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SO YOU WANT TO DO CRAFT SHOWS
16 Lessons I Learned Doing Craft Shows
Doing craft shows is a wonderful experience. You can make a lot of money at craft shows,
you meet new people, you have new adventures. You learn a lot about business and arts and crafts designing.
IF… you do your homework when selecting them,
and verify all information
IF… you are very organized in preparing for them,
setting up, selling and re-packing up
IF… you promote, promote, promote.
In this book, I discuss 16 lessons I learned, including How To:
• Find, Evaluate and Select Craft Shows Right for You
• Determine a Set of Realistic Goals
• Compute a Simple Break-Even Analysis
• Develop Your Applications and Apply in the Smartest Ways
• Understand How Much Inventory to Bring
• Set Up and Present Both Yourself and Your Wares
• Best Promote and Operate Your Craft Show Business
Being Smart About It
In the late 1980s, Jayden and I began our jewelry making adventure. First, a garage sale to test out our ideas. We combined Jayden’s artisan jewelry with jewelry making parts and laid them out on the lawn in front of our apartment. Incredibly successful. $6000.00! I worried, what if this was a fluke? So 6 weeks later, we did it again. We duplicated the finished jewelry and the selection of jewelry making parts, and held another garage sale. Again, a success at $4700.00.
So we took the plunge and rented a booth at the Nashville Flea Market, one of the granddaddy flea markets of all flea markets across the nation. New vendors begin in outside stalls. Every month we hauled our merchandise, our tables, our displays, our chairs, our food and water, and our heater or fan, depending on the time of year. Grueling. Very grueling. But profitable.
Between the monthly shows, we busily made more and more jewelry. We ordered more and more parts to sell. And loaded the van. Drove to the fairgrounds. Unloaded. Set up. Shivered or sweated. And hawked our goods.
About a year later, an indoor flea market opened up nearby. You had a booth that you could close up and lock up. The market was open Wednesday through Sunday every week, and you had to be there or forfeit your booth. This took some pressure off in that we didn’t have to pack up and load up and unload and unpack. This also allowed us to make and repair jewelry onsite.
Another year later, we were in a storefront in downtown Nashville. Several weekends each year we did one or another art and craft show or bead show. The rest is history. But you never forget your roots.
Craft Shows Are Great Opportunities
There are many advantages to doing craft shows.
• You can make good money.
• You can jump-start and enhance your reputation
• You can learn a lot of good business tricks
• And find out about a lot of good resources
If,… And that’s a big, “if”! You know what you’re doing.
All too often, jewelry designers who want to do craft shows have not done their homework. They have not researched and evaluated which shows to do, and which not to do. They have not figured out how best to set up their booths and displays. They are clueless about what inventory to make, and to bring, and how to price it. They are unprepared to promote, to market and to sell.
I developed this book to help prepare you for doing this kind of craftshow homework.
• What information you need to gather
• How to set personal and business goals
• How to find, evaluate and select craftshows
• And, how best to promote and operate your business at these craftshows
In fact, I go over 16 lessons I learned for successfully doing craftshows.
I have divided these into two groups.
First, I discuss lessons about finding and selecting craft shows. These lessons are about How to find craft shows, and determine how well you and your business will fit in.
The second group of lessons are about how to promote and operate your business at these craft shows. These lessons focus on booth set-up, how best to organize all the various tasks involved, how to promote your business, how to manage money, and how to make sales.
Then I offer some final words of advice.
At the end of the book, I have a page of internet resources links for you to explore in more detail.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
What You Will Learn
Intro to Book and Acknowledgements
LESSON 1: Not Every Craft Show Is Alike
LESSON 2: Research All Your Possibilities
LESSON 3: Know Which Craft Shows Are For You
LESSON 4: Set Realistic Goals / Determine Break-Even Point
LESSON 5: Get Those Applications In Early
LESSON 6: Promote, Promote, Promote
LESSON 7: Set Up For Success
LESSON 8: Bring Enough Inventory To Sell
LESSON 9: Sell Yourself And Your Craft At The Show
LESSON 10: Make A List Of Things To Bring
LESSON 11: Be Prepared To Accept Credit Cards
LESSON 12: Price Things To Sell
LESSON 13: Keep Your Money Safe
LESSON 14: Generate Follow-Up Sales
LESSON 15: Take Care Of Yourself
LESSON 16: Be Nice To Your Neighbors
Some Final Words Of Advice
Thank You And Request For Reviews
About Warren Feld, Jewelry Designer
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