Show Report

by bethwicker on December 11, 2008

I did my final show of the year on Wednesday.  It was a new one for me, in a new setting – it was a Holiday Bazaar held by the Hospital Auxiliary to benefit the NC Children’s Hospital in Chapel Hill, NC.  Booth fee was $75 for a 6 foot table, and since it was my first time and I was going to have to fork out for a motel room I only booked the one table (usually I use 2 tables).

The prospectus had said set up would begin at 8 with booths to be ready by 9:30, which I knew would be a bit tight for me, but probably just barely doable.  Then last week I got an e-mail saying my assigned drop off time was 8:50 – to drop off at least 10 minutes; drive to the parking deck, park, walk back to the hospital – at least 10 minutes.  So 20 minutes to set up???? No way!!  I e-mailed back and said  that wouldn’t work, could I arrive at 7?  They said they guessed so, but no one would be there to help me.  That was fine, I got my brother to meet me at the motel at 6:45 and we drove up, unloaded, grabbed a bagel, and he headed off for the day while I started setting up.

My first sale came just after 9:30, well before the 10 am opening time.

Since UNC is a huge hospital, I had anticipated big crowds, and hoped for a high sales volume.  Hope does spring eternal.  I got neither 🙁

I made cost and a modest profit, so it wasn’t a loss, but not the profit I had hoped for.  I will do it again, but try to find someone to stay with so that I don’t have the hotel expense on top of the booth fee and gas.

It was an interesting show – next to me on one side was a double table of Cookie Lee jewelry run by two very nice ladies.  I had never heard of Cookie Lee – “fine fashion” jewelry – rhodium plated not silver or gold or anything… but you can buy some kind of coating to paint over your jewelry so you don’t react to it!!!  (big excitement while saying this on the part of the sales ladies”).  Ok.  Right.  Big sigh.  They seemed to do a world of business, and worked on booking lots of “parties”.

On my other side was an Ardonne skin care booth with two very nice ladies, also booking parties.  They did a slam up business all day.  On their other side was a lady with beaded necklaces, then handmade aprons and maybe soaps….  Across was a lady radiology tech who had gorgeous xray images of flowers – really very nicely done.  Then a booth by the pediatric floor with baked goods, mugs, and t-shirts, then a lady with decorative accent furniture and some handmade decoupage necklaces.  On the other side of the Cookie Lee ladies was an Usborne book booth, then a friend of mine from the NC Society of Goldsmiths.  Across from her was another mass produced in China jewelry booth.  Up at the main entrance was a 5 table Mary Kay jewelry and cosmetic booth…

You get the idea.  Quite a mix!

The pieces I sold ranged from $5 to $200, with most being under $50.  Well under.  I had thought being a hospital there might be doctors with money, but if there were they weren’t spending it there!

A couple of neat things did happen though.  I had a lady stop by who wanted to take jewelry classes, and I gave her my card and said e-mail me – there is a neat lady outside of Pittsboro (a city nearby) who teaches and I’ll give you her contact info.  So just a bit later who wanders by?  Monnda Welch herself!  Workshop giver extrodinaire.  Turned out she had a booth just up the way!  So the next lady who wanted lessons got pointed straight to Monnda <vbg>.

Then I had another lady walk up and introduce herself; she had just left her husband for a bone scan, and a joint friend and Orchidian Jeanette Baugh had asked her to look me up!  Pretty cool!  It was great to meet Trish, and then she called Jeanette and we got to chat – very neat.

Then finally my $200 sale was a triple strand hand knotted pearl necklace, sold with matching earrings in a presentation box to one of the staff members whose daughter graduates from college in speech pathology this coming Saturday.  Pretty cool – she took my card, and plans to have me make a matching set for the next daughter when she graduates.

It was very interesting being next to the manufactured non-precious material jewelry, and seeing the looks on people’s faces when I explained that yes, I made everything myself, and yes, these were real pearls and gemstones!

And finally, yes Hans – I remembered to take pictures this time!!! <vbg>  Below is a picture of my booth.  The signs on the table skirting have American flags at the top; the Artisans of the South Carolina Cotton Trail (a juried group) on the bottom, and say “handmade in the Carolinas”.  Just to help emphasize that yes, I DO make all this myself!!

My booth

My booth

You can see the edge of the Ardonne skin care booth to the right.

Cookie Lee booth

Cookie Lee booth

This is the double Cookie Lee booth to my left.

Ardonne booth and beyond

Ardonne booth and beyond

This is the Ardonne booth, and the lady with the beaded necklaces, and then the aprons, etc.


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

hansmeevis December 13, 2008 at 12:42 pm

Sounds and looks like an interesting show, Beth.
Not making a loss on a first show is good.
Cheers, Hans

John Atwell Rasmussen December 11, 2008 at 9:03 pm

Great story Beth. Glad you at least broke even. I guess it was good that there was not a lot of direct competition; and who knows what the population in a completely new area/show will actually be interested in. Enjoy the Holidays; unfortunately, I have the duty weekend over Christmas, so I’ll be chained to my cellular leash.


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