Day 323 – craft shows

Today’s post is about some do’s and don’ts for selling your wares at craft shows. Yesterday, my mom, my sister and I put together our first “Open House” and invited a few other artists to join us. It was successful and a fun experience. However, sometimes craft shows can be rough, especially for the first timers. I have done many over the course of my life and although I’m still learning and fine-tuning my “game”, I am happy to share a few pointers with you that may help your sales next time.

1. Networking-need I say more? Most likely, the event you are selling at will have their own advertising, but if you are a newbie, you will probably have a lot of lookers, not buyers. And unless you are selling water from the fountain of youth, you might not sell much. This is where your own network of friends comes in. Your church community or other social groups are usually people who want to support you. So get out there, join a group or community and invite them, besides friends make the world go round and might buy stuff from you as an added benefit. 🙂 It’s always great to see smiling faces amidst the sea of strangers.

2. Display-Now this is both your actual “stuff” and also, the how/where you display that matters. Things to pay attention to are lighting, placement of your booth, traffic pattern and of course, how your stuff is displayed on your tables. I have learned over the years a lot about display including not to make your display so awesome that people want to buy the display and not your crafts! Make sure you have vertical and horizontal space filled so the customers stay interested. But don’t make them work too hard to find things. Make your items easy to pick up or take off a rack without worrying it will fall or break.

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3. “Smiles, everyone” in the immortal Mr. Roarke’s words from Fantasy Island, my all-time favorite tv show from the 80’s. Remember, you are selling yourself along with your art. If you are a shy person, you might want to ask an outgoing friend to come help you.

4. Craftsmanship- If you’re throwing stuff together just to make a couple bucks, most times people will feel that or see it in the small details. On the other hand, if you create your items lovingly and with passion, you may be onto something that could be a goldmine. I have dabbled in so many different things as you can tell from my blog over the course of this year, and I’m not quite sure what my “thing” is yet, but I will keep trying and trying until I find it. I’ve learned that sloppy hot glue gun strings don’t help sales, nor does tarnished soldering on my stained glass because I was too lazy to clean it.

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So for now, wish me luck as I work on a new Etsy store where we will sell a lot of the items we had at the sale yesterday and come visit it tomorrow for our grand opening! God willing, it will be a success. 🙂

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