The next time you attend a street fair, craft show, or festival with craft vendors, look around and see which booths really sell HANDMADE items. More and more, as I participate in these events, I am struck by how few of us are actually selling handmade items anymore. Of course it depends on the type of event you sign up for. Juried events are the choosiest about handmade items for sale. So I try to stick with those.
Craft Shows take a lot of energy and there's no way to predict what will be the big sellers. Last weekend it was Wire Crochet Sets. This weekend it was Earrings! So you bring it all and hope for the best! Set up takes me about 1.5 to 2 hours. Break down is about half of that. I'm fast and can repack properly later in the week.
I choose to stand the entire show and greet my customers with a smile. I like to chat, if possible, but that depends on the body language/facial expression of the customers. Some like to chat, others don't. Some are looking for a particular item and some browse looking for something different to purchase.
I've found that some shows are big in credit card sales and some are mostly cash sales. I take both but continue to use the manual credit card machine. No squares or electronic sale do-dads for me... Maybe next year when I upgrade my cellphone. I still have a no frills, no internet connection, type phone. My husband handles all the sales transactions so I just do the wrap-up and package part.
I don't know how people do these shows solo.Thank goodness for my work-horse husband! He does the driving, lifting, back breaking part of the set up and leaves the jewelry arrangement/placement to me. Without him, I'd be lost...literally. I'd never find the event...even with use of a Garmin!
This is my third year for shows and each year I am learning more:
*What sells, what doesn't
*Which shows to do, which to avoid
*What setup works, what's too much hassle
*How to judge people
*How to handle good/bad event situations
I'm sure every show-crafter has advice, tips, and could write a book. The best advice I can give is to SMILE, project a positive image, and keep a sense of humor! Some shows will be good and some will be losers. For me they've all helped to build my knowledge base. I try to take something positive from each show and let the rest go.
Greetings and Welcome, to my jewelry journal. I am a jewelry designer and creator. I also work at a local bead shop, teach classes, and do Art & Craft Shows. My specialties include Kumihimo, Bead Stringing, Wire Wrapping, and Wire Crochet. I love to go to Bead Shows and read the latest Bead & Jewelry magazines.