Friday, April 09, 2010

My Big Crafty Sale!

The more I think about the prospect of moving so many crafty supplies the more I am convinced that they must be sold. At first I thought I would sell them on the auction we'd be having April 24, but there are just too many. I suspect the prices would just be too low (too few people at the auction, too many items, and too little time ... any economist would be able to forecast the results of that formula!) Discussing this with Katy one afternoon caused her to suggest a separate sale ... just crafts. It took me a bit to agree as our schedule has already been pretty tight ... I couldn't see how I would have time to pull that off.  She agreed to help by arriving the Thursday evening prior to the sale (the only weekend available would be April 9-11 as we were having our discussion on March 28th!). 

My friend, Kim, spent many days prior to the sale ... helping me sort through supplies and get them boxed up for the ride to Summit Evangelical Free Church in Alta where the sale was going to be conducted. Turns out this process was much harder than I'd expected! 

Kim and I would go to my precious little craft cottage ... pick a corner ... and get started. My resolve to "sell it all" would melt away and I'd find myself creating a Keep box and a Sell box.  Then I would sleep on it and by morning I'd be convicted and move things from the Keep pile over to the Sell pile.  

Thus it went, craft by craft, until the day before the sale!  Working my way through all of my beloved crafts ... card making, scrapbooking, knitting, lace making, rug weaving, sewing, painting, gardening, cooking ... a slow and rather tender process of letting go ... each day bringing a surprising new freedom ... freedom from the years of unfinished (yet loved) projects ... turns out allowing myself to let go of all my old ideas/inspirations/plans created a newfound horizon for future possibilities. Even to the point that it invaded my dreams! I was letting-go in my nightly dream-life ... amazing ... Who knew something so difficult would be so rewarding?!

As the supplies were getting prepared, I also got busy making posters to put up in a variety of locations around town. Facebook helped me get the word out, as did an ad in the local paper and an announcement at MOPS (Mothers of PreSchoolers). There wasn't much time but somehow we managed!

The sale would be April 9 from noon to 8pm. Due to restrictions at the church we wouldn't be able to do any setup until the morning of the sale ... something that would be challenging at best! Then, the day before the sale the church secretary called to say we could setup that afternoon/evening! I quickly called Becky (another good friend) who'd offered to help us ... she could help, so Bruce and I drove a full 8'x12' enclosed trailer to Alta. Becky arrived just as we began to bring the first few boxes into the building. We spent about 5 hours unloading and setting up. There was no time to get all the pricing done so we decided to just trust the Lord to manage that little detail! For the most part our pricing strategy went like this:
  • Papers were $0.75 per pound (crazy cheap!) ... regardless of the type of paper (so, even the beautiful petallics and gold glitter papers!)
  • Envelopes were priced by the piece or by the box (yes, there were boxes of 250 envelopes in my stash!)
  • Everything was "Make an Offer"

The morning of the sale I got word that my sister, Sandy, and neice, Laura, and her new little baby, Darrin, would be coming to help! WOW! This was a big answer to prayer! Sandy and Laura are both crafters, so would be infinitely helpful at the sale. They could answer questions, help people with their price/offers, keep things organized, etc. God is so Good!

We spent the morning of the sale making pricing signs and getting a pay station set up near the church entrance. Kim and Katy would be the cashiers (I really didn't want to know what people were offering to pay for my beloved supplies.) Kim's familiarity with paper products (from the old Print Shop days!) was a great help! And her trust in God's provision and understanding of the mission made all the different at the pay station!

During the sale I tried to keep things organized, help people find matching/coordinating supplies or explain just what some of those supplies were meant to be used for! I had supplies for all kinds of fun crafty-artsy activities ... some not so obvious to figure out as others!

All proceeds from this sale were being used to buy sewing machines for the young ladies graduating from the Aim Asia orphanage in India this spring so I was really hoping we would raise at least $700 - $900. 

The day before the sale I was talking about the goals with Bruce and said, "Wouldn't it be amazing if God used the sale to raise enough money to buy ALL the machines they need plus enough to send one young lady to the university?"  A goal that would require $1400. We both knew how much "stuff" I had, but this seemed pretty unlikely ... a nice goal though.

Craft Sale results? When everything "cleared" ... we ended up with $1520! God is So Good!  Not only that, but we ended up going home with almost 50% of the supplies, a much more realistic amount for an auction. Did I mention that God is Good? All the Time!!!

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