Thursday, 7 November 2013

Christmas At the Forum

Last weekend I participated in Christmas at the Forum.  This is one of the largest craft fairs in our region.  There are close to 700 vendors and they estimate 20000 people come through over the weekend.  Up until now, my largest show was a tenth of that.  They warn you in the pamphlet to ensure you have enough stock for 3 days.  All of these facts meant that I was quite stressed out about having enough stock.  I neglected everything that wasn't an urgent event to make sure I was happy with my stock levels before I left on Thursday.

Friday morning I eagerly awaited "shoppers" I was told would be through on that day, hoping to beat the crowd.  They never came.  There was a good amount of people and I made some sales.  Thanks to 3 quilt sales, by the end of the day I was still on track to hit my minimum goal for the weekend.

On Saturday, the crowd was shoulder to shoulder.  You really had little control over how fast you moved through the show, which I think was a downfall.  If people didn't see something at first glance, they weren't inclined to fight the crowd to really stop and look.

So many people loved the moustaches :)
 On Sunday, there was very little traffic and near to no "shoppers".  Which I fully expected. Sunday tends to be filled with browsers at all of the shows I have participated in (and in the retail shop where I work part time as well!). 

There were definitely some highlights to the show.  On Friday evening, Adrienne from Chezzetcook Modern Quilts came to visit!  It was so awesome to meet a quilty friend in real life.  She is just as sweet and friendly as she comes across in her blog.  And she leaked the news that she was registering a Maritime Modern Quilt Guild!!  I am so excited to be a part of this :)  And the people who stopped and chatted were amazing.  I gave out oodles of business cards and answered questions about custom orders. 

Definitely my biggest sellers!
But at the end of the weekend, this was really about sales and business.  I put a lot of time and money into attending and preparing this show.  I did not hit my minimum goals.  And I heard from many vendors around me that it was a slow year compared to last.  I am still on the fence about next year.  A few custom quilt orders would increase the odds.  But I know that if I do attend, my expectations will be lower.  Which will have the benefit of reducing the stress/workload that goes into it. 

If anyone has specific questions, I am more than happy to answer :)


  1. I'm so sorry that you did nt get to meet your goals. But thank you for sharing, it is nice to hear what it is really like to take quilting to the next level of being a business. On the bright side - for me anyway - I was so glad to meet you!

  2. I too tried my first craft fair this year... Also disappointing. If I had a salesman with the "gift" of selling with me, I might try it again but I'm not one to put myself out there or push my things onto people.