What I learned about craft fairs this weekend: Lesson 1 -- Fair weather fairgoers

At the Shoreline Art Festival
Stop in the name of HEAT!
Craft fairs can be inspiring, exhausting, invigorating, tedious, and lots of fun. I experienced it all this past weekend at the Shoreline Arts Festival.

One of the goals I gave myself was to try to learn as much as I could -- about who my customers are, what they like and don't like, how to succeed at a craft fair, and why I make what I do. Here's the first lesson I learned (more to follow in future posts).

Lesson #1: Good weather doesn't always mean good sales. 

For months, I worried about cold drizzly rain, typical for June in the Northwest and certain (I thought) to keep people away. But this weekend was the hottest of the year -- a sizzling 80 degrees F. I was lucky to have a table in the shade for most of the day. It was fun seeing folks wearing real summer clothes -- sun dresses, tube tops, silly t-shirts. 
Weather and craft fairs
Yes it's clip art. But it was that hot!
But it turns out that hot weather doesn't always equal hot sales. I chatted with other vendors, and each had their own theory about why. People were out on their boats. Hot weather brings out more "looky loos" who come just to enjoy the day. Rain keeps customers focused on buying. Everything looks the same when you're wearing shades. Who knows? 
fair goer wearing sunglasses
It's all the same to me.
In the spirit of making lemonade out of (climate) lemons, I used the heat to show off my upcycling ingenuity (and indulge in subtle marketing). The first day I saw lots of fairgoers using whatever paper they could find to improvise hand fans. That night, I experimented with some extra large playing cards in my stash. I wanted something easy to make and able to withstand vigorous waving. I came close, but my husband perfected the design. I'll write another post describing how to make one.
Fan made out of playing card
I played the cards I was dealt, weatherwise.
Next: Lesson 2...