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Topic: Wanting to sell at a craft fair... but I do too much?  (Read 3723 times)
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« on: August 16, 2012 06:45:09 AM »

Ok... wondering what y'all's thoughts are.

I want to really get my business going, and to generate part-time job amount of income. I know of many craft fairs in the area, and there's actually one in October I'm planning on going to as well as one in November and one in December.

I've never done a craft fair before. I have sold items before, and I understand how to price them, all of that... problem? I make too much... :p

I mean, I can narrow down my field of interest to small items. But the items range from jewelry to coasters to hats to handspun yarns to stuffed animals to chain maille in general. And add in some photography, graphite drawings, and I have far too much to know what to do with.

Out of those, my primary focuses are jewelry (chain maille, beaded, and wire working), small item sewing (as in coasters, small rag quilts, purses and bags, that kind of thing), small item knitting (hats, handwarmers/mittens, cowls), and various pet accessories (dog collars and various horse items).

While everything is still within what I would consider "small items"... the range I have is still far too large, but I honestly don't think I'd be happy if I cut out the rest to just focus on one particular thing. My burnout gets really annoying... which is why my interests vary so much. I can make about 20 handwarmers in a week's time if I'm really going... and then I don't want to see another handwarmer for about a month, and so in that time I switch to jewelry making, and then to sewing, and so on.

So... any advice for me? Either on how to develop my inventory so that it doesn't seem so random, or how to market it once I do start selling? Or... I dunno... anything. :p
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2012 10:44:55 AM »

How about limiting each craft fair to 2 styles of item and give them part of the stall each (like 2 friends sharing a stall, but both of them are you!). You can alter which things have sections on your stall so you could do jewellery and sewing one time, knitting and pet crafts the next, knitting and sewing the one after that, however you fancy really. You can do the crafts you have sufficient stock for. As you get used to it you'll find out what sells and can concentrate on that/those.

Just a suggestion.

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« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2012 11:02:51 AM »

Having a range of different items can work, but only if your booth looks cohesive.  One of my first craft fair experiences I had WAY too many kinds of items in my booth and they didn't look like a well curated store would and I whole-heartedly believe my booth was skipped by plenty of people because of it. So your options are either to make it look like it all belongs together or to pare down your items. I don't know if that's helpful or not... Cheesy

Chris in VT
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2012 04:46:00 AM »

The best advice I can give is to attend as many craft fairs as possible as soon as possible.

There's a site, http://festivalnet.com/ where you can find fairs in your area. Go to as many as you can. Big shows, small shows, all shows, even shows with professional exhibitors. Look and observe. Look at what the others have and how they display their work. Look and see how too much media in a booth hurts an exhibitor. And notice that the jewelers are the most competitive catagory at every show.

Walk the show and observe, observe, observe. Take notes if necessary, but do NOT take photos unless given permisson.


There's NOTHING at a craft show, or on Etsy, anybody NEEDS. NOTHING.
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2012 03:32:18 AM »

i also make a whole heap of varied stuff  - coasters, jewellery, clothing, tissue holders, hair accessories... i think it can work, as long as it is all based around the same style, not all a mish mash of different kinds..... if you know what i mean??

Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.

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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2013 04:33:28 PM »

I too make a lot of different things; cloth wipes, reusable nursing pads, wool dryer balls, wool felted soap, wet bags, etc... but all my stuff centers around a theme of more "natural" items so it works. Find a theme to keep yours to? Vintage, punk, cute, etc... whatever works for you, what's your personality?

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