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blog category: Craft Fair Vendor Resources

FestivalNet, Asheville, NC

Finding Inspiration in Old Craft Books

posted 07/25/22 13:31:36   category » Craft Fair Vendor Resources
Finding Inspiration in Old Craft Books

Inspiration is all around us. It is easy to believe that when everything we see and everyone we meet seems to trigger some new and exciting creative idea, so that, as dedicated crafters, we can scarcely wait to hurry back to our homes, studios or workshops to make a start on our latest project. However, sometimes the ideas just don't seem to flow quite so easily. Or perhaps they just feel a little too much like the ideas that everyone else seems to have and you wish you could come up with something new and different.

Creating your Own Henna Tattoos for Festival Season

posted 04/19/22 18:19:29   category » Craft Fair Vendor Resources
Creating your Own Henna Tattoos for Festival Season

Festival season is one of the best times of the year to diversify your style and delve into alternative fashion and body art. This year, Style Caster is predicting that knitted bucket hats, ombre dresses, denim, and sheer dresses will be all the rage but one staple of festival looks will never be out of trend: henna tattoos. If you are keen to create your own henna looks this season, building up your design abilities with every new festival or outdoor concert, keep the following tips in mind.

 

Spice up your Craft Show Booth

posted 01/12/22 10:19:24   category » Craft Fair Vendor Resources
Spice up your Craft Show Booth

Crafts fairs are a great place to showcase an incredible amount of your fine crafts. Once you get people into your craft show booth, whether you make a sale or not will depend largely on the experience you offer your customer. By setting a vibe, activating senses, or offering helpful displays, you can motivate and move a shopper towards making a purchase!

If this is a new to you, visit art and craft festivals and observe sellers, their booths, and the shopper-flow and traffic.  Be curious about what booths seem to attract shoppers who might appear captivated and eager to buy.

Why You Should Sell Your Crafts At Your Local Farmers’ Market

posted 04/01/21 13:09:59   category » Craft Fair Vendor Resources
Why You Should Sell Your Crafts At Your Local Farmers’ Market

While many small farmers markets allow for homegrown products only, some larger markets also permit local craftspeople to participate. In fact, most popular farmers markets offer holiday markets specific to offering folks the chance to buy and sell local arts and crafts!

There’s a small amount of controversy about crafters selling their creations at the local farmers’ market.

On one side, people say that crafters may not earn enough to make it worth their time.

Top 5 Things to Do Now to Prepare For Craft Shows In the Spring

posted 12/16/20 10:37:12   category » Craft Fair Vendor Resources
Top 5 Things to Do Now to Prepare For Craft Shows In the Spring

What’s the best thing about winter if you’re a crafter?

Preparing for spring craft shows, of course.

And Spring 2021 will be a season like no other.

With a COVID vaccine at last on its way, the long dark winter of social distancing seems poised to come to an end. And that’s great news for crafters and for all those who love crafting events and shows.

Here are a few pointers to help you prepare for the spring 2021 craft show season.


Keep Up Your Virtual Game

Fingers crossed that the Covid-19 period of history draws to a close very soon.

Even so, many of your customers will still be cautious.

For these folks, maintaining a strong online presence is key.

Fortunately, we have all had plenty of practice during 2020. Now you can get even more creative.

Consider posting a virtual craft show on Facebook Live. You can also ship kits of materials to prepare for a video tutorial on your website or social media page.


Do Your Homework

We know you already get this, but it’s more important than ever to read up thoroughly on craft shows and events that you attend as a vendor.

Besides the usual concerns about space, cost and time, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with any new rules established at the venue in the wake of Covid-19.

Sanitation and social distancing protocols are major concerns in the post-Covid era, and you’ll want to be well-prepared for these so they don’t take you by surprise.


Make Visitors Feel Safe

It’s been a long time since we mingled in close quarters at a craft show, and your customers are bound to feel a bit skittish.

Put them at ease by offering masks and hand sanitizer and limiting the number of people visiting your tent.


