book to my new Etsy shop:  Artisan's Book Lounge  The book will be everything you need to know about craft shows.  From accepting credit cards, to setting up your space, to how to interact with the customers and what NOT to do.  I hope to be able to help others have successful craft shows!  Keep an eye out for my very first ebook!  So excited.

Thank you everyone who supported me through this, and a special thanks to our Etsy Team that has been so positive and helpful!

Thanks everyone
http://www.galla15.etsy.com/ - Crystals, Button and Pearl Jewelry
http://www.galla15whatnots.etsy.com/ - Beading supplies
http://www.artisansbooklounge.etsy.com/ - crafting books and ebooks


  1. Congrats on a fabulous show! I haven't done a big show like that yet but I hope to do one soon so all your tips are appreciated!

  2. Congrats on your another successful show :) pretty items, pretty displays and very organized.
    Well done!

  3. I'm so proud of you! your booth looks awesome!

  4. Glad you had so much success! You're always so organized! What a great display.

  5. You are amazig Janet! Your finished set up looks stunning - no surprise you got so many sales! Great idea to share your experience through an ebook too! Well done!

  6. That must have been terribly exciting indeed!Lots of work! I love the "final setup pic", so inviting!

  7. I enjoyed reading your post, I've never done a fair & I'd like to. Do you use the square for credit cards?

  8. Janet, loved your post.....miles away and certainly not in the same league as you, I prepared for the craft shows I've been in very much the same way!
    Your tips will help a lot of people. The branding/labelling is so important!

    Your set up is absolutely beautiful! Congratulations on your success!

    (Even though I removed myself from the promo team, I'm still following many posts). Thanks.
    Carol from Carol's Jewelry Orchard

  9. What a huge amount of work to do a 4-day show! It would take me months to get enough inventory for that. I have taken credit cards for years and have gained many more sales (and larger sales) by doing so. Congrats on such a successful show. Your booth looked great!

  10. Congratulations on a successful show. Your setup is amazing, love all the clean lines and visibility of all your items. Thanks for the ideas on branding!!!

  11. Janet, it makes me exhausted just reading this account. Your organizing skills are matched only by your artistic skill.
    One thing you didn't stress - having amazing, gorgeous products! (you do)

  12. Glad it went well! I do several shows a year and know how much work they can be. But done right...they can be very profitable!! Hope you can get some rest now...LOL!

  13. Janet, you are the marketing guru! So glad you had a great showing, but why wouldn't you? Your items and booth were spectacular. Organizational skills like yours would benefit any seller at such an event. Congrats on your big success.

  14. Wow! I'm glad you did so well at the show, but we all knew you would! I can't wait to get ahold of your e-book. I think that's a wonderful idea! What a great way to share your knowledge!

  15. Great job! Your set-up/display looked amazing. Good to know about the credit card sales....

  16. Surpassing your previous years sales is a very significant achievement! Your hard work and organized approach to this show paid off, and I'm sincerely thrilled for you, Janet :D

    Beautiful booth - the brown & white is crisp and clean looking, and shows off your creations to best advantage. Congratulations! U R Fierce ...

  17. Wow, your display looks awesome, very attractive! You are well organized, and no wonder you are so tired!

    I LOVE spanakopita - am so jealous you had some that was more than likely home made! Nom, nom, nom!

  18. uniquecozytreasures - Thanks for sharing the craft show with us. A lot of work! Your display looks fantastic! That e-book sounds informative.

  19. Congratulations Janet! Your booth looks fantastic, really nicely set up. Does sound exhausting but also like there was a lot of energy! Love those Greeks--dated a Greek for 7 yrs and LOVE the food, still make my own spanakopita and skourthalia (garlic mashed potatoes--likely did not spell that correctly!) Appreciate all your tips and advice for craft shows.

    Congratulations on your first e-book, too!

  20. Wow! Your set up looks amazing!!! I hope to do some craft shows with a 2nd etsy shop eventually. I'm in MD too. I should come and see you at a show sometime.

  21. Your set up is stunning, wow, the work and organization that went into this show is unbelievable...so glad it turned out well for you. Thanks for all the helpful hints.

  22. So glad it was a success. Thanks for sharing everything!

  23. your booth looks just fabulous!wonderful information about credit cards too! Thanks for sharing this experience :)

  24. Congratulations on a fabulous show. Tons of work but it paid off.

  25. Amazing, you have a lovely place in the show and your pieces are incredible!!!
    I can´t believe you can stand that in only three hours!!!

  26. Hi Suzie! I use propay.com and they have a reader you can get for credit cards. Square up is one of the newest sites that allows you to use your iphone to process cards. I haven't used it. I have used propay for 5 years now and have had NO problems so although square up sounds nice it is too new for me to feel comfortable with it ;))

  27. Love your set up. I wish I could come to see you, girl!

    Hard work pays with great sales! Congrats!

  28. Great information! Your setup looks amazing. I really want to do a craft show someday.

  29. Thank you so much! This is great info- all in one place ( i'll be checking out your booklet!) i've done a few craft shows, but my set up didn't look very organized--yours is great - i'm 'subscribing' to you so i can plan and organize better!

    thanks again-
    marilyn g