I recently completed my first big craft fair and it was a great experience in so many ways. I had only done a couple of really small shows previously (1-2 days, a couple of hundred attendees) when I decided to inquire about the Knott’s Berry Farm annual Knott’s Merry Farm Christmas Crafts Village. Those of you who might not be familiar with Knott’s Berry Farm, it is a theme park located in Southern CA, a few miles from Disneyland and has an average attendance of 10,000 people per day.
When I reached out to Knott’s, they were in the final stages of choosing the vendors so I went in right away to meet with them and show them my product. I got word that same afternoon that I was chosen. I was so excited and really didn’t have much time to be scared! This was a 44-day long event from Nov. 21- Jan 4, with the hours mirroring those of the theme park, which were 10am – 10pm on most days with the only day off being Christmas Day. I thought about how much exposure I would get, and being a new company, I went all in!
People ask me if it was successful. I know they mean “profitable”; I sold a fair amount of my product and never had a “zero” day, so I consider it successful. But really as a new business just starting out, it is much more about making connections – with customers as well as other vendors, some of whom I now consider mentors and friends.
Miriam, who owns Daffodil Gems Soap said to me “it took a lot of guts for you to do this fair as one of your first, I admire that!” - we are looking at opportunities to work together at another fair. Claudia, who owns The Stitching Station is taking me under her wing for a local craft fair that has been around for 25 years, by allowing me to share her booth and giving me invaluable insight into how to market my business at shows.
To be honest, if I had really thought about the time commitment and the enormity of the Knott’s Christmas Crafts Village, I may not have moved forward with it. But sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and I am so thankful that I did! I met some wonderful customers, and had some connections I would never have had the opportunity to have otherwise. I wrote about one of the most extraordinary ones here; sometimes it’s not at all about making a sale.
So, what has been your leap of faith? And how did it work out for you?
Would love to hear your stories!