My stepmother and her mother have been selling at the Maple Leaf Festival for years, so they are old pros at it. This is the only event they do all year, so they really go all out. They sell everything from quilted Christmas tree skirts and table runners, to aprons, to just about every handmade goodie you can think of for little ones, from blankets to bib sets, taggie balls, to the cutest dollies and stuffed animals you can imagine, a few of which I will show you below. This year, my step-sister contributed knitted scarves and I contributed purses, crayon rolls, coffee cozies and some custom hand made towels. I cannot tell you how proud I was of all the handmade goodness we had in our booth....there is really something special about joining together with your family to offer something you made with your own two hands. I only hope I get to do it again.
So, without further ado, here are pics of just a few of the wonderful goods we had in our booth.
So, here are the top things I learned from selling for the very first time:
1. I have no idea what, if anything, will sell. I made a fun purple sling bag because it is the school colors of my high school and it did not sell. My most expensive item, on the other hand, sold first.
2. If someone has to work too hard to figure out what an item is for, they will not buy it, even if they think it is clever once they figure it out. I had a na-nillion people pick up the Coffee Cozies, and even though I had one on a coffee cup as a display, I barely sold any. But everyone picked one up to try to figure it out.
3. Because I am still so new to sewing, it is emotional for me to watch strangers pick up my items, try them on, turn them over, and carry them around only to put them back. A part of me felt like I was being "judged" with each person I watched. I wonder if this changes over time?
4. I really pay attention now at the Maple Leaf Festival to the difference between an item that is handmade and an item that is simply being "distributed". There were several vendors that were selling purses that were made in a factory and the vendor was simply reselling them.
5. On that note, I am AMAZED at all the handmade goodness at the Festival and I cannot wait to share my handmade purchases later in the week!