Monday, December 16, 2013

Rue de Noel antiques and artisans Christmas market report

Well, it's been a week and I think I'm finally recovered enough to report on how my Christmas market went! As a recap, December 6-7 I participated in an 'antiques & artisans' market called Rue de Noel. It was pretty much the sole focus of every minute of free time I had for weeks. The market itself was held indoors, in a vacant retail space in a mall that used to house a Borders bookstore.

There was plenty of space and the aisle were nice and wide. I had many customers tell me that the arrangement was much better than the previous year's market, when it was in a much smaller empty retail space and it was so crowded and jammed with people that they couldn't even shop. We were allowed to set up our booths all day long on Thursday, which was a lifesaver!

On Wednesday we had a huge snowstorm and then that night the temperatures plummeted. The high temps during daylight on Thursday were in the single digits and the parking lot was snowpacked, though the roads were clear. The mall is WAY across town from where I live--a good 35-minute drive, if there is no traffic and if you take the pricey toll road. It took us 2 trips with 2 cars completely full to get everything over there and loading and unloading all of the boxes in the frigid temperatures was no picnic, let me tell you!
Thankfully, with the help of my husband (and the neighbors who watched my kids and let us borrow a truck at the last minute) I was able to get my booth completely set up Thursday night by about 9:30 pm so at least I didn't have to get to the market until 9 am Friday morning to put the finishing touches on everything.

Friday's and Saturday's weather forecast was pretty much the same as Thursday--high daytime temps in the single digits, though much of the day it was below zero. I was so worried that nobody would venture out in the nasty cold weather and I would have a repeat performance of last October's market, where all of my preparation was ruined by the stupid weather.

I needn't have worried, however, because the shoppers turned out in droves! There were so many people waiting to get in the doors the first morning that we let them in 5 minutes early so they didn't have to wait in the cold any longer. My booth was completely slammed just a few minutes after opening and it didn't let up for a couple of hours!
I was absolutely floored at how much stuff I sold on Friday. In fact, by Friday afternoon when things started to slow down a bit, I started to freak out that I wouldn't have anything left to sell the next day! In my downtime I began making a list of things I had at home that I thought I could bring in to sell. I didn't get home until about 8:00 pm and frantically started pulling things out of closets and ransacking my own Christmas boxes to find things to sell! I hurried and was able to make a few tiny things--my husband and even my sweet dad stayed up until midnight with me, sorting buttons and tying ribbons on tags. I got up early the next morning too and put together a few more things to sell so I was able to make the booth look not quite so picked-over.

Saturday was just about as busy as Friday. Tons of shoppers in the morning, and less of a slow-down in the afternoon. Having the market at a mall was definitely a huge advantage because we got the people who came just for the market as well as the people who wandered in from the mall entrance as well! And thankfully for this 8-months-pregnant lady, I was just around the corner from the restrooms and had a great booth neighbor who watched my stuff while I ran to use the facilities!
Things slowed down a lot on Saturday evening. The Mister had to work all weekend long but was able to get out a bit early and come over so that I could have a break and finally walk around and check out the other booths. The market closed at 7:00 pm and my dad brought my kids, and they all helped me break down the booth. Loading up was definitely easier because I'd sold so much inventory, but again the unbelievable COLD made things less than pleasant when the guys were trying to shoehorn everything into our 3 vehicles so that we would only have to make one trip. Then once we were home, we had to completely unload all the stuff into the house. We were all frozen and exhausted by the time all the work was done that night.

In all, the market was a WONDERFUL experience for me! I still can't believe how much I sold. It's funny to look at my photos now and see that almost everything in the pictures sold! I had a mixture of handmade and vintage items, and the majority of the handmade stuff was made with vintage materials. My sales on Saturday were not as high as they were on Friday and I firmly believe it's because I had just run out of things to sell! I absolutely think that if I'd had more stuff to sell on Saturday, I would have sold it. I just plain ran out--in fact, nearly everything that I hurried to make or to dig out when I got home on Friday night did end up selling on Saturday, so it's a good thing I took it with me!

Really, it's a good problem to have--selling more than you expect. I wish I'd been able to make more inventory but honestly I did the absolute best that I could have. I'm actually really proud because the vast majority of things I made were done with materials I already had in my vintage Christmas and craft stashes! I had to purchase another bottle of Mod Podge and some tags, two spools of ribbon, a container of plaster of Paris, a package of bottle brush trees, a large package of chipboard letters and fewer than 5 sheets of fancy scrapbook paper. When you consider the amount of stuff that I made, I think that's pretty remarkable! That goes to show you what kind of a craft/vintage Christmas pack rat I truly am. ;) But see--it all got used! Sometimes it takes me 10 years to get around to using something (like the rub-ons I used on some of my snow globe jars) but I do use it...eventually!

This post is already long enough so I'll do a separate one to show you some of the things I made to sell.



























8 comments:

  1. Wow, Heidi, you have really been busy! Your space looks great! Love the crochet thread snowmen and the trees in the silver baby cups. Thanks for showing us!

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  2. Oh my - It all just looks fabulous! You were busy, busy, busy! I am so happy that it went well and you sold so much! That is fantastic! I LOVE it that you used the tent frame without the actual top so you had display area - that is GENIUS! Love that jar full of Shiny Brites/lamp. I have one - but I love that one too! The old folding ruler in the shape of a tree is genius too! And, I love the banners made out of green BINGO cards - i have packets of red and green BINGO cards in my booth - Now I NEED to go get them so I can make a banner! I am SO proud of you!!!!!!!

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  3. High five on a successful show! Looks wonderful and glad you sold sooo much..such a good feeling!

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  4. Oh Heidi! Your creations are amazing! I especially like the banners (the Santa one may be my favorite.) I'm so glad you had such a wonderful experience!!

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  5. I'm so glad you had an experience like that! I was beginning to lose faith in craft fairs. :) Your stuff is gorgeous! I'm so glad all of that work was worth it!

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  6. Oh how I wish there were shows like this here in AZ! Not any longer...:( I just adore that lamp that is a large jar full of ornaments and the cute Santa shade, do you do custom orders????? What a wonderful crafter! :) Merry Christmas!

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  7. I don't know how you do it! Expecting a new baby and crafting your little heart out...wow! I wish I could have seen your booth in person...I know I would have snatched that bingo card garland out of some woman's hand...lol!

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  8. Glad you had a good show! I've never attended one. ♥

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Spill it!

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