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Topic: Advice on organizing a craft fair?  (Read 11848 times)
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Joined: 30-Jun-2004

Bob the Angry Sixtopus!

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« on: October 10, 2004 09:11:54 PM »

********* Hello, I originally posted this on the Georgia forum, but I thought I need some suggestions from this thread. *******

You know, the other day I stumbled upon www.depart-ment.com, and I thought it would be neat to bring that concept into Savannah, organize a quarterly "craft-fair/store" here in Downtown (which is where I live, and I only have a bike grr). But seeing as I've never even come close to organizing any activity in my life, an idea popped into my head.

I've been enrolled atthe Savannag College of Art and Design for three years now and I have not seen an all-encompassing fair/sale featuring artwork/crafts from ALL majors combined. It's usually separated by department. (for example, the Jewelry dept has its annual Trunk Show). The college has a store, ShopSCAD, at Bull and Charlton, where students can sell their work, and although I haven't searched into this, I'm sure they do a meticulous job at selecting which artwork would look nice to tourists and prospective freshmen (you know how it goes). I must admit, the majority of the stuff is real nice, but they're all basically from graduate students or alumni. I would love to see the work from CURRENT students, the crafts they create, the photographs, the clothing, the jewelry. The college doesn't market this at all.

My idea is to organize a little event where all students who wish, can sell their stuff, whatever it may be. I have no idea how this will be carried out, as my mind is not well atuned to the laws and rules of event-coordinating. At first I thought, this could be held at one of the dorms... but, trust me, students don't buy other students artwork. Mostly cuz we broke! So it probably has to be held outside the dorms, open for the Savannah (and of course tourist) public.  I believe that's a good way to get the feel of the college and hey Savannah in general. Because, for better or for worse, Downtown Savannah is owned by Paula Wallace, president of SCAD. That's just the truth.


Anybody have any tips, experiences, no-no's regarding an event like this? Could you share some websites where I can also look more into this and learn about this process?


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Let's make some Miss-Chief!

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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2004 08:17:39 AM »

Well, this is highly weather-dependent, but the Bizarre Market in Richmond, Virginia, meets outside.  There is a cool indie bookstore and they block off the street right outside the bookstore, so there is a block where no cars can pass and lots of tables are set up on either side of the street, with people walking in the street.  I'm not sure who one would need to speak to to set up such things, or have permission to block off the street, but maybe you could check with a friendly local establishment or a group who has organized another local fair of some sort.  Maybe the local municipal authority?

An option for indoor events would be a local church or community center with a big empty space.  At Ladyfest in both Philly and Ohio, the craft shows were set up in the basements of Unitarian churches, where they usually seem really open to hosting various community events. 

Certain art galleries might also be open to the idea of hosting such an event.  It seems like it would just depend on talking to the people in charge and seeing what they think of the idea.  I was part of a show in NY where a gallery let us set up for the whole month of December, and it was like a "holiday shop" where all of the showing artists/crafters took turns working the registers, etc.  Remind the people that you hope to work with that with this sort of event, everyone wins: the local economy is stimulated, the community has a chance to buy items they can't get anywhere else, the artists have a place to show, and assuming each artist would want to do a certain amount of PR within their personal networks, it could be great publicity for the venue, as well.

Good luck!   Cheesy

"Do something pretty while you can" --Belle and Sebastian

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smoke. drink. craft.

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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2005 07:09:25 PM »

hey everyone...

i live in Boise, Idaho... and although there are quite a few merchants that sell indie designs around here, i have yet to hear of a diy/indie craft fair for this area. i am extremely interested in organizing a quarterly fair to showcase local designers and whatnot. the problem is that i have no clue as to where to begin!

has anoyone here organized or helped organize something like this before? any tips, ideas, or advice will be GREATLY appreciated!

thank you kindly!

seriously? like, seriously.
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« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2005 09:46:12 AM »

I've never organized one before, but I think your steps should probably go as follows...  anyone experienced feel free to correct me or back me up. 

1.  Talk to a few designers to see if they would be interested.  This will also help you get an idea of the kind of space you need to rent.
2.  Find a space!  Talk to churches, American Legion/VFW/Fire Halls, and see if they would be willing to help you out.
3.  Decide how much you're going to charge for tables/entrance fee/etc.
4.  Get the word out to vendors!  Flyers in grocery stores, craft stores, etc, are cheap ways to advertise.
5.  Make sure you have a diagram of the space with table spaces drawn in so you can "reserve" the space when someone pays the table fee.
6.  Get the word out to consumers!  Use the internet (Post it on here, etc), flyers, and if you have the money for a newspaper ad, DO IT! (most newspapers/Pennysavers if you have one in your area have small "Community News" section, where the ad may be free)  Keep advertising all the way until the date of the fair, and hope for the best turnout!

I know that's not comprehensive, but it's just a basic list of what *I* think you need to do if you don't do anything else...  but I don't have any specific tips for how to go about it.

Hope I helped!

It's late, and I've been wondering...  How I can stay awake so long and miss so much...

« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2005 10:44:28 AM »

I am very interested in starting a craft fair in my area, but i have no idea where to begine??
I would like to have it outside.  Any advice on permits and finding the right location? 
How long should i allow for the planning?
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2005 04:19:08 PM »

I would highly recommend "How to Produce a Successful Crafts Show" by Kathryn Caputo. I'll try to put together a tutorial but you may get some response from people who have sucessfully pulled one off, I'm just ABOUT to pull one off, with a ton of help from some other gals in town.

Midwest Craftster!
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2005 08:36:18 PM »

thanks!  Ill pick that book up,
                      and let me know how your show goes. 
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2005 05:44:09 AM »

I'm also in the midst of planning one... my advice: GET HELP FROM OTHERS! Early on, I wanted to do everything myself subconsciously b/c I had all these great ideas, but I should have sought more help. It can be overwhelming! It's next saturday so if it goes well I'll come back here and share my wisdom. If not I'll tell you what NOT to do! ;_P

Rockin' knitting shirts I designed:

« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2005 02:22:59 PM »

There's a good article on starting your own craft show from Venus

I'm not sure if this one is that useful for organizing a show but it's a good read about the first Renegade Craft Fair

Alf is real
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2005 09:15:25 AM »

thanks for the advice.  Those articles and sights were great!  Im sitting hear watching ou the window for my UPS man to deliver my book!!
 Grin ready to get started!!!
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