Tuesday, October 26, 2010

SAFF Report

The Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair (aka SAFF) took place last weekend.  Ever throw a party for about 6,000 of your closest friends?  I have to say that I had a great time - in a number of ways.  The event was very well attended with only a few bumps in the road.  The weather was perfect; the animals were cute; the shows went off without a hitch.  Even with a smaller board of directors, our synergy worked very well. 

I shared a vendor booth with 2 other people.  I sold dyed and natural roving and washed fiber, my own hat patterns, sock yarn and felting needles.  I sold lots of other things too, but that was my bread and butter.  I also got good feedback on the dyed fiber and patterns.  I did okay - and my expectations were not terribly high.  I have never been a vendor at this large an event before.  My prices were in line with other vendors of my ilk.  I am not trying to compete with the fellow down the way who imports large quantities of fiber and close-out yarns.  I cannot compete with full service fiber shops - that's okay!  I had a small investment and for the most part I had a mix of product that people wanted at reasonable price points. I'm happy to report that even though I came home with some beautiful local alpaca-cormo roving, some killer mohair locks (both from my booth-mate) and a part for my spinning wheel, I did not go crazy with the other vendors.  While there I spun the yarn I really need to make - plain vanilla and well as a pretty dyed BFL!  I took home a lot of dyed roving, all of which will be used to stock my Etsy shop and the local yarn shops.

Next year I will do a couple of things differently. I need to write a couple of new patterns.  I think that my hats are so simple, but people kept asking for patterns for 'Skater Boy' and the 'Yet-to be-Named' hat that I have been knitting of late.  I also need to arrange my booth in a better way so that people can really see and touch the dyed fiber.  I used a very sweet pumpkin of my own design (is it possible?) to demonstrate needle felting and sell felting needles.  People wanted to buy the pumpkin and kits.  Next year - make kits.  Also I need to dye more heather roving. That sold first!  Who knew?  I was so focused on merino, that I really missed a good opportunity for needle felters and rug braiders.

SAFF has been a big deal - both in the planning and the booth prep during a very busy time at work.  As a board member, I have had a good bit of stress, though I just love the event.   I have some new things to share n the blog soon - People have made some very nice things from my fiber.  I'm happy to get back to real life

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