Saturday, November 14, 2009

Craft Fair Bust! And I can't blame it on Friday the 13th.

For the past 15 years, the UT has allowed it's crafters to take over a portion of the seating area of the cafeteria for an employee holiday craft fair. They provide the tables and chairs and we get to spend three hours manning a craft table for free to a captivated audience.

It was a sweet deal when I first started participating back in 2004. That year, the fair had a record 38 crafters. Competition was fierce for fellow UT'ers hard earned green. I had about 4 other jewelry designers to compete with but I still made more money in those 3 hours selling my jewelry than I had all year.

Every year since then, sales have slumped. It coincided with the UT's announcement of golden handshakes and impending layoffs. No one could have forseen in 2005 the devestation our company and the economy would go through.

Fast forward to yesterday and it should be no surprise that our merry band of crafters couldn't escape the turmoil. There were 11 sellers: 3 were selling food, 5 of us were jewelry designers and the other 3 were selling various crafts. Taking into account the time and energy I spent getting ready for the fair, I didn't even break even.

Sad. Very sad.

But on a happy note, the new resin coated photo pendants were a huge hit. And, better still, my favorite big glass chunk pendant of Yosemite found a happy home (thanks Alex!).

And, as I find myself saying a lot lately...

There's always next year.


  1. Ani,
    I'm so sorry about the UT craft fair! I have you beat by a long shot, though. The del mar holiday market had about 20 vendors, beautiful accomodations, and supposedly 3000 invites sent out. Maybe 150 people came by, mostly to have a drink or bid the silent auction. We didn't even sell a single card!!! not a set, nothing, not a single $4.50 card!! The other vendors fared just as badly. The woman next to us who has been selling jewelry for 20 years started packing up early. It was so disappointing! It made me miss the UT craft fair!!! And we had to pay $50 for our table! At least you broke even, we made a donation to cystic fibrosis, I suppose. Miss you! (no baby yet, by the way) -cristina

  2. Yikes! So sorry Cristina...that sounds awful. I had high hopes that you would do well. We had VERY little customers coming by. Remember those large lunch crowds that always descended upon the 5th floor between noon and 2? Definitely a thing of the past! No large crowds up there now. No wonder Roxanne says they're struggling too. Anyway, I did well only because 2 repeat customers each bought one of my more normal priced and Liz, the Atex trainer and I have talked about some of the pieces I wear so she came to work that day prepared to buy something from me. She bought one too. The rest of my sales were the photo pendants. Anyway, truly hope next year is better. Now I have to get off my butt and list these pieces on Etsy to see if I can get sales by Christmas to make it up. Keep me posted on Baby Byvik! :-) Miss you too... xo



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