Monday, July 8, 2013

How to prepare for the craft fair business



 Here are the  three most important things I’ll focus for the craft fair business this year:

Are you ready for craft fairs? 

 

As the days are warming up I  feel that it is time for those canopy hanging time, but I must revise all the lessons I have learned from the last four years of doing craft fairs. Also,  I have some resources now that will let me focus.

Scheduling:

How often ?

 I see lots of people who do craft fairs every weekend.  I can handle only once a month or so.  How about you?

 Craft fairs are hard work but then I find that is when my jewelry sell the  most.


Katie Acres in her blog puts it very nicely about  how important the scheduling part is.  You don’t want to overwhelm your self and get sick because of poor planning.  Then,  there are too many distractions, too many craft fairs, near and far.  Some are low cost some are not.  It is confusing to decide  which ones will work out.  

How much shall I spend on booth fees...how much energy do I have for this commitment?

 It  is important  to know when your show is, how many of them are you doing in the near future and the characters of each craft shows.  It is important for me to think the factors,  like how many days apart are they, you need time to recuperate,  and when are  the dead lines for  each of  the applications...etc,  etc. 

For the time being I am getting  ready for three shows in the next three months.   Some  are in the holiday season,  six months away but the dead lines for application is now.

So making a calendar and sticking with the to do list is a must.


 Inventory:

How much stuff shall I take?  Here you’ll find some answer in the  Etsy Forum


 There is a saying that you have  made a good show if your sales are 10 times the booth fee.  I have never achieved that.  If it is five times, I am happy enough.

Say I paid $50 for a booth.  If I make $250 - $500, I’ll consider that I have done pretty good.


 In order to sell $500 of jewelry, my rule of thumb is to take 10 times more of that, meaning I must take $5000 worth of stuff. But I do not need to or should  display them all at once.

I believe in  the power of white space and the branding of my style.


From experience I have found that  there should be some low end items from $10- $20 which  usually   should cover the  booth price.

 Here is the challenge I am facing.  These low end items have to be eye catching,  kind of unique,  quick  to make, and made with less material cost.

On the other hand this is the time to show case your workmanship and high style also, because jewelry is tactile.  People  want to feel it, see it on person and then get the emotion that it must be  bought – NOW.

Here is an interesting article I read about How NOT to prepare for a holiday craft show.  Take a look


Now I have to give some  serious thought about these points.  Do I do this kind of  research before displaying or making  my stuff?
Selling is not the only reason to do craft show


Goal:

Each craft shows have different goals to me.

 Selling is not the only reason we do craft fairs.  I have made great friends with fellow vendors and got  valuable tips, links to future shows and business.

 This is the time for networking too.  Promote and appreciate each other.  This is the time to grab future customers.  One vendor once told me that her goal was to get rid of her whole packet of 250 business cards.  She was new in the area and she was determined to let 250 people know about her existence.

This year one of my goal is to have some cards made with coupon codes in the back.
You can get them from MOO.COM or, Vista prints 

Another article on:  Craft Fair: Is it Worth It?

Stay tuned for more craft show articles.  I am researching and will write soon.

What are your tips?  What are your questions?  Love to hear your comments.







5 comments:

KSH11 said...

I just decided to do my first craft fair. It will be in a month. You article is so timely!

I'm glad you mention the other reasons besides selling -- I also want to hand out a bunch of business cards! I was also told a good thing to have was sheets for custom orders for fair goers to consider.

I'm really concerned about the layout of my tables (especially for anti-theft reasons), and about display in general. Tips?

KSH11 said...

Your post is very timely for me -- I just signed up for my first show!

One tips I've gotten from somebody was to have custom order sheets ready -- so someone can buy something then and you can make it later!

I have some concerns, though. What are some tips for keeping thieves at bay, and what are some cheap, easy tips for displaying one's wares?

Anindita Basu said...

Thank you KSH11 for your very good questions and your feed back. I have not experienced stealing from my booth, yet so far, ( keep your fingers crossed) in these four years that I am doing craft shows but that is no guaranty. One of the show that I am going to attend in September is asking for liability insurance certificate. I am looking into that and in a week or two I'll post a blog on that, I promise.

Pearl Blay said...

Great tips! I like how to estimate how much to make and take.

Anindita Basu said...

Thank you Pearl. I love your blog and get a lot out of it.:)

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