Well, I am taking the “plunge” and doing my first booth at a local
craft show. It is a small, one day school art fair, so it should not
be too difficult for a first timer, and I have 2 months to prepare.
(I don’t know whether to be excited or terrified.)
Crafting the same thing or real similar items over & over is not
really me, as I get bored very easily and prefer to make only “one
of a kind” work, but I am going to give it a try. We all have to
start somewhere, I suppose. I figure if nothing else I will get my
name and “out there” locally.
I have some questions and ideas I thought I would ask for feedback
HOW MUCH/What to offer: I live in Toledo, Ohio. The Christmas
Craft circuit is fairly busy, but I have no idea how much stock of
different items to have on hand. Does anyone out there do the craft
shows at Christmas time that can advise me on what to have
available? I’m really stumped. I kind of listed out my goals of what
to make, but have no idea how many each type of item to have on
hand, or even to have it all hung up, or have some items boxed below
the table and only have a couple of each thing on display. I know
earrings, necklaces & bracelets are a fairly popular gifts. I
initially planned on having a price range of stuff, from the
inexpensive beaded/braided items then ranging up to the more
expensive “Art Jewelry” with the set stones and more solid silver
pieces, but I am wondering if having that range is even a good idea?
Perhaps I should offer ONLY my more expensive one of a kind items? I
don’t want to cheapen my work just to make sales, you know? And then
do I clearly separate those items from each other on the table and
racks? ANY feedback here would be much appreciated.
Packaging: I have a logo that I designed a few years ago. I was
thinking to have a local rubber stamp company make my stamp that I
can stamp and heat emboss on plain paper bags and use tissue paper
inside the bag in the same or a contrasting color. This seemed a
fairly cheap yet decent design idea for bagging up purchases. I was
wondering if there are any thoughts on this? Perhaps I can just then
use zip top plastic bags or those organza zip ties for the actual
piece? I don’t want things to look cheap, but need packaging that
still is cheap. Expenses are piling up FAST on actual supplies.
Jewelry Hangers: I am thinking of using a vertically printed
business card with stick-on plastic hangers on the back to hang
jewelry on my stands, which are actually CD racks painted off white
to match my table display. I picked them up at Goodwill for a buck
each on a sudden whim idea. My concern is, does anyone know if the
"biz card hangers" look at least fairly professional? I have never
seen one in person and got the idea from a web site somewhere.
Making Change: How much is good enough to have on hand? In what
denominations? (paper bills, quarters, nickels, dimes, pennies) I
really have no idea what to expect. I am told by my neighbor, who
coordinates this yearly sale for the PTA, that past sales have been
fairly decent and at least brings crafters back each year. How much
is “enough” to keep on hand? (I know that pricing items close to
whole dollar amounts will help keep the need for making change
down.) Does using a simple metal change box look unprofessional or
should I rent a small cash register? If no printed receipt, should I
write paper receipts for my customers? Should I have a return
policy? I’m kind of lost here.
Okay, these are my initial worries, (yes I know, there are probably
going to be many more), and hammering out the