Candy Cane socks! They made quite a statement at the vendor event I went to yesterday, an event that was decidedly underwhelming, attendance wise, to say the least. With vendor events, you take your chances. You set up a table with your small business items (in my case, adornable.u jewelry) and then you wait. Sometimes, the waiting pays off and you make a sale or get a new contact. At this particular event, there were plenty of vendors. From that perspective, it should have been a wonderland for any Christmas shopper. However, it had not been advertised well. Since sales depend on people seeing our products, and people didn’t know we were there, sales were flat for everyone.
The organizer, a genial round woman in her best winter tank top, sold the kind of jewelry that costs less than minimum wage and can fill up a jewelry box for only a couple of sawbucks. (That’s $20 to you youn’uns.) She was, of course, as organizers generally do, set up in the prime spot, while the rest of us were down the hall in two separate banquet halls. Not the ideal set-up, to say the least. By 1:30, an hour and half before the event was supposed to end, at least a third of the vendors had packed up and left. The foot traffic was as minimal as the organizer’s prices.
Now, Miss Organizer did her best to try to placate the rest of us. She was a nice person, but this was definitely not a good event, and she knew it. A-schmoozing she did go from table to table, laughing and talking. I watched with bored interest as she neared my table. It took awhile for her to make her jovial rounds.
Finally, she made it over to me. By this time, I had a made a small sale and was no longer feeling like I had wasted my day entirely. I smiled as she glanced at some of my pieces. I told her about adornable.u and my Black Friday sale. She kind of sniffed and proceeded to tell me that her every day prices were “lower-than-my-Black-Friday-prices,” and that was why she liked her line better. Although, as a caveat, she added that mine was nice too.
She explained that at her prices, ladies can afford to buy more and exchange pieces easily and quickly because they were cheap. (Her words, not mine.) She proceeded to tell me a story. Allow me to paraphrase:
“One of my leaders was mugged. They grabbed her purse. She was fighting them off when one of them grabbed her necklace in an attempt to choke her. You know, some necklaces wouldn’t have broken at that point, and she would have ended up dead because he would have choked her with her necklace. Fortunately, she was wearing one from my line of jewelry. When he grabbed it to choke her, it broke right away! He fell backwards, and she was able to escape! All because her necklace broke. Isn’t that great? And you know what? Who cares?? It was only (insert low price here) dollars anyway! No great loss, and it saved her life!”
She ended her story by reiterating that her leader’s life was saved because her jewelry broke. And hey, it was no big loss because it didn’t cost much to begin with. Then she breezed away, moving on to the next table and never looking back.
Maybe it’s just me. Times, they are a-changin’ and a gal has to keep up. But, I have never in my life heard of using “my product is cheap and breakable” as a selling point. Oddly, I’m not sure what I learned here. Was it ‘be careful about the message your stories tell?’ Or perhaps, ‘ignorance is bliss?’ Or even a lesson in how to turn a negative like breakage into a positive benefit like a life saved. I’m still chuckling about it today which is why I wore socks with cozy mittens that say, “Ho Ho.” After yesterday, I needed a good laugh. Merry Christmas!