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Topic: Profitable PDX Craft Fairs?  (Read 867 times)
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BreadnBadger
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« on: April 12, 2007 08:13:37 AM »

Hi there,
I'm planning on moving to Portland next winter (with my crafty business), and I'm wondering what to expect from the numerous crafty fairs and events that go on in the area. There seem to be a couple outdoor markets that run throughout the year, and a ton of small indoor fairs and crafty get-togethers.

My question is: is it profitable to attend these craft fairs, and are some more profitable than others?

I have an online shop and an Etsy shop, where I do most of my business, but I love doing fairs where I can socialize and get immediate feedback on my products.

I currently live in a suburb of Boston, where there are only three big craft fairs a year (Bazaar Bizarre, Craftland in Providence, and Renegade, which is in Brooklyn) and a small handful of smaller fairs that have not been very profitable for me. Usually, I just make back my booth fee. It's also incredibly difficult to get into the bigger fairs because so many people want to do them. I also have to face strong winds, heavy rain and near-100 degree weather throughout the summer here. Wind + delicate glass products = disaster. I'm seriously looking forward to the weather in Portland and the seemingly constant craft opportunities, but I thought I'd check out what the locals have to say before I start signing up for every event that comes my way.
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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2007 01:07:47 PM »

I don't know much about Portland happenings but I do know of a fairly big Christmas bazaar south of Portland. It happens in Rickreall at the Polk county fairgrounds sometime in November I believe and there are lots of people there. The last time I went it was hard to move around because there were so many people there. Location might have something to do with it, it's just off of the main route to the big casinos in NW Oregon.
Salem has a fairly new Saturday market that runs all summer. I'm told that Portland's Saturday market is bigger and better though. Portland also has the Rose Festival that runs for most of June, I'm sure they have vendors around the city for that. There are lots of smaller local festivals all summer here in the valley and a lot of them like to have vendors who make their own wares.
Weather here in the Willamette valley is fairly mild from about mid-April to early-October. We get the occasional wind storm during the fall and winter months, and it can be pretty rainy during fall, winter, and spring. All in all, it's a pretty nice place to live.
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2007 01:37:20 PM »

Another market venue that you might want to check out is all of the local farmer's markets.  There's a really good one in Vancouver, WA, which is just across the river from PDX.  Also Gresham and Hillsboro.  I've sold at all three of these places and they are friendly and open to new sellers.  Salem also has a Wednesday market, which I haven't tried selling at, but it always seems to be really busy downtown.  I will post shows as I remember them.  There are lots of them.

And your are right, ForestGreen.  Rickreall is a really good craft fair, although it's kind of hard to get into.
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BreadnBadger
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2007 07:39:26 AM »

Thanks for the info you guys!

I'm sure I'll learn more about the fairs once I live there, but it's good to hear from the locals first-hand what is working.

I can't wait to move! Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2007 09:36:38 AM »

I live in Portland and the Saturday Market is, I believe, the largest and longest running outdoor craft market in the US.  I have no idea how hard it is to get a booth, though, but I have a feeling it might be difficult because I see the same vendors year after year.  People around here love crafts and home-made things, and there are TONS of little craft fairs around the state all year. 
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