Monday, November 14, 2011

Another Craft Show, Trying to Figure out How to Do It Right

This weekend I have another craft show.  Last spring I realized that I wasn't selling enough on Esty, so I decided I needed to have other avenues to generate sales.  I think that craft shows are a good opportunity for people to become familiar with my work.  I always hope that I will sell well at a craft show, but even if I don't, I take heart that I handed out more business cards.  Then there is the hope that the person will like my page on facebook, go to my Etsy page,  get something later...

This is still just my first year doing craft shows.  I am in the process of figuring out what types of things sell, what gets people to stop and look, if there is a certain price point that sells better than higher or lower...  I have noticed some trends, a few designs that I have sold multiple times, but things vary a lot from show to show.  I think the key may be in trying to figure out what demographic goes to which shows.  I know I did very well this summer at Boulderfest.  It was a fairly young crowd there out to enjoy the music, I also think that the beer consumption didn't hurt my sales.

This will be my first indoor show.  I know I will have a little less space, so I need to figure out how to display everything in an eye catching, compact way.  Also with the cooler weather I have decided to include crocheted hats and sewn scarves.  I figure they may help widen the appeal of my work, maybe some of the people not interested in jewelry may want something warm and soft...  (I'm still amused that I got 3 college credits learning how to crochet.  But it is a skill I use more than many of the things others learn in college.)

Some craft shows are very expensive to get a booth, sometimes more than $300, while others are as little as $15.  Usually the ones that cost more have more people coming through, but it takes a lot of sales to make up for a $300 registration fee.  I have had a few people suggest that I try to sell my marathon prints at the expo for the race, but those booths cost $1600-$3500.  I would have to sell sooo many prints to come out ahead with those fees.  Choosing shows so far has been a matter of what fits into my schedule around the races I already had planned, what looks like it might be a good event, what isn't too expensive, what I don't have to drive too far to get to...  Next year, I'll be able to make some more educated choices based on the shows I participated in this year but I still have a lot to learn.  

So far, I think this first year of not being employed full time has been going pretty well.  I have managed to stay current on my bills while getting to participate in a few races that involved travel.  I have had flexibility to shift my work schedule to accommodate the shows, family visits, races.  I have created quite a few new pieces, learned a bit about marketing, social media, and seen how supportive some of  my friends are.  I still have much to learn and improve on, but I am off to a good start.  

Oh yeah, if you want to swing by the craft show it is in Webster at the American Legion on Ridge Road Saturday from 11-4.  

No comments:

Post a Comment