Give Special Attention To Your Display

The display at the entrance of your space has always been an essential component of success, and that’s even more true in 2021.

If you have to put a limit on the number of people who enter, they should still be able to get a good view of what you offer just from standing outside.

Try to set up your area so that as much merchandise as possible can be viewed from outside your tent.


Offer Unique Products For Unique Times

As a crafter, you are creative by nature, and never has that quality been more important.

Put your creativity to work in consideration of the ways people's lives have changed.

Can you create any items to make a home office space feel safe and cozy? How about gifts especially for frontline workers, or memorial items for those who have suffered the loss of a loved one? And don’t forget our pets; as we spend more time at home, items geared to pet owners are more appealing than ever.

And of course, cleaning products, hand sanitizer, and fun cloth face coverings are bound to be popular for a while yet.

Are you ready to conquer the post-Covid world of craft shows?

With a little caution and creativity, you’ll be able to take your craft show game to a whole new level in the spring of 2021.

 

10 Things I Learned My First Year as a Small Business Owner

posted 11/04/20 14:27:45   category » Craft Fair Vendor Resources
10 Things I Learned My First Year as a Small Business Owner

1. Get neat, tidy and organized! We all have to report to the IRS sooner or later. What's that saying about death and taxes? Well international laws may differ but where I live I have to report to my tax office once a year. And they want to know a lot! So you better have your receipts, bills and paperwork organized and neat. Nothing is worse than having a taxes deadline, and angry IRS guy breathing down your neck, and only a huge box with bits of paper to save you. You don't need to be OCD about it either, but you should know your organizational system. And remember, it is your freaking office so go and buy the pink paper or the Hello Kitty filing folder. Decorate your boring files with scrapbook paper, stickers, and sparkle-y lettering. I think there is no need to tell you that you should get organized with storing your products, that should be a given. Maybe just one more tip regarding that matter: Don't smoke where you work or keep your supplies. So many times I opened a package from a seller and it reeked of smoke. Disgusting! I wouldn't buy from these sellers again.


2. Get legal! Don't hesitate to ask questions! Before you start your business, get to know your country's laws regarding that matter. It is super important to have a business that is legit and registered by the official authorities. Otherwise you might get in trouble with said authorities and you don't want that! Don't be afraid to ask people who already run a business. Some of them are more than willing to help you, you just need to ask. And don't be afraid of the authorities. I, for instance, was always super intimidated by the IRS people. At one point they asked me to send in my first bills to check if I'm doing everything right. I was super scared and thought "OMG I AM DOOMED!" But guess what, they just wanted to help me so I won't get into trouble later on. They called me the next day to tell me that I'm doing everything right and they were so very nice! Okay you can't say everyone will love you at the IRS and some people just aren't nice but hey, no one is out to get you!


3. Take some time to do your product pictures! And make a million at once, it is great when you can choose from many great pictures. I have made quick shots of my products and always regretted it afterwards. When I was feeling sick, stressed or had only little time to take photos I was always disappointed with the outcome and I often ended up with taking them again, re-listing everything. I also think little props and a nice background make a picture so much more interesting. Scrapbook paper make great backgrounds. Take a look around the marketplace and get inspired by what other sellers use as a background props. Then look around your house, your craft table, the garden, etc for things you can use.


4. Get ready for Christmas! I was totally overwhelmed by Christmas shoppers. I never spent so much money on Christmas presents myself, I rather make them myself or buy small things only for my closest friends and family. So the whole Christmas capitalismpalooza came as a little surprise to me. I made a big deal of my year's income on Christmas. It was a very busy time and I wasn't ready for it.. That is not going to happen to me again. So you better stock up, work on wrapping in advance, order more business cards etc so it's less stress and more fun. Other holidays like Valentines Day and Easter are also quite busy.



