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Festival Network Online

Festival Network Online Newsletter - Artist/Craftspeople Edition -  August 2009

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Hello $member_name,

We hope the summer festival season has been good to you so far! Here are a few reminders for you:

This month, Rob Goyette delivers some ideas on craft show supplies and how to get the best supplies for the least money.

Our featured artists this month are Ross, Catherine and Mark Mazur of Starlight Studios. Check out their unique handmade paper wall sculptures below.

We hope your summer is going great!

The FNO Staff

Craft Show Supplies by Rob Goyette

Supplies are what make a craft. Unless you are making something where you can use regular household items, or that don't need anything but the buyer to complete the sale, then supplies are going to be a major part of your crafts.

Finding a supplier that isn't going to cost you an arm and a leg, and still have good quality might be a challenge at first. But, in my experience, it is always better to pay just a little bit more for good quality, than it is to buy bargain basement materials and have your customers be disappointed when the overall quality of your craft is poor.

Once you combine your experience with the supplies and the experience of making the craft, you will soon realize where you might be able to save a few pennies on supplies, and where you should just pay for good quality.

You'll need to have several excellent sources for supplies that are readily available in order to be a successful crafter. Initial research, then time and experience will be necessary for you to find your best suppliers in terms of cost, quality and promptness of delivery. Here are a few tips on getting the best supplies for the lowest prices:
  • Comparison shop with several vendors, and even after using one or two, keep an eye out for better deals. With a little bit of extra effort, you might be able to find the materials you want on sale, or at a lower price at a different vendor.
  • Ask other craftspeople for recommendations. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find deals. If you belong to a craft group or if you know other people who craft, talk to them about where they are getting their supplies. They may give you a great lead on fantastic prices.
  • Always buy wholesale--all you need is your resale certificate to qualify. Wholesale eliminates the middle man in many cases. You should be able to save a great deal of money on craft supplies if you have a craft supplies wholesaler in your area.
  • Buy in quantity for greater discounts, maybe even by partnering with another crafter. It's the same is if you go to the grocery store - usually, the more you buy, the better overall deal you are getting. It may cost a little more out of pocket, but your cost per piece goes down significantly.
  • Use recycled materials and recycle what you can from your past inventory. You never know when scraps of other supplies will make great pieces elsewhere on your craft. This is a great way to save money on your supply cost.
  • Keep track of your supply inventory so you can order in advance at better prices for busier seasons rather than waiting until the last minute. If you wait until the last minute you usually don't have time to find a deal - you just need the supplies fast! This could end up costing you a lot of money.
  • Do your best to get 30-day terms, so you can pay suppliers after you've sold some product. You will probably have to pay with cash or credit the first few times that you go into a store, but after they recognize your patronage and you qualify with their accounting department, you can get terms that allow you to pay 30 days after you purchase the supplies.
Supply costs are one of the biggest costs when you are setting up your craft show business. As mentioned earlier, most crafts rely on materials of some sort or another. In order to ensure a tidy profit at the end of the day, you need to control the material expense so your prices stay competitive and you sell more product!

Rob Goyette is the owner and operator of Craft Show Success Secrets.

Featured FNO Artist - Starlight Studios

FNO members Starlight Studio Starlight studios is comprised of three artists, Ross, Catherine and Mark Mazur, working collaboratively. Ross began the studio in 1971 working with clay sculpture and then in 1980 developed the concept of unique wall sculpture in hand-made paper. Mark and Catherine have brought their art backgrounds to the studio more recently and together the concept continues to evolve into a number of styles, always on the leading edge of the art scene, as evidenced by wide appeal.

FNO members Starlight Studio Each of the artists share in all aspects of the design and execution, which results in art that is fresh and innovative.

Throughout 30 years, Starlight Studios has enjoyed success, exhibiting in some of the country's most prestigious art venues, with numerous awards.The work has been featured in galleries across the country, as well as in many private and corporate collections.

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