I dunno what went wrong. I thought I had a pertty good idea of what women like when it comes to accessories. I'm tellin' ya, dis is messin' with my head...

I dunno what went wrong. I thought I had a pertty good idea of what women like when it comes to accessories. I’m tellin’ ya, dis is messin’ with my head…

The rotten thing about having high hopes is when you see your high hopes plummet to the ground and go splat!

That’s what happened this past weekend to me. I dared to dream the dream.

Well, a dream…

Silly me. I should know better. It’s me I’m dealing with here.

Opportunity knocks and I'm usually unable to answer the door.

Opportunity knocks and I’m usually unavailable to answer the door.

I’ve been spending a lot of my time, talents and money on sewing handmade items for a local Artists’ Market. It’s the one event I do to show off my needle-and-thread magician skills to the public and hopefully sell some stuff to fund my other hobby–writing books that don’t sell well.

Remember this?

Remember this?

Since the Artists’ Market is part of a weekend-long hoopla in my little city that brings in locals and tourists to the usually sleepy downtown area, I thought it was worth the $50.00 fee to rent a space and spend countless hours to make a cornucopia of colorful, fashionable, yet practical, items for all the people who would surely be looking for a unique gift for themselves or others.

Just to give you an idea of what I've been doing while not finishing up my novel...

These look like nicely made bags, don’t they? One of a kind. Original designs. What’s not to love?

Wrong.

If I value my time at even $1.00 an hour (no, I don’t live in Haiti) and figure in the cost of the materials I used, I figure I lost about several hundred dollars last Saturday. I’m such a great business person. Maybe I should write a book….I’ll call it The Idiot’s Guide to Going Bankrupt. No. Wait. That’s one not-so-self-helpful book most people don’t need. It probably wouldn’t sell well.

Sure I sold a few things.

My older sister, Tina, came to sit with me for a few hours. She ended up being my best customer. Sister love. You can’t beat it.

These are my sling bags. No two are alike and even each side is different. I only sold one. My sister bought two of the larger "Carpet Bags" made from tapestry material.

These are my sling bags. No two are alike and even each side is different. I only sold one. My sister bought two of the larger “Carpet Bags” made from tapestry material.

She also bought two of the long infinity scarves. I gave her one of the shorter scarves just for buying so much!

She also bought two of the long infinity scarves. I sold two other long scarves to another person. I gave my sister one of the shorter scarves just for buying so much!

Most people who wandered by told me my work was beautiful and just went on their way. Two promised to return but never did.

But there weren’t that many people who came around. Or as they say in the Biz, “Traffic was light.” And I was closest to the building with the bathrooms, so I should know.

I’ve been trying to figure out what went wrong.

1. It was a gorgeous day, so weather didn’t keep people away.

2. There weren’t very many vendors. Maybe ten. I was the only fabric artist except for the person who made two-headed stuffed dragons. I wonder how well she did?

These sold pretty well. In this weak economy. Go figure.

These sold pretty well. In this weak economy. Go figure.

3. The live music and junk food vendors were several blocks away from us starving-for customer artists. I think that’s where most of the people were.

4. People seemed to be looking for free or really cheap things. Maybe they thought it was a Flea Market, not an Artists’ Market.

This was taken at the beginning of the day when my hopes were still high. Do I look like a flea?

This was taken at the beginning of the day when my hopes were still high. Do I look like a flea or an artist?

I think I’m going to skip next year’s Artists’ Market. Or maybe I’ll go and see how the lady with the two-headed dragons is doing…

How about you?
What’s your experience with Art and Craft Fairs? Either as a buyer or a potential customer?