Maybe you already know you'll have fun selling because craft fairs are your jam. Maybe the idea of selling what you make in your spare room is terrifying. There are three attitudes to embody you want to enjoy your event.
During most of the year I am an elementary art teacher. Attitude is something we talk about constantly. It can be hard to smile when you're not feeling happy but your attitude is still a choice. You are responsible to choose how to respond to a situation, even if the choice is hard to act on. Can you think of the last time you wanted to react negatively, but chose to take a deep breath and put on a smile?
The next time this might happen could be at a craft fair. Unfortunately, there are a lot of reasons for your attitude to sour at a craft fair. Because of that, let's make sure we know how to have fun selling despite that.
Let's go through a possible day...
You get up extra early to load your car and drive to the market. By the time you're at the event, you realize you don't know how to find the person in charge or where to park your car. Annoyed, you feel rushed and awkward as you wander around and ask other vendors.
You get your spot and start unloading when you realize you forgot your coffee and your mid-day snack sitting on the counter at home. Once you're set up you're looking around and notice that there are other tents in better spots than you and you worry this will affect your potential customers.
People start to arrive and shop. After a few lovely conversations with your customers, you get a snide comment about your prices and some side-eye glances at your product. You feel judged and don't respond. The day goes by and it's time to shut down.
You're sweaty and tired, thirsty and hungry, and you still have to drag and hoist all your bins of things into your car and drive home, unsure of how much money you even made. You wonder to yourself, "Was this even worth it?"
Now that sounds pretty discouraging. With that perspective, it would be very difficult to enjoy the market.
Let's try again.
You get up extra early to load your car and drive to the market. You arrive and look around to find the event manager. While asking around you meet some fellow vendors and laugh together about how you forgot your coffee and snack. One of your new vendor friends suggests a coffee shop nearby and you enjoy a delicious latte after finding the manager and getting your spot.
After setting up you notice that your tent might be in a less desirable spot compared to others. However, you came prepared with a sandwich board sign that you place out in front of your tent. Now as customers round the corner, they can see what you're selling even a few tents away and decide to wander over to get a closer look. You mentally prepare to engage any customers that do come by, knowing they are likely to be more interested since you are not off the main drag.
People start to arrive and shop. After a few lovely conversations with your customers, you get a snide comment about your prices and some side-eye glances at your product. You hold in your defensive comment and instead smile and thank them for stopping to look, "have a good day!" you say as they shuffle off. About 20 minutes later you see them pass by again and awkwardly pick up your item and decide to purchase it. They apologize for their comment as they explain how their day didn't start well. They shyly tell you how they couldn't get your item out of their mind and it would be just the perfect gift for their neighbor who helped them out the other day. You smile and listen kindly and send them on their way with their purchase, both of you better off for it.
The day goes by and it's time to shut down. You're sweaty and tired but as you're tearing down, a vendor neighbor you connected with offers to help you lift that big bin into your car and you do a last-minute barter to exchange items. You each go home with a new homemade creation and a new friend. You drive home ready to figure out how much money you made, happy to have had a good experience and you're optimistic about your success as a small business.
Wow. A very different perspective.
What changed between the two scenarios?
If you can consciously focus on these three qualities during your market experience, you will not only have more fun selling but you will likely be more successful. By being friendly you will have more chances to make friends with other vendors, endear customers to you, and be a more welcoming space. This might be awkward for you at first, like this example, but I promise it gets easier! By being prepared you will not be as susceptible to negative experiences, you will be more likely to solve a problem that would discourage you otherwise, and you will be able to help your neighbors by building those important relationships, read more about my essential tips to be prepared here. Lastly, having confidence will present you as a professional business person, help you to ignore immature reactions, and provide opportunities for connections and networking. I talk more about this here when I give you some ideas on what to do before that first market.
Have you had days like scenario one?
How did you turn things around to have fun selling and find more success?
Let's chat in the comments below. Don't forget to sign up for emails here so you don't miss out on any insider tips!