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Topic: displaying subversive-saying- for-Adults-only items at crafts shows? ideas?  (Read 4266 times)
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« on: April 16, 2013 07:22:06 AM »

I made some subversive message bead-bracelets to sell. They have cuss words and for-adults-only sayings (use your imagination).
So far I have only sold them to some girlfriends- and they're a hit. But I'd like to sell them at craft shows and a street fair I am participating in over the Summer- where I am sure there will be kids present.

My question/Need Advice: How should I display them as NOT to offend anyone- and hide them from kids eyes...but still have them visible enough to sell?

My Display Idea: I was planning on taking an old wood crate and putting a pin-up girl image on it with a little sign that says "For Adults Only" or....something like that?

Also, I have placed each bracelet in a little cellophane bag -they're not "loose".
Chris in VT
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2013 04:34:44 AM »

I have done over 1,000 shows/fairs and I can tell you that each and every promoter I've worked with would tell you to remove the offensive items. Yes, offensive items.

Craft fairs and street fairs are family gatherings, not "adult" gatherings.

Why would you want to sell this type of garbage anyway?


There's NOTHING at a craft show, or on Etsy, anybody NEEDS. NOTHING.
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« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2013 09:32:15 AM »

Not everyone thinks it's garbage and not all fairs will keep you from selling them, although you are smart to want to censor them. 

Could you possibly make example bracelets with key letters missing/changed? Could you use something else (maybe a tag or something) to cover one or two of the letters?

« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2013 04:48:14 AM »

I find that really nasty to describe someones creative expression as garbage, I personally, along with many others love that type of thing and think its funny. I even make them too. If people get offended so easily, go to the next stall.

I have been wondering this question too, I decided not to bring the swear word necklaces to shows and save them for Etsy instead.

My idea is something like your crate idea, but have a flip lid on hinges and have a note about lifting it up to see the more flamboyant-worded jewellery :-)

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

Chris in VT
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2013 04:23:14 PM »

Maybe it generational.

You see, when I do a show I notice the age of the customers. Usually they're in their late 20s and up. Not exactly the type who would find profanity funny, especially when their kids are tagging along.

And they're the ones with the money and allow me to make a couple thousand dollars per show.

What about the person in the booth next door? Does anybody care if they are offended? Evidently not.

Now maybe in an urban setting things are different, I don't know as I live and do my 40 show schedule in the country. People just don't do this at shows.

I'll tell you what. I'm on another forum with professional artists and craftsmen. Degreed exhibitors who travel across the country doing juried art fairs and will pay upwards of $400-$600 for a 10x10 space. I'll run this type of item past them, and maybe they'll agree with you, and maybe they'll agree with me. I'll let you know.

UPDATE: If you wish to follow the conversation on the other forum it's:

« Last Edit: April 28, 2013 04:56:26 AM by Chris in VT » THIS ROCKS   Logged

There's NOTHING at a craft show, or on Etsy, anybody NEEDS. NOTHING.
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« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2013 09:00:56 AM »

Well, I've done juried shows and paid $400-600 too and I've seen profanity sold. It really doesn't matter what either of us think. As long as the fair allows it whatever anyone else thinks is of no concern.

Would her customer base potentially be different than yours? Potentially. But that's good for both of you, right?  Smiley

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« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2013 12:33:50 PM »

I think it depends on the type of show as well. In a church basement, maybe not. But at an indie craft market, absolutely. I like the idea of "censored" examples, and the little crate with a cute sign. No one has to see anything they don't want to, but it's still very much available. Good luck with your sales!

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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2013 05:28:51 AM »

I dont think it's generational, there are always people that say and laugh at flamboyant language and gestures. Its just in their personality, they dont take the little things seriously.

However I do find people in my age range want to spend the percentage of their hard earned cash on things straight away as they have no kids nor mortgage - and they arent looking for matching doilies or sensible, practical things.

Not to be rude but it doesnt matter about the person in the booth next door, theyre in their own booth how does it affect them? Youre not shouting those words at them, and if people dont like the profanities then wont they just walk on by to the next booth anyway? I do think you should take note of what the market/show is and think carefully about what you present. Some people and organisers might not want to create the "wrong" look or feel to their event.

You can be a professional artist and craftswoman and still use colourful language, it doesnt bring you up or down in skill or craft. Possibly maturity, but hey I never said I was mature. :-)


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

« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2013 07:10:53 PM »

I've been to some craft shows as a vendor this spring.  Even the ones not at churches usually had some wording that said, in effect, "this is a family friendly event and products have to promote a family friendly atmosphere."  They usually require photos of the prospective vendor's product(s).  I am not sure your product would be allowed at these event, even though they are not at churches.  However, this may be a regional thing.

As a customer who is a conservative Christian, I would not be in the market to buy your products.  BUT I am not the one to judge your products.  As someone visiting your booth, I would prefer those products be discreetly displayed.

In the end, I guess it all comes down to complying with the market's rules and regulations and balancing your right to display/sell your product and not offending potential customers.


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« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2013 09:27:43 PM »

oK, I'm a craft show attender, possibly future seller, but I like to lurk this board. And this thread caught my eye.

For one, art & creativity, in all forms, is subjective. There will always be people who hate the greats (van Gogh, Dali, Warhol, etc), there will always be people wanting to censor David, but the opinion of the few do not render the artistic value of those pieces invalid. Profanity, nudity, lewdness, sex, can all be worthwhile pieces of the arts & crafts worlds (says the chick who is getting into making flogs & creating bondage art).

OP, what region are you selling in? Like I said, I'm not a fair seller yet, but I've found myself to be pretty observational of regional differences within the US. A "standard" fair in the Midwest is going to be a lot more open to those than a "standard" fair in the Southeast, even a more Indie show in the Southeast may not be the most welcoming. It's just the difference between more conventional & contemporary communities. I guess what I'm saying with this is to consider the entire social structure of where you are planning to sell, because some areas are more inclined to welcome those products than others. And people who are into adult phrases are going to range from late teens through to their 50's, they just may be harder to find in some age ranges. And man, do I know some crude people with kids!

Also, for display, maybe keeping the adult phrases kept away from displays & having a display board that says, "Ask about our Adults Only Bracelets!" You can pull out a small selection when asked, or a printed list of all the different phrases available that they can pick a phrase or two that you can show them the different color combos for those phrases. My only holdup about having a box or something on the table that just needs to be opened is that you won't be able to regulate whether the people looking inside are interested adults, easily offended adults, or curious teenagers & kids, & I don't think you'd want to be focusing on policing that over making sales with other customers.

I hope that helps even a touch! Enjoy your lewdness & debauchery! Cheesy
« Last Edit: August 26, 2013 09:29:02 PM by Painted Sparrow » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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