September 24 & 25, 2022 were kind of a big deal for this little Joy Discovers side-hustle: our first booth selling tumbled stones and naturally-formed crystals at affordable prices for kids!
The San Luis Obispo Gem and Mineral Club put on the Gems by the Sea show for the first time at the San Luis Obispo Veteran's Hall. They'd put the show on in the past, pre-COVID, in other venues. This was my first time at the event, as both a member and a vendor.
I'm blessed to have had two friends help me at the booth both days from 10-5. They also helped me set up and take down everything. I'm so lucky. They refused to be paid for their efforts. Joy and Rocko also helped out at the booth for a little while on Saturday morning and were tickled to see themselves on the sign.
Lessons we learned:
- Rocks are heavy (for transporting) but luckily we had a wagon. Lesson: next time leave the extra back stock in the car.
- The lighting wasn't great in the building. We brought lights but possibly not enough. Lesson: bring more lights.
- Items that were better lit sold better. Lesson: bring more lights.
- Keeping things at low price points for kids is my goal, but that meant that despite many transactions, we didn't make as much money as I'd hoped and wished for. We did make enough to pay for my car's new tires! Lesson: make more bundles at higher price points and put them under the lights.
- We were complimented on our display and made an effort to greet everyone walking past. We decided that we deserved the Ms Congeniality award. Lesson: smiles and friendliness matter.
- Part of my display was sand. The kids loved it but some adults found it really distasteful. Lesson: use another substrate next time.
Lots of friends came by to support us and I made new friends at the event! The awesome vendors around us were knowledgeable and generous. THE jade guy was at the booth next to us and gave me tips about how to polish the jade my uncle found at Jade Cove. A talented jewelry maker beside us gifted me with an awesome geode she'd polished and jingle shells from the east coast.
Ultimately, it was worth it and I'd do it again. As an almost total introvert, it was exhausting to extrovert for the weekend. Monday I was a zombie. Tuesday I had the extroversion hangover where I was sure everyone hated me. It's almost a week later and I'm starting to feel normal again.
See you next year at the Gems by the Sea show?