You enjoy creating and crafting. You have spent hours perfecting your craft until it surpasses both your highest standards and your worst critic, YOU. You have made a lot of products for your family and friends. Now you’re ready to share your craft with a wider audience.
The first craft show is both exciting and terrifying at the same moment. There will be lots of inventory to display, displays, business cards, and so on, until you are overwhelmed.
Is your business ready for?
You are already an expert in your field. We need to figure out what you will make and how many you will need. Finally, we need to find the best way for you to reduce your supply costs so that you maximize profit.
You will first need to create a list of the things you want to make, as well as what you will make first and how many. Your list should include a variety of items. Craft shows are for those who want unique and one-of-a-kind items.
Keep your list up to date once you have it made. It’s time to start shopping for your supplies. You will lose money if you shop at Walmart and other big-box craft stores. It is important to search for supplies in niche markets. Wholesalers that specialize in selling to business owners and crafters. Start your search online. Start your search online.
Next, think about how you’ll display your craft. To display their inventory, most crafters use 6 foot plastic tables. You can rent tables at some shows for an additional charge. If you are planning to host multiple shows, renting tables is an option. However, buying your own table will be more economical. Walmart sells 6 foot tables that can be folded in half, so they’re only 3 feet long. These tables are a smart investment. You’ll find other uses for them beyond craft shows. When I’m preparing for shows, I use my table for yard sales, parties, and crafting. Gridwall is great for selling small, lightweight items like clothing, or painting framed artwork. My local Craigslist found it for me. Although it took me more than a year to find them, I was able to score a great deal. Keep checking back. The product you sell will determine the display. Another option is to buy pegboard at your local hardware store. You can also get display pieces made with hinged pegs from your local hardware store, especially if you have someone handy. Consider how much time it will take to set up and tear them down. If you have a lot of shows, this is an issue. You may only have a couple hours to set everything up for some shows. You need display pieces that are easy to set up and take down. Gridwall and pegboards can require the use of peg hooks, which can take a lot of time to set up and tear down. If your show is outdoors, take extra care. Remember to account for the wind! Wind was the most surprising thing about my first show! It did so much damage that I didn’t expect it to! My products and displays were constantly flying off the walls. Consider all weather conditions when you’re exhibiting outdoors.
You will need a table cover if you plan on using tables. I prefer black fitted tablecloths. They are easy to fold and place over your table. There are other options. You can either make your own, if you have the time and skill to sew, or get flat sheets that you can lay on your tables. A comfortable chair is a must, as most craft shows don’t provide them.
Kate’s Craft Store is a good place to start – they offer a wide range of products for boutiques and hair bow niches as well as other crafting items.
Prices, signs, and business cards
Next, you will need business cards and a sign. Prices are also required. Online business card printing sites offer business cards that are free or very cheap. It may take a few weeks to have your business cards designed and sent to you. These companies will often offer you a sign for free if you purchase enough products. Make sure you have one. Sign up to allow shoppers to easily identify your business.
What price will you set for your products? A shopper will prefer to see everything priced individually or groupings of the same item at the same price. For sellers, I prefer simple and easy-to-remember prices. I like to group similar items with the same price and make a sign with prices. We are talking about prices. You can price your items in multiples or singles. You can either charge 3.00 per item or 2.00 per item for 5.00. To get a better deal, people will often buy another one. You just make a little more. Win, win!
Last minute tips
Once you’ve got all your supplies, you can start to set up your items in your yard or at home. This will help you decide how you want to arrange them and what you need.
To save my sanity, I created a tool kit for craft shows. You will need these items at every show. You will find the following items in my bag: Markers, paper, paper, pricing gun and business cards.
Before you head out to your show, there is one more thing you should consider. You might consider having a giveaway at your table. You can either put together a basket and allow people to enter to win it. You can also enter to win a product or gift card. For them to complete, have entry forms. You should ask them for their email address on the paper. Why would you give away something for free? It’s not possible to guarantee that your followers or fans will see your posts/pins with all the social media available today (Facebook and Pinterest, etc). Direct marketing can be done to emails that have been collected. You can send free newsletters with many email marketing tools. Newsletters can be used to inform your customers about your sales, where you are and the new products that you have.
Get to know your customers
Many crafters are introverts or shy. You can try to get out of your shell by engaging with all who visit your booth. It’s a friendly “Hello, how are you today?” It will make your customers feel more comfortable and welcome. You can bring some of your work with you to show off or to work on during slow times. People will stop to admire you performing something new.
Engage the children!
You might want to consider whether the event is family-friendly. There will be children at these events. It is important to keep them entertained and happy at your booth, so that parents can shop. Parents will spend more time with their children if they have something to do. Bubble machines that blow bubbles are a great way to keep kids busy. Lollipop trees are a fun game that kids can play, such as turning over a bird in a small container of water to win a prize. A small toy box for children to play with. As a parent, I have small toys that can be used in my craft box. These toys are from fast food and I don’t care if they “walk away” with a child. Another great option is balloons. It’s even better if your company name is printed on them. Request to be next to a face-painting artist if one is available at your event. Face painting is a great way to get noticed.
You can be a successful vendor at a craft fair by focusing on many things.