5. Craft fairs are amazing! If you only sell your things online because you can't afford your own local shop (who can? *sigh*) or selling in a boutique or something, craft fairs are an amazing opportunity for you. They have them nearly everywhere now. It is great to see your customers react to your goods, to get complimented on your work and see happy faces buying your product. Some people may ask questions about your products that you have never thought about before and you can later use it for making it better or writing more detailed product information in your online store. Others might tell you what they don't like about an item and you can learn from that, too. It is also a good way to network more, to give out your business cards, to meet new people and other sellers. I always love getting to know new crafty people. In my experience, I have never met a seller on a craft fair who wasn't nice and polite. And you're all in the same boat (or fair ;) ) so finding topics to talk about is easy. FestivalNet.com is of course what I would recommend for craft fair research in North America.


6. Find your community!  I follow many many steampunk and sewing blogs. I communicate with people who like and make the same crafts as I do through so many networks. It's fun! You should try it. Whatever item you make there is a community for it. There are message boards and flickr groups and twitter chats and online classes and communities to the bazzoo! You should find your niche and its community. It is very helpful to exchange opinions, tips and tricks with like-minded people. It gives you also the great feeling of being part of a team rather than working alone everyday at your craft table.


7. Wrapping is super important! I have gotten so many compliments about my wrappings. I really put a lot of effort in how my products look when they arrive in their new home. It takes me about 20-30 minutes to wrap one item. That's not very good on time management but I don't mind. I like doing what I do and I like sewing or paper crafting each item its own little bag/box, put a nice bow on it and write a thank you note etc. I think it is also a nice way to wrap your things in a green way. A fabric pouch is so much better than a plastic bag!


8. Don't share too many secrets! You know how to make something rad that is a bestselling item on etsy and no one else does it? Don't write a tutorial about it in your blog! Come on, you have to stay a little mysterious. People will copy you sooner or later anyways, no way around it. And you don't want to make it too easy for them, right? Speaking of copycats, don't be insulted or mad when you see an item that looks suspiciously like yours. It might be unintentional, it might be just inspired by yours. Don't get into a fight with these people. All we can do is being flattered, swallow the anger, call your best friend, say mean stuff about your copycat to get it out of your system and move on.


9. People love extras and German Gummibarchen. Little extras are always appreciated. Each one of my order comes with mini gummibear bags. I think it is not only nice to send some local sweets (especially when you sell mostly overseas) it also works great as additional bubble wrap! I get so many nice comments and "thanks for the sweets" remarks from my customers. You can also send little extra items with your order, like a pin, a brooch or a hair bow. It is also a nice way to say thank you to your customer and make sure they'll remember you. That way they often come back. I mean, be honest, who doesn't like free stuff.


10. A thank you goes a long way! Be nice. Try to always be there for your customers and always answer emails/ marketplace convos, etc. Always be polite and say thank you! Say thank you when someone orders something, when someone leaves you a nice comment, when someone retweets your shop tweets. And when someone is being a sweetheart and helps you with whatever it is (tips, tricks, link) say thank you! Sometimes I want to scream at people for taking such things for granted. Once a girl who was new in Germany asked me where she could buy fabric here via etsy. So I went on the net and sent her a million links and, guess what? I never heard from her again. See, people remember you when you're being rude. And that is not the impression you want to leave!

10 Tips for Creating Captivating Booths for Art and Craft Fairs

posted 10/06/20 14:23:05   category » Craft Fair Vendor Resources
10 Tips for Creating Captivating Booths for Art and Craft Fairs
Now that events are slowly beginning to happen again, it’s time to shake out your tents, dust off your display tables and consider updating your booth to attract the most shoppers at arts and craft fairs!

Here are some tips from veteran art and craft fair producer, and long time Festivalnet.com Amy Amdur of Amdur Productions. (Photo from Amdur Production's Gold Coast Art Fair in Chicago, Illinois.)


1. Plan It!

Use graph paper or a computer layout program. Plan each wall, know the sizes of the work you intend to show. Hang pieces that stack on a vertical midline, and pieces that are side by side on a horizontal midline. Aim for symmetry.


