Selling at craft shows takes a lot of time and energy, so you want to make sure you choose your events wisely. As an online maker business, you must make an informed decision about which craft and maker events to participate in to get the most from your investment. There are several factors to consider when deciding which craft fair is right for you and your brand. I gathered advice from a few very successful makers to help you figure out how to choose the right craft fair for your goods.
Selling at Craft Shows:
Love and Daisies: Choose to Give Back
Desiree Bonner is the creative artisan behind Love and Daisies. She specializes in doll clothing and children’s accessories. She always loved to sew, and started making dresses, doll clothes, and hair clips for her daughter. Her passion for making and for buying fabric led to the creation of her Etsy Store, Love and Daisies. Her handmade items, each made with joy, became so popular that she started selling at craft fairs. I asked Desiree for advice on selling at craft shows and how she chooses which events to participate in, and this is what she shared with me:
“As far as how I choose my markets, I really like picking events that benefit a cause. I’ve done a lot of school fundraising events, markets that benefit non-profits and ones that raise scholarship money. I like being able to give back. People show up at these events with the intent of spending money for a cause so I also tend to do well as far as business goes. It’s a win/win.”
Desiree Bonner has creatively and cleverly decorated her booth for the holidays at recent shows. These pictures of her festive booth show how a bit of color and craftsmanship can attract customer’s attention and draw them to your booth. To find out where Love and Daisies will be selling next, visit her Facebook page for future craft show dates.
Tisa’s Creations: Plan Ahead
Tisa Jackson is a very successful blogger and designer. Her brand, Tisa’s Creations, offers buyers colorful and modern products like cards and stationery. She loves to create, inspire, learn, and have fun. Her playful attitude and zest for life are reflected in her vibrant, joyful, custom designed products. Visit her Etsy store to see all that Tisa’s Creations has to offer. Tisa shared her advice for selling at craft shows with me and for how to choose the right craft fair for your goods:
“You must visit a show before deciding to apply. I know sometimes this means you might need to wait a year before attending the next show. Some shows work for some products and some don’t. It’s all about style. Modern stationery would probably never work at a vintage market. Also know your customer and select shows where your ideal customer will shop. If you do this, you are sure to have a great time, grow your customer base and make money.”
Tisa’s Creations booth is clean and colorful, just like her brand and products. Her booth is inviting and welcoming, and her products are beautifully displayed. Tisa Jackson clearly knows who her customers are and how to reach them, which guides her as she chooses which events to apply for. To learn more about Tisa’s Creations and where to find her next, follow her blog or keep up with her on Facebook and Instagram.
Other Things to Consider
In addition to the wonderful first-hand advice that Love and Daisies and Tisa’s Creations shared with us, there are other factors to keep in mind when choosing a craft show for your maker business. Here are some other important things to keep in mind for future events:
- Cost: How much is the booth fee and does it fit your budget?
- Location: Will you have to travel far for this event? Is the show easily accessible or in a well-trafficked area?
- Advertising: Are the show organizers advertising the event? Is there a Facebook event page or posters or ads in the local paper?
- Word of Mouth: Would other crafters recommend the event? Networking with local artisans is a great way to get feedback about events.
- Timing: Are other events happening in the area at the same time? Is the event happening at a time when people will be in town and want to shop?
Don’t make the mistake of signing up for each and every craft show that pops up in your vicinity. This will lead to disappointment and burn out. You have put a great deal of time and thought into developing your product and your brand. Stay on that path and put an equal amount of time and energy into choosing the right craft show for your product. Grow your business by carefully choosing the best events to showcase your handmade products at. After the show is over, be sure to follow up with your craft show customers!