Summer & Fall are a beautiful time of year filled with all sorts of activities that welcome the coming of the season. There are sporting events, family outings, school functions and an abundance of seasonal craft fairs and festivals.
It can be a lucrative time for many crafters who each year gather up their artistic wares, pile them in a vehicle and venture out to one of these many annual events, where they display and sell their crafts for a weekend. For the business “savvy crafter,” the hard work pays off.
Perhaps you are thinking about participating in this year’s annual craft event? You know you have a great hand made craft and you did have some success at the church bizarre last past spring selling your crafts, but are you really ready to take on a festival where other “seasoned” crafters are there to do the same…make money?
What to sell at a seasonal craft fairs and festivals?
There are so many things out there to sell on. Like Handmade Quilts, Cupboards, Clothes, Fabrics, Ready-made Crochets & Patterns, Yarn, used & new sewing machines etc. Visit SewingMachineReporter to learn more about sewing machines and their utilities. Hand made quilts and fabrics are the best choice to sell a fair. You can find various information on the net to prepare yourself to make some money from a craft fair.
If you think you know what it takes to be a successful crafter at these festivals, then congratulations. You have done your homework and can reap the rewards of selling crafts at festivals and fairs.
However, if you are not sure what those secrets are to becoming a successful crafter at a festival, then you need to be prepared with the knowledge that other long time crafters already know before you jump into a venue to sell to the public.
The first thing a successful crafter wants to do before signing up to be in a craft festival is to learn more about the event. First, learn the dates the event will be held. If the event is one week away from the time you inquire, you better have enough crafts to sell, otherwise you are going to be standing around doing nothing for a very long time should you see out of everything. Festival coordinators do not want crafters leaving early because they have nothing to sell. It is always better to have more than less.
Know the type of festival that you are going to be participating in and the types of crafts that are going to be sold. If you are a country crafter who sells hand painted chicken magnets and the festival you have signed up to be in is a Renaissance festival featuring merry maiden gowns and coats of arms, then perhaps you should reconsider.
Right Space at the Right Time:
Successful crafters know all about the size of space they need in order to efficiently display their creative wares. If you have a lot of merchandise and a small space, you might be too cramped to display everything to make it look pleasing and tasteful to customers. On the other hand, if you have too large of a space and nothing to fill up the space, you will look drab and dull. No customers will be attracted to your area.
Make sure when you are assigned an area within the festival that you specifically ask to be with others crafters and away from food and music. People love to go to festivals and without fail, the “other” successful vendors are always the food and drink vendors. If your craft area is located next to a food booth where customers would rather relish in the taste of chicken on a stick and an ice cold drink, then you are apt to leave the festival without much in sales.
However, you can always partake of the food since it is close at hand. But, be prepared to have low sales with food nearby. Loud blaring music near you will also be a distraction. Carefully consider where organizers of a festival want you to be located before you make your decision to participate.
A successful crafter has a keen eye. They know what to offer and what to sell at these festivals. If you make and sell only one item, make sure to check with festival coordinators as to what other crafters are selling and the types of crafts that are going to be sold. If you are a jewelry artist and there are 100 crafters participating in the festival and 40 of them are jewelers, then you might want to offer a different craft to sell.
Read the Fine Print:
Craft fair and festival organizers normally give all crafters prior to an event a list of guidelines that they want crafters to adhere to as a participant in the festival. It is also very important to read these crafter guidelines before you sign up. Some festivals will allow ONLY hand made crafts, while others will allow both hand made and retail crafts.
If you are the jewelry crafter competing with the retail crafter who gets jewelry from China and can sell it for pennies on the dollar, then you are sure to fail. You will most likely be undersold and though you think your crafts are better, you can’t beat the price of one dollar. If you don’t want this to happen, enter only festivals that accept crafters whose items are hand made only!
You’ve Got to Have a Gimmick:
Show off those crafts! You can have the most beautiful craft, but if it’s is hidden, unorganized, and not displayed properly, then customers will not see you. Successful crafters know all about “gimmick,” If you are a painter, be prepared to stand out with your crafts by personalizing you items. Customers love to see their name on a product. You want to draw as much attention to you and your craft area as possible. Try to be different. Do what it takes to get others to notice you with eye popping signage, balloons, decorative displays, etc.
Learn From the Pros:
Successful crafters know as much about these festivals as their sponsors. They know what has sold in the past and what has not. They may not have a tabulation of every individual crafter’s past income to show from the previous year, but they can tell you what craft vendors have been returning year after year. If you watch closely, those are the successful craft vendors! Why would a craft vendor return again the following year if they were not selling from previous years?
Successful crafters know that size really does matter at a festival. No two crafts are alike and sometimes a crafter has an item for sale that is very large. Think carefully about the size of the crafts you want to sell.
Having larger sized items at a festival for sale can work, but more often than others, customers strolling through a festival for hours on end do not want to buy something they have to lug around all day with them in their hands.
You can offer to hold it for them until they return but make sure to collect their money ahead of time along with a phone number in case they forget about their item at the end of the day. If possible, have several sized items for customers to choose from, making it easier on both you and the customer.
Don’t price your items “out of the festival.” Successful crafters know that customers shopping festivals are savvy craft shoppers and they know what they are willing to pay and what they are not willing to pay. Don’t mark up items so much that they would only sell in an upscale boutique, rather price them low enough to sell and high enough for you to make a profit!
Should you have the opportunity to be set up in a festival as a crafter next to the “successful crafter,” make sure to watch and learn! A good crafter never knows it all, but the better you can educate yourself with knowing the “in’s and out’s,” for crafters at fairs and festivals, the closer you will be to becoming a “successful crafter” too.