The holidays are over and the cold days of winter are setting in (geez, that sounds depressing). In my opinion, winter is the perfect time to craft and create! I love sitting in my craft room on a cold, snowy day…it’s so cozy and peaceful. Unfortunately, things aren’t going to stay peaceful for long as it is just about time to start planning for the next holiday craft show season! I know, I know…it seems like we just finished up with the 2017 season…but remember, the early bird gets the worm. If you have never done a craft show before and you are eager to dive in…go for it! However, it is important that you get organized and figure out what crafts you want to make and sell.
When it comes to craft shows, the most common questions people ask me are:
- I want to participate in a craft show…what should I sell?
- Can you give me some craft ideas?
- How do I find a craft show to participate in?
Obviously, I can’t tell people what crafts to make and sell. I can, however, offer suggestions and ideas, but it is up to each individual to figure out what they actually want to make. When I first decided that I wanted to participate in a craft show (many years ago) I had no idea what I was doing…much less what I was going to sell. Trust me, it has been a trial and error process…and I’m still learning! Below are a couple of tips (I hope they are helpful!).
- For your first show, stick to making crafts that you are familiar with and have, well, for lack of a better word, mastered. I love to paint, therefore, I sell a lot of hand painted items (ornaments, magnets, pins). Each year you can add new items to your booth, but trust me when I say it’s best to start simple and grow as you learn new skills. Over the years I have added a variety of craft items to my inventory (such as wreaths, miniature Christmas trees and more!).
- AVOID idea overload! I don’t know about you, but when I visit Pinterest, I easily get sucked in to all of the awesome crafts that people are making. While it is great to try new things (it keeps the mind fresh and life interesting) it is important that you don’t clutter your craft booth with too many different items. My booth at the first show that I ever participated in was a hot mess. I quickly realized that people were over-whelmed and didn’t stay long. Not good. You want people to buy…not leave! True story…I was once rejected from a craft show because they said that my booth was too cluttered and consisted of too many different types of crafts. Yes, I was insulted, but I quickly learned they were right.
- When I am trying to decide what I am gong to sell…I usually use the three tier process. Okay, yes, I just made that term up…but hear me out. By three tiers, I mean three levels of crafts. The first tier would be my small items…magnets, tiny ornaments, pins…you get the idea. These are items that are low in cost and bring people to your booth (people love a good bargain). The second tier are items that cost a bit more…but are still reasonable (these items sell the best). Finally the third tier would consist of your show-stopper items. Things such as large wreaths, floral arrangements or items that took a long time to create and required expensive supplies. I usually sell a few expensive items but I make most of my money from my tier one and tier two crafts.
- Finally, finding a craft show that is right for you can be tricky. The very first show I participated in was at a recreation center located by my parent’s house. It was a small show that consisted of local crafters and it was perfect for a “first timer.” There are many different types of craft shows and fairs and each one will have different rules and entry fees. Some will be judged (meaning a panel will inspect your items and then decide if you are a good fit for their show) and some (such as small church or school shows) are not. Shows that take place at large schools, convention centers and outdoor festivals can have large entry fees and are often difficult to get into. My advice is to smart small until you get your feet wet! One way to actually find shows is to visit a site called Festival Net. You can search for shows in your area and it is a terrific resource.
Well, that’s it for now. I really hope the above tips were helpful. Remember, there are so many different types of crafts to make and sell, therefore, it is important that you stick to what you are good at and diversify as you grow. Keeping things simple is the best way to begin your craft show journey (simple = less stress). Feel free to stop by again as I will be writing another post filled with more craft show tips and tricks! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me via the contact page or leave a comment below. As always, HAPPY CRAFTING!