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New York Maker Faire Recap

04 October

We are finally recovered from our first New York Maker Faire, September 23rd and 24th.  It was both the best and worst show this year, as only New York can do.

I’m going to give a bit more detail than I usually do, in the interests of transparency.

Unfortunately it wasn’t all shiny.

The Bad

The weather.  NY had a freak fall heat wave.  It was deadly hot, 90 degrees all weekend and we were outside in a tent.  Thank goodness there was air conditioning nearby in the Science Center or we would have been roasted alive.

Shipping.  Our box almost didn’t get there, arriving at 5pm on Friday after multiple days of calling them.  Lesson learned: going the cheapest route is not always best.

We had things stolen.  This has NEVER happened to us at a show before.  We always expected to lose a few items because we can’t see the front of the display when we are behind the table.  Good news, most people are honest, except in NY.  I haven’t done inventory yet, but we lost at least 5 items, 3 of which were higher priced.  Grrr.  This is why we have insurance.

The Good

We had a web interview with Geek of Chic!  Look for that to come out in a few months.

The Science Center.  It was really really cool, and not just because of the air-conditioning.  You should go if you are nearby.

PROFIT!  The show paid for itself by 3pm on Saturday, even with shipping and NY expenses.  We were so busy at one point we had 3 people in line waiting to pay.  It is not normal for us to make a large profit at a show.  We view them as a long term investment and are happy to break even.  They pay off in the long run as people we add to the mailing list buy something when Christmas rolls around.  Or we get large kit orders later on from schools and non-profits.

The Breakdown

Below are a few pie charts showing items we sold relative to others.

As usual necklaces are our biggest seller.  Kits were second because this was a Maker Faire.

I am always fascinated by the balance between bare circuit board jewelry, LED solar powered jewelry, and soldering kits.  New Yorkers didn’t flinch at our prices, opting more than usual to go blinky.

The Conclusion

Will we do it again?  Probably, but it will be a year or two.  There are so many other great shows and only so much money and vacation time.

4 Responses to “New York Maker Faire Recap”

  1. Cat October 5, 2017 at 1:11 pm #

    Thanks for sharing, Robin! Glad it went well (for the most part). 🙂

  2. Tanya October 5, 2017 at 2:03 pm #

    Thanks for this great writeup, Robin. I’m glad for all that went well, sorry about the rest, but it’s all part and parcel, I guess.

  3. Karen Star October 14, 2017 at 8:12 pm #

    Every large city is plagued by pickpockets & thieves. These people think they are making a “living” but nothing is made by them. They are parasites sucking the life out of hard-working folks.

    Maybe its time to cover the front with clear acrylic. Customers can see your stuff, but you must hand it to them. It won’t stop every loss, but you won’t lose as much. Good luck

    Don’t let them steal your sparkle!.

    • Lumen Electronic Jewelry October 15, 2017 at 11:33 am #

      It is very frustrating to have items you worked hard to design and build stolen. However we have been to dozens of shows for the past 5 years, in big and small cities, and this is the first time anything has disappeared. I take the larger view that most people are good and that trust pays off on the whole.

      I know high end jewelry stores put their merchandise behind glass, and it makes sense when your items cost thousands. If we start making higher end items we may go this route.

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