Saturday, 23 July 2011

Craft Shows .. do's and don'ts??

So my friend Megan over at The Mrs.  is doing a craft-fair link up party and asked me to join in.

There are some really great articles on there with lots of tips and advice for anyone wanting to participate in a craft fair.  So I'm not really sure what else I can add to all the awesome tips that people have already put up.. but here goes :-)

I've only done 4 craft fairs in my short little crafty life (notice I said crafty life.. not life!!)  My BEST one to date was definitely the most recent one this July 1st for Canada Day.  And it got me to thinking about why?? At all of the shows I have gotten tonnes of compliments on my work.. but the first 3 were nothing like I had hoped they would be with respect to sales.  And.. to be honest.. as much as I wanted people to like what I created, I wanted them to buy it just as much!!!

So for this craft fair I figured that since I have a good stock now, I didn't need to worry so much about "would I have enough?"  I know now that I'm not going to sell out and come home with just my tables and a pocket full of cash .. ok.. I know it.. but I still want that.. LOL.  No.. this time I decided to focus on my display.. to make that creative, to make it more inviting somehow.  Since I sell small items like jewelry and magnets, it doesn't matter how creative I am with them, if I can't draw people in then I'm not going to sell anything. ..... make sense???

And... I'm SO blessed to have met up with some very creative people on facebook, and my friend Tricia from I Heart Rock n Roll (and my crafty things too) also happened to be doing a craft show not long before mine and she posted a great tutorial for a display she made (see here ---> Picket Fence Tutorial ) .. anyways.. to make a long story shorter.. it gave me some ideas of my own.  I bought and painted and made my own necklace holders (yep.. you can even check it out here ---> Jewelry holder tutorial  , I painted wooden stands bought from thrift stores, and my AWESOME hubby and kids built me a wooden riser to fit my table so that I could add some height and depth to my one table.  All in all.. I loved my display.  There are still things I'm planning on adding to it, but I was so thrilled with it and I think my enthusiasm showed!!

Here's some of the pics from it: 

oh.. and it wasn't the greatest of July days.. so ya know.. bare with me on the darker pics

What people walking by saw: 

This wasn't the end result.. if you look reaaaallll hard you can see my cork board in the back right hand corner... I ended up moving it to the front left side... and almost sold out of everything I had to put on that board!!!

My magnets and Canada Day pins.. they started out semi-organized and ended up being quite the jumble by the end of the day.. I just couldn't keep up

The next few are of my larger table.. see the 3 canvases.. yup.. painted by yours truly (artists of the world you have nothing to fear.. LOL)

My first few craft shows I had the majority of my necklaces as just pendants, neatly displayed in a couple of nice wooden trays.. This time I put a chain on every single one and laid everything out.. I'll tell you.. I sold 50 necklaces that day.. yes.. 50 .. compared to only 4 or 5 at each other craft show over 2 days!!!  (but I also had a pricing strategy this time.. so read on :-D )

and last, but not least, my cute little cork board that I hung my leather corded necklaces from
this is the board I ended up moving over to the front side of the tent.. and it seemed to work!!!

And lastly.. I also worked on a pricing strategy.. specific for the day..

Canada Day was a day of fun.. people weren't out like at a fall craft fair.. looking for Christmas presents , they were out to have a great day of celebrations and to party.  So for me to sell jewelry and magnets, and headbands etc etc, I figured I would have to:

1) Have a price point for the day that wasn't too high since it would be more of an impulse purchase for most people and
2) Make my price point something that was easy to part with cash wise (ie.. like a $5 bill , or a $10 bill.. something where people weren't going to have to hand over multiple bills unless they were buying more than one item.  
.. Now.. did I take a hit on my profits.. yes.. a large one.. BUT.. I acheived what I wanted to that day.. a lot of sales.. and .. a lot of sales with people taking home something with MY business name on it.. access to my email, and to my facebook account. 

I guess my advice to anyone wanting to do a craft fair is this... research each particular one.. don't assume that what you have for sale is what people want at every fair.  And then.. if you still decide that a fair is something you want to do.. plan your strategy for display and price according to the market you're going into.. some artisan markets you can price higher.. some you have to price lower.. but.. LOVE what you do, and have FUN doing it.. greet each and every potential customer (makes them feel liked.. and cuts down on theft).. and no matter what.. SMILE .. if you look like you're having a bad day.. no one is going to want to spend money or ask a question.

Well.. I hope this helps someone.. and if not.. I hope you can send me some of your ideas to help improve on mine :-) .. Have a great day all!!!

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