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Topic: summer craftshows- successful?  (Read 1504 times)
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« on: January 29, 2006 08:20:31 AM »

Just curious from anyone who has participated in a summer craftshow- are they successful? Do people buy?  It seems obvious that winter sales are successful due to holidays, but how bout summertime? Thanks~ E

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« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2006 08:33:41 AM »

 Grin I think you have asked the million dollar question my dear!!! I have been selling crafts for a number of years at all different types of venues. ALthough I have not done a ton local craft shows or fairs, I have set up shop at a "hometown" festival, where it was not buying crafts as the focus. It seems that at a venue like this, the average people coming out to go on rides, or see a parade or whatever are more likely to buy 'trendy' crafts at decent prices. I have found that a lot of people that are attracted to 'craft shows' are crafters. So unless you have a super unique idea, or cheap good wares, there will be a lot of looking. You will get GREAT feedback on your stuff tho! I also think there is a good portion of hit and miss, location, community support, weather and other uncontrollable factors. I say if you don't have anything better to do, go for it. I mean at the least you can sit amongst other crafters and get some crafting done!:) also if the venu charges for a table, you can negotiate. Tell them you don't have a large stock of stuff, or that you do not charge a lot, they are willing to settle on a lower price to have you there. You can get somet freinds together and pitch in for the cost too, they can set up some stuff, a FULLER, more thought out DISPLAY is what sells in retail!!!
Good luck!!! Hope this helps, I'm book marking this one to see what others say!
BTW~ I used to do a lot of creative, intricate hemp wares, it was really popular at the time, so I did have a strong business, but most of my items sold in specialty shops, and were consistend, so I didn't have much of an opportunity to have a large stock on hand to go to shows... I'm not complaining! I'm just telling you about my experience, where my focus was not the craft fair!!!

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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2006 02:17:28 PM »

Re: summer craftshows- successful?

For me, Yes - But...I choose my events carefully. 

Look for events that are billed Craft / Art show.  Many times they are held in conjunction with a multiple day town festival.  But if they set aside one day of that festival and bill it as the Craft / Art Show, I have had good results.  It you go to the 1-day City-Wide Antique Car show & parade - chances are you won't have a good experience.  People will be there and people will appreciate your exhibit, but they did not come prepared for arts & crafts show.

Hope I am making sense here. 

« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2006 06:56:11 PM »

I'm trying my first every craftshow/art fair this May 20-21 in NE Mpls. It's called Johnstock and is held the same weekend as Art-A-Whirl. It's $30 to rent a space and a table is provided. I just spoke to the cordinator yesterday and she said last year they had 16 vendors/craftsters and people did fairly well. Keep in mind that this is a local craftshow and gets a pretty good turnout. I thought I would give it a try since it's a smaller venue than some of the bigger ones held at the major malls around the Twin Cities.

If anyone wants the number to sign up for a booth just message me and I'll pass it along. I left the number at work or I would have posted it in my reply.

« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2006 10:15:37 AM »

If anyone remembers Cedarfest, I've sold there before and it was pretty much a total bust unless you sold tie-dye or beer. But, not all summer events are the same. I think it really depends on the marketing and the selection of vendors.

Oh, and I know someone who did the "Lumberjack Days" thing in Stillwater and had a similar experience to my Cedarfest issue, but at least she sold an okay amount of stuff.

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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2006 07:27:57 PM »

hehe, I forgot about Cedarfest. Is that still in existence?

« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2006 08:18:19 PM »

Nope, I think the year I did it was the last year. Boy, did I bomb that badly?? : ) Kidding.

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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2006 11:30:15 AM »

Some items don't sell well in the summer.  Particularly knitted items, and other heavy or wintery garments. 
I sell jewelry.  Spring and summer shows have been up and down.  If the show has a lot of other jewelry, then it can be more difficult.  Another big factor is the weather.  You just can't predict it.  Rain will be bad for sales.   
When you are first starting out, people you already know are likely to buy your stuff and support you.  So make sure you get those people to the show and ask them to bring a friend.  Then there is the stick to it factor.  I have been doing a small art fair in St. Paul for the last couple years, it seems that shoppers do remember me.   So even if your first year of a show you don't sell a lot more than your booth fee, you are building your brand, your presence, so make sure you have stuff that people will remember. 
I don't do a lot of art fairs, because they are a ton of work, and expensive too. I do smaller fairs where my rather homemade display doesn't look too out of place.
Good luck.

it's all jewelry all the time!
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