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Etsy Made in NL market 2017

TGL booth at Etsy Made in NL craft fair - 25-11-2017

Etsy Made in NL market 2017

Long evenings of soldering, woodburning, printing, aging paper, moulding, and stressing have resulted in the biggest stock I’ve ever had and a very fun – but also a little scary – first time at a craft fair: Etsy Made in NL 2017. The first dutch edition of an Etsy market, organised in several cities in The Netherlands. It was early, cold and exhausting, but very much worth it! If you like a story about my personal experience, read along.

This year, the dutch Etsy team organised several Etsy markets in The Netherlands. As I had noticed before, Etsy isn’t as big in The Netherlands as it is in countries as the US or the UK. Almost all my online customers are from abroad, most of them from outside of Europe. And when I tell people in my area I run an Etsy shop, they usually look at me with a please-enlighten-me-about-this-Etsy-thing-you’re-talking-about-face. So I explain it to them and generally they are very excited about the Etsy concept. So organising an event to make people in The Netherlands more familiar with Etsy was in my opinion a very good idea. But most of all: it would be my very first offline selling platform to participate in.

After getting a hold of a booth at the Utrecht edition of the Etsy market, I then quickly had to think of all the things that were going to be needed to make this a succes. And the thing that took me the most time to accomplish was a very large stock. (Maybe I was optimistic, but it would be a shame if I’d run out of stock half-way through the event. Also, even if I didn’t sell anything I could still use all the crafted items to sell through the Etsy website or my own webshop.)

I need deadlines to accomplish things, so this event would be the perfect opportunity to introduce some new products. I created a new newspaper poster called “The Raven’s Word” – a newspaper about all things happening in the fairy tale world – and I finally finished the glowing mushroom nightlight project I’ve been working on for almost a year. (Yes, a year. I am THAT slow.) It went from concept/prototype to finished product in a matter of weeks! Thanks to Etsy NL for providing me with this much needed external pressure.

The Gloomy Light booth with mushroom lights display - Etsy made in NL craft fair 2017
The Gloomy Light booth with mushroom lights display at the Etsy made in NL craft fair 2017

The actual booth I created only a few days before the event. Of course, they provided my with a table, but I still needed to make it look like “The Gloomy Light” and not like “hey here’s some awesome stuff on a table with no price tags on them so if you’re interested just ask me about them”. I’m very much into theme design, so I had much fun creating my own booth that says “here fairy tales do come to life”.

It’s always scary to present something to the world you’ve been working on for such a long time. What if nobody likes it? What if it breaks? What if they think it’s too expensive? I put a lot of hard work in all of my items, and it did cross my mind that I might not sell anything. But people got very excited by my booth and especially the mushroom lights were a great succes! I could spot some fans of fiction and fairy tales among the very diverse audience, who recognised certain tales in my items I’ve been inspired by. And I did sell some items, so it was a great day for business too.

Not everything did go to plan though; even though we were in a greenhouse, the events was really cold. So we used our cups of tea provided by the organisation to put between our feet and thaw our toes. Also, the banner almost didn’t fit into the car, our car broke down and I cut my thumb and almost bled all over the writing paper and posters. But I met many great new people, had so much fun watching everyone be excited over the mushroom lamps, really enjoyed making some Harry Potter fans happy with a set of posters and loved to see that almost every kid at the fair dragged their parents to my booth to “look at all the pretty things”.

The Gloomy Light booth at the Etsy made in NL craft fair, 25-11-2017
The Gloomy Light booth at the Etsy made in NL craft fair on November 25th 2017

The Etsy Made in NL market was a great way to try out offline-selling and meet other Etsy sellers (who all made so many awesome things!). I loved seeing and talking to my customers for a change and I learned a lot about selling at a craft fair. Next time I’ll try to find a booth at a fantasy/fiction oriented event.

On what event would you like to see my shop with a booth? Let me know in the comments!