This past weekend I participated in my first ever Renegade Craft Fair Pop-Up.  To say things went well would be an understatement! I made the decision to myself in the weeks leading up to the fair that I was going to sell out of everything and be a big hit.  I guess some of that positive thinking sprinkled with a little bit of prayer action really worked. While I didn’t sell out of everything, I did manage to sell out of a number of products, connect with some really awesome makers, have some wonderful interactions with customers and get some very valuable feedback and first impressions from all of my wonderful new customers.  So I thought I’d document for all of you and for myself some of lessons learned:

1. Cash is King - Regardless of how technologically advanced we are, there will always be a select few that are of the cash and carry kind! For this fair, I thought it would be a good idea to just stick with credit/debit card payments because its quick, easy, and means less hassle for me having to count and keep track of the many dollars bills that I would be making! But then there were those random purchases where the customer wanted to pay cash and I had to awkwardly tell them, “sorry no cash allowed.” I mean seriously, who doesn’t take cash?! So note to self: bring cash!

2. Everything isn’t always what it seems - This is just a friendly reminder to myself and you that just because things may seem bleak in the beginning, doesn’t  mean that will stay that way.  Saturday Morning seemed really bleak for the first day of the RCF. I woke up to a blanket of snow covering all of the streets and sidewalks and not a single person walking the streets. Needless to say I was sure no one would show up and Saturday would be a total bust.  But when you stay prayed up, and ask the good Lord above to bless you, things change for the better. So lesson learned: Pray first, then keep calm and carry on!

3. You are uniquely you - I have to admit I was a little intimidated to see several other brands operating in the same product space as CO. But as the first day went on, that intimidation soon faded as the sale and awesome feedback began to trickle in.  I soon came to realize that there is room for all of us and there is no need too feel intimidated because we are all in our own lanes respectively. 

4) Soak it all in - Midway through my first day of the sale, I realized it’s not all about just selling and making the most money. But it’s about connecting and learning about how your brand is perceived by prospective customers. Take note of the feedback customers offer, pay attention to ways to improve your in-person customer service experience, and new opportunities to grow and expand your business.  I came up with some many awesome ideas that I plan to introduce in 2017.

5) Just have fun! - The days can be long, so make the most of it by connecting with other vendors, shopping the market, and using the downtown time to perfect your sales pitch as the day goes on!  

So thank you Renegade Craft Fair for choosing me to be apart of your awesome Holiday Pop-Up Market.  I’ve learned so much and I can’t wait to participate in another.

Perryn Ford