Here is my weekend round up of my trip to Madison
a couple weeks ago, when I went to vend at the Madison Knitter's Guild Knit-In
The best thing about the weekend was sharing it with Blogless Carla. She is the best yarn assistant in the world! She puts the booth together better than I do. (Waving to Carla!!!!!) Thank you!!
You might remember that I've only done this once before; last fall at Yarn Con
in Chicago. So I learned a lot again at this show and kind of used the weekend to test whether I want to add vending to the etsy
selling on a regular basis. It is a LOT of work.
My booth here was a lot bigger than the one
at Yarn Con. The other major difference was the flavor of this show. There were a lot less indie
vendors and more professional
booths. I felt a bit self conscious with my plastic bins (see below), next to all the professional display racks.
I also learned that I need a big sign. I had smaller signs distributed along the tables, but nevertheless, one lady thought my booth was named "Gym Lights". (You'll have to embiggen the photo above to get that.)
The last thing I would say, is that many vendors had the ability to take credit cards, and I didn't. I did lose a few sales to that. Except for one at the end, when my friend Marilyn from Black Water Abbey
(love her and her yarn!) heard what was happening and offered to run it for me. Thank you!
So. Sign, credit cards, more interesting/professional booth display. These are the things I would work on if I were to do it again. Please don't write and say I'm being hard on myself! I am just trying to be objective, and give myself constructive criticism and learn. Read on for the stuff in the "good" column:
Things I wouldn't change: the yarn, the customers, sharing a fun weekend with a great friend. I think I will try to do it again, maybe just 2 or 3 a year, especially shows close by.
Oh yeah, and I won't change the little candy display, (which was a huge hit at Yarn Con with the Candy Corn
). This seasonal display was Easter M&Ms and Easter Basket yarn. Yum and Yum!
Here's one more thing I want to discuss. The use of samples. I have heard so many stories recently about samples being stolen from yarn stores and yarn show booths, so I've a little reluctant to display knitted samples. At Yarn Con, I took a few shawls, scarves, socks and fingerless gloves and kept them under the table and brought them out when people had questions.
However, I know from my own experience how well samples help sell yarn. I have been drawn in many a time to a beautiful shawl hanging in a booth. Before Madison, I knit another little baby sweater
and a pair of booties
to show how much you could get out of one skein. (Yarn color Pale Rose).
I also set out a few scarves and fingerless gloves. It is especially helpful for people who walk in the booth and love the yarn, but don't knit socks, and want some ideas for other things you can do with it.
I think that if, instead of using my own items that I have knit for myself/worn/loved/become attached to, that I knit a few items specifically as samples that I would feel better about using them.
What do you think about samples? What do you like to see? I would love to hear your opinions. Have a great weekend, everybody!
(Cute Baker's Rack above courtesy of my mom. Thanks Mom!)