2. Frame It!

Try to have harmonious framing so that the public's attention is on your work, not on the frames. Instead of showing one style of artwork, you really want to show a group of work. It could also be by subject matter. By having one or two frame styles it keeps the focus on your booth.


3. Size Matters!

Hang a large impact piece or two of your art in the center of your back wall. It can help bring people into your booth and support the sales of your smaller pieces. When people are walking by your booth at an arts and crafts fair you have only about 5-6 seconds to grab their attention! Displaying that larger, eye-catching piece at the back of your booth helps slow down the crowd and draw in shoppers.


4. Jewelers and Those with Smaller Craft Pieces

Consider displaying photo blow-ups of some of your favorite work on the back wall and the front lower sections of your cases. That helps fest goers ‘see’ your work from a distance which makes them more apt to come in for a closer look.


5. 3D Artists

Use multiple display levels and pedestals to showcase your work at craft fairs. A more sophisticated layout is on multiple levels. Consider a vase or a sculpture in this instance.


6. Signage is Important

Use signage which reflects your work, not just a generic name sign. Velcro backed individual letters on fabric panels are a great way to display your name as well. For example, if your palate is a "deep green" find a sign which matches your work. You can even take that same look and put it on your business cards! Bottom line: signage shouldn’t be generic, but specific to you.


7. Include a Ground Cover

Solid color carpet remnants or throw rugs create an inviting atmosphere and don’t have to be expensive. Duct tape down all sides for safety. People often forget the ground when setting up at arts and crafts fairs and this will help make your booth stand-out.


8. Remember to Weigh Down Your Tent

Connect the weights to the upper cross bars of your tent so that your hard work doesn’t blow away. Wind is a force to be reckoned with at craft fairs, and it really doesn't take a lot of it to ruin your tent.


9. The Tent Itself is Important

A heavy, commercial grade tent with a sky light is best for most artists and crafters. These have stronger structures to hold walls without sagging. And, a sky light creates a brighter interior which makes for better viewing of the details of your work, like color and texture.


10. Use a High Director’s Chair

Choose a director's chair in a color which works with your booth. A higher chair gets you on face level, not belt buckle level, with your customers. Remember, your booth serves as an onsite gallery at arts and crafts fairs and a high director’s chair looks like an intentional design element. .

Craft Fair Vendor Blues? Three Things to Work On This Summer

posted 06/24/20 14:04:08   category » Craft Fair Vendor Resources

Got the COVID-crazy Craft Fair Vendor Blues? Stay Busy! Here are some tips on using this downtime to drum up business, expand your reach, and help keep your business going.

#1 Take Good (or Better) Photos. One thing it takes to be a successful craft fair vendor these days is great photography of your handiwork. When your customer is not in person to see and touch your artwork, the photo must convey it properly. It doesn’t take a lot of money or expensive equipment to do this, please check out this short article on ways to take better pictures of your craft.  Here’s another oldie but goodie on the importance of great photos for craft fair vendors.

#2 Do the Social Media Thing! Many Craft Fairs might be closed this summer, but the internet is open 24/7. If you want your craft business to survive during social distancing, participating in social media as a business is simply unavoidable. There’s no way around it. People are on social media more often than individual websites or even reading their email. You want to be where the people are. Using hashtags to let folks find what you do, using strong photography and helpful descriptions, and offering sales and discounts are ways to bring in business. There are endless resources online with guidance for being effective in social media. Invest in yourself by learning and putting what you learn into action! Here’s an article about using Instagram for your Business. Don’t stop there, look and see what other craft fair vendors are doing to drum up business with social media. 



image @rawpixel


#3 Set up (or Freshen up) your FestivalNet Profile which includes a Photo Gallery and Shop.  It’s free and comes with your membership (a small commission is charged when you make a sale, go here for all the details for selling online). Once you’ve taken those good photos of your craft and have a social media presence going, what’s left is the platform for folks to buy your crafts. We want to see Craft Fair vendors selling in our online Festival of Finds this summer!

Thanks for reading and wishing you all the best!

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