The Vendors’ Vendor

February was draining in a new way (yay, getting older) so I kinda disappeared. Fear not! I was still active in my workshop and attended some conventions and events. So how about we get caught up on that, shall we?

February 10th was 13GEARS. It was my best year yet, which is always what you hope for going into these things, that you will continue to improve. Things started off slowly, but shot up at the end, which relates to today’s title and something I will talk about more in a bit. For now, they are talking about it being a 2-day event next year and we will see if I can do that or not. Asking for one day in February off is one thing as a florist… two, it will really depend on when, and it is looking right before Valentine’s.

The next weekend, 15th and 16th, I attended and helped run Con of the North. A couple friends and acquaintances run the convention, so I volunteered and got in free, to check it out and see what I thought. Helping run a convention is a lot different than attending or vending and gave me a new perspective on several things- and taught me something about my PayPal Here program in time to use it at Paganicon!

Paganicon is where you could find me March 16th, 17th, and 18th. My very first 3-day event, my first time working with someone else and letting them run things while I was elsewhere, and just a lot of firsts over-all. Each day of selling I did better than the one before it, which I was not exactly expecting. My reading had led me to believe it would be okay the first day, best the second, and kind of slow the third. This, again, relates back to the title and I’m finally going to talk about that…

My third day was best because I got swarmed by ALL THE OTHER VENDORS. Coming out of a great second day, they were looking to buy, and stepping back I’ve noticed this pattern- my biggest set of customers tends to be the other vendors. If I remove their sales, my third day would have been slowest or about tied with the first.

Telling this to a new convention friend, he quipped “I guess you’re the ‘vendors’ vendor!'” and it set me thinking about that. The more I talked about it and thought about it, the truer it rang. There is nothing wrong with that, except if everyone at the show does abysmally (like my worst fail Holiday show last year)… I tend to do worst. At first it bothered me, but again, the more I thought and talked, it became okay.

I am not doing this full time, and I do not want to do this full time. If that sentence were not true, I know my immediate path forward would need to change. The vendors notice me more than the customers because my display is artistic– that is not the best way to sell things. The vendors notice me because my items are unusual– often customers are looking for something less niche.

I hate shipping and I hate listing online and I would certainly need to step up in both if I wanted this to be a full time business. Admittedly, I do want this to be a bit more successful than it has been so far, and I may need to reexamine how I am going about my display, my online presence, and change my priorities…

But those are topics for future posts. Today, I’ve written enough!

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