Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Good morning all - well I am finally making progress on my jewelry for the upcoming Christmas Craft show I have this weekend. If anyone knows where Hartsdale, NY is - you are all invited! I was up until about 1am working on my jewelry, so I finally feel like I have accomplished something. Speaking of craft fairs, I have an article listed today regarding Craft Fairs. Check the attached link below for "Saras Texture Crafts." Just a few suggestions for those getting started doing Craft Fairs. I am sure by next year the list will be 2x as long as I am sure there is still a lot more to learn. Enjoy your day, as for me, I am going to attempt to do another Christmas charm bracelet - then I am off to join my daughter for lunch to celebrate her birthday. Yes, I did get her gift on ETSY!!!!!
Posted: 27 Nov 2008 02:34 AM CST
I have noticed in many of the Forums the past few days that the question of Craft Fairs has come up. It is also that time of year to be thinking about Christmas/Holiday Fairs. The main question seems to be "what should I expect." Believe it not, I have only been doing Craft Fairs for about a year; but within that time I learned so much, and would like to share my experiences, observations and thoughts.Of course, the main thing is signing up. Easy you say: well not exactly. First thing to consider, is the Fair going to be in a place where there would be a lot of traffic (people!). Definitely consider doing a show if it is in a town, esp. one that is well known, or an area that will attract a lot of people. I will start with my bad experience (so definitely omit this from your lists): my friend and I, another Estian, signed up for a triad of Fairs in CT, which has a lot of beautiful, and very old fashioned towns. Thinking we had it made, we arrived at the first one. It was on a small lot in the middle of no where, and only 10 vendors. No traffic, no people, and NO sales! If this weren’t bad enough – it had poured the night before, so the whole area was soaking wet and muddy. After that we checked on the remaining two Fairs, well each was a worse area then the first – one, was on the lawn of an old-aged home! Needless to say, the first one was enough for us, and unfortunately could not get our remaining money refunded. So my First Suggestion: check out the area before you sign up for anything. One fair we did that was great, and which we were solicited for, was "The Pleasantville Music Festival" sponsored by Radio Station 107.1 in NY (a little plug!) It was a great experience, the music was all day, the food was from all local restaurants, and each vendor couldn’t have been nicer. Yes, we did quite well that day.Second Suggestion: before you do your first fair, do a try-out set-up at home. This means setting up your table, arranging your crafts, jewelry, quilts, candles, etc.; and then take pictures. As you set up, you have the time to rearrange your crafts in a way that will attract people – screaming: "Hey, look over here!" This will save a lot of time when you get to your site. You will immediately know exactly where each piece belongs and how it compliments each other. Oh yes, if possible, get a TENT, which adds another 15 min. set-up time.You would think after all this I would be an expert. Well, here comes the most important thing of doing Craft Fairs. When you get a moment (when those many sales start to slow down) walk around and get to know other vendors. I learned the most by doing this. One, you learn about other upcoming fairs, but the best thing I did, was to meet others crafters who make jewelry (which is my forte). I observed how they set up and arranged their jewelry, which gave me quite a few new perspectives on how I could best arrange my table that would immediately attract even those just browsing. So, the Third Suggestion of my mini tutorial is to take a break during your Craft Show, and observe how others present their crafts. Remember a lot of these people have been doing this for a long time and are quite experienced; so you can learn a lot from them.
Ok, now you are all set up and ready to start selling! Wait, my Fourth Suggestion, when people walk into your shop (or up to your table), even if they are just browsing, give them the courtesy of a hello and a smile. You don’t have to follow them like a store detective, but who knows, that one little smile might just be enough to render a sale.
Finally, make your shop comfortable and attractive. A few flowers, here and there, at the Harvest Festival we did in Cold Spring, NY, we had little pumpkins all around our work. Christmas time, put up a few decorations or a little tree with some decorations. I hope I was able to answer a few of the questions that will help new crafters as they pursue their talents elsewhere. Good luck!
Written by Pamela Baker of http://www.magdalenejewels.etsy.com/