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1  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Tips for Participating in Craft Fairs / Re: First Timer! on: July 25, 2015 04:54:25 AM
This  may sound strange, but there no set answer to how much to bring. You have to tailor what you bring to the show you're doing. And the amount you sell always depends on how attractive your display booth is and if the show is one day or more.
It's a simple rule of thumb. The nicer your display, the more you'll sell.

So first a few questions. How big is your space? Is it just for a table, or do you have a set space? Usually at shows you get a 10x10 space and your job is to make it attractive. Also, can you get electricity? Always get power if it's available, even if you have to pay extra. We have a saying that at an indoor show, you cannot have too much lighting. You want the customers to see your work. And they always go into booths that are well lit.

So let me know how big your space is, and we'll take it from there, OK?

2  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: amigurumi price on: May 14, 2015 03:45:56 AM
How long does it take you to make the plain beanie?
3  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Get Product and Website Opinions / Re: Looking for Input on Building Crafter Websites on: April 30, 2015 04:35:51 AM
"...thereby providing value and growth to those whose livelihoods (or at the least, pocket money) exist because of what they make with their hands..."

I am exactly that person. 100% of our household income comes from our crafts business. There is a whole industry of people like me. We're very serious about this. We all have an online presence and not one makes enough from that presence alone to live on. We make 90% of our money face to face.

We all have a website, and we use that site as nothing more than another item in our tool box. We'll sell at an art/craft fair and use the site for follow up business. About 30% of my online orders are follow up sales or reorders.

We were all on Etsy at one time or another, and realized that 90% of the hits on our store were people looking for ideas to steal.

Our business works with show promoters who "jury" our work before we can exhibit to weed out the buy/sell or B/S as we call it. If the person in that booth didn't make it, they don't exhibit, period. The promoter has one job, and one job only. Bring people past my booth. The rest is up to me. How can you as a virtual promoter bring enough people past my booth on a regular basis to make it worth wile for me? Because we in this business have yet to find even one.

You have to understand the full time artist/crafter. You're dealing with a level of exhibitor who, if they don't make anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000 in one weekend, they're angry.
4  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Get Product and Website Opinions / Re: Looking for Input on Building Crafter Websites on: April 27, 2015 04:11:32 AM
The very first thing I would want to know is how familiar are you with the "crafting world" as you put it?
5  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Get Product and Website Opinions / Re: Honest opinions? on: April 25, 2015 04:12:53 AM
My question would be where do you plan to sell your work? On line, or in person where the customer can actually see and touch what they're purchasing?
6  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Art pricing help! on: April 20, 2015 03:37:04 AM
Your problem is different than craftsmen who can price their work based on materials, etc. You have to figure the price for your talent, and that's an excellent question.
So I'm going to direct you to a forum that's made up of professional artists and craftsmen.

Introduce yourself and ask the very question you asked here.
This site is made up of people who are doing this for a living, or are about to make the plunge so it's a serious group. There are people there who charge upwards of $500 for an original and get angry if they don't make $3000-$5000 in a weekend.
But your question hasn't been asked, so it will start a good discussion.
7  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: How many items? on: March 13, 2015 04:04:54 AM
Margaret, I don't think people today understand how to sell. In my opinion, all they think they have to do is put something on Etsy or Pinterest or they're looking for some free site no customer goes to, and they're going to make lots of money. And get frustrated when it doesn't happen.

It makes no difference what level of artist/crafter they are either. Nobody is telling them that selling their work is 50% of the business and they must be just as active selling as they are making their work.

We can go to Etsy and see a shop that's been open for 5 years with 83 sales, and go to another store that's been open for 6 months with 237 sales. Which one is sitting down every day and working in their store?
I see the exact same thing at craft fairs. I see someone who had a degree in their field who has excellent work, but is sitting in the back of the booth hiding behind a book. Meanwhile across the aisle is a photographer who is engaging the customers in what it was like getting that particular shot of those 3 bear cubs in the tree. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see who is going to make the sales.
I do a number of shows with that photographer and you've got to see these bears. http://the-mooseman.photodeck.com/-/galleries/black-bears

I would imagine there's some sort of tutorial on how to successfully sell online, but since an overwhelming majority of my sales are face to face I can't help there.
8  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Tips for Participating in Craft Fairs / Re: Festival of Colors??? on: February 10, 2015 03:41:20 AM
Not knowing where you are I can't help you with other selling options, but I know I wouldn't do such an event.
9  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Get Product and Website Opinions / Re: Would love to get some feedback on: January 24, 2015 03:57:47 AM
The reason you're doing better at fairs is simple. The customer can actually see, touch, and look at the quality of your work. Can't do that online.

Working a fair is simple. You dress nice, always stand up, and be ready to interact with your customer. And smile... a lot.

I have to respectfully disagree with Crafty Couple about the flyer and cards. You're there to sell today, and if the customer sees they can get it cheaper online with a discount, you just lost a cash sale. And isn't that why you're doing the fair in the first place?

I don't do fairs to drive traffic to my website. That's defeating the whole reason to do craft fairs. I have a section on my website that drives traffic to the shows. And I have a discount coupon the customer can print and give me at the show, not the other way around. Because the fairs are where the money is.

Now I exhibit with a pretty serious group of crafters. We do some serious shows just about every weekend during the season. Here's some photos from one promoter I do a number of shows with here in New England. https://castleberryfairs.com/gallery/

Some have canopies for outdoor shows that cost upwards of $1,000. They all have a web presence, but to a person they all will say they can make more in one weekend than they will do in a year online.
10  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Selling Crafts on Etsy.com / Re: Calculating Shipping on: January 23, 2015 04:08:47 PM
The tracking fee for Priority is free and I get a number on the receipt with each package I send. The receipt even tells me the arrival date of the package.
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