A scientific* poll has shown that while half of my readers want to know if I made any money, the other half only care about what I was selling and how to make it themselves. Another half of you read this blog just because you feel sorry for me or you're relatives, or both. And no, that's not really three halves since that third half could apply to either of the first two halves. (Oh, yeah, baby. I had higher maths in college. Too much, apparently, and too long ago.) (This is your brain. This is your brain on too much E6000 and too little sleep. Any questions?)
Did I make any money? It depends on how you look at things. Any way you see it, I would be going hungry if this was my livelihood. If you take into account what I paid for the table plus what I paid for materials purchased solely for the sake of making items for this sale, I took in less than $100. If you include the total cost of materials for everything I actually sold, well - I don't want to do that math. I'm not sure about that second figure because so many of the supplies came from my stash. Money spent long ago and beyond remembrance. Now, this next sum doesn't make any sense, because I'm obviously still in possession of the items that didn't sell, but if you want to figure my cost of everything I made vs. what I sold, the numbers are way in the red.
Do I care? No. It doesn't matter to me that I didn't make money. I did this as an experiment, a learning experience. The time and the materials were already going to be spent for what they were spent. I was already going to turn that flannel into baby bibs, that yarn into cupcakes, those dishtowels into aprons. The question only remained, what was I going to do with them? So I thought I'd try to sell a few, but really I just wanted to do that because I wanted there to be a table at this bazaar that was different. And that I was.
For the purposes of this analysis, I am leaving out the quilted items my mother contributed. I displayed those on their own shelves next to the table. The things were lovely. Her workmanship is splendid and in a category far above my own. But to be honest, there were other quilters at this show and Mom's things did not seem out of place in the least. My things, on the other hand...
Here's something for the second half of you: Something I made, and how to make it. Pretty sure I can safely say there was nothing remotely like this on any of the other tables.
These baby onesies were painted with acrylic craft paint that was mixed with a textile medium. I used a straight-forward freezer paper stencil technique. For the lettering I used a set of alphabet punches I bought long ago.
Like almost all of my items, these baby shirts garnered a lot of attention. People stopped to read them and smile and comment. And I could immediately tell who got the w00t and n00b jokes, and who had no clue. Very few got it. Like maybe two people. Are they not funny? Only two of these shirts sold, the Best Gift Ever shirt and the one with the Christmas tree on it. Perhaps my town isn't ready for me yet.
The biggest pro to being in this sale was finding out what the market is like in my town. My skills were appreciated, but my internet-inspired creativity was not mainstream enough for the kind of shoppers this bazaar attracted. I was admired as a seamstress and had many positive comments on all my items, but people seemed to prefer my right-hand neighbor's "country cutesy" bunnies and moose stuff, and pocket change items like an angel made from a pom-pom and a Hershey's kiss, or my left-hand neighbor's plastic canvas pinch-mouth "kissing birds".
The biggest con was that it was a very long day for me. I'd had fewer hours of sleep than I needed due to a last-minute change in plans. (My two best helpers went off to deer camp, with my blessing. But that meant I had to get everything ready and loaded up alone.) So, set-up started around 7:30 AM and I got home again at 6 PM.
Will I do it again? I doubt it. I think I would have more fun shopping next year, rather than selling. And if I don't find "it" there, I'll look on etsy. And if I get some bee in my bonnet about selling my own stuff again, I'll probably do it on etsy as well.
The next three posts will each feature another item and how I made it, and how it sold.
*Scientific. Are you kidding? Yes. I am kidding.