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Topic: I'm a little nervous...  (Read 1218 times)
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« on: September 11, 2009 12:25:59 AM »

Hi everyone, I've been lurking for a while now and get tons of ideas from everyone on here! I decided to take a jewelry and design study at home class, and got into making beaded jewelry and what not for fun (plus hubby started playing around with it too and sometimes makes prettier stuff than me! lol) Anyways, we have a little weekly flea market thingy where I live and I want to get a booth, so here's my question. If you sell stuff, what usually goes over pretty well? Bracelets, necklaces, earrings, what styles, bridal stuff, cake toppers for weddings, mobils, etc...I have tons of ideas but would really some input (and encouragement so I don't chicken out) since no one I know has ever really done this before (except my for dad but he's a woodworker...hmmm..scroll saw pendants???) Any advice would be so greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!
Diane B.
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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2009 10:03:20 AM »

What goes over well at flea markets, craft fairs, and high-end art fairs depends a lot on who frequents them --their interests, amount of money they're used to spending, style (city vs. rural, young people vs. older, casual vs. elegant, etc) so it's really hard to say.

I'd guess that a range of the things you mentioned would be good to start with, then you can see which are most looked at and purchased, and which aren't.  (Tip... keep extras of the various types of items under your table so you can replenish the display when certain kinds of things to begin to sell and don't need to clutter up your table with too many of the pretty-same thing). Do notice who the people at the show are as you're sitting there too, and what they've already bought from others.  

Doing markets and fairs is a longer-term process than just one shot (sometimes even the people who sell well in general have "bad" shows for no obvious reason, or for a reason that won't necessarily occur the next time).  What you'll want is to get better and better each time and to increase what you know about what works and what doesn't (for the particular types of shows you're doing).  Your dad might even be able to help with certain observations and technical stuff about your table/booth/etc but keep in mind that he may not be trying to attract the same crowd with workworking that you will.

About your "beaded jewelry," you might want to be more specific about exactly what you mean by that term since it could cover all kinds of items! --from bead-weaving or jewelry pieces put together with just one or more larger beads, to making your own beads then creating jewelry from them (this is common with polymer clay for example, or with metal working or glass beads), etc, etc.
As mentioned, the style you're doing your items in would make a huge difference, and the quality of workmanship as well as the eye for design often matters a lot (particularly for the higher-priced items).
Displays can be important too...so people can quickly see what you have on display and also have room to see if it's crowded around your table.  
Displays are also venues for you to proclaim the "type" and quality of stuff you're carrying even from afar, and they can even give everything you're selling a stronger aura of whatever that type is supposed to be once people come close just by the colors and style you choose (...always use a solid-colored base fabric, etc, though directly under/behind your items or you can easily overwhelm them or make them hard to see... you want the items themselves to be the stars and focal points when people are actually focused down on them).

About the wedding things, personally I'd put those over in one corner (to show your workmanship and general style, and to percolate their interest) then perhaps have a scrapbook beside them showing pics/info of more possibilities, looks, color combinations, price ranges, etc, along with contact info for people to order.  (Weddings are usually far enough away that people would rather buy exactly what they want than to buy something today, and the clientele is limited.)  
You might want to have a business card made up especially for wedding items too (or at least include wedding items on your regular business card--and you should have a bunch of cards for people to take or to include with each purchase depending on general costs, at your shows so people will remember you, etc.) --you can get business cards with any style and text you want on them pretty darned cheap online, for example:
Vistaprint http://www.vistaprint.com cheap or "free"
Zazzle http://www.zazzle.com/businesscards
Or Kinko's will do them for you whether you do a mock-up or not.
OR...do them yourself on computer/printer onto cardstock in various ways:

OR for each purchase, some sellers just have a simpler small piece of paper (perhaps colored) that's attached to each bag or put into it, etc., with basic info and perhaps a small border/frame around the info and maybe even a simple logo.  That elevates your stuff a lot and also helps people to remember you.

Btw, this is a great time to be getting into shows because the "Big" seasons are coming up --Halloween and Christmas/Hanukkah.  That creates loads more possibilities of things to make and sell (including ornaments and decorations as well as jewelry if you want) and special colors to use like black/orange or red/green, plus people definitely  spend more at those times of year than they would ordinarily because it's for a special occasion that's all around them and is a break from daily life.  

You might also want to check out at least this page at my site for much more info about shows in general... displays, how to act, what to take, where to find them, etc., etc., for some ideas and to get familiar with issues that may come up (my site is primarily about polymer clay, but the info about shows/business on the following pages would apply to most any craft as well):
(this page will have more on doing crafts as a "business" in general)

HTH, and best of luck!

Diane B.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2009 10:40:34 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

few of my photos
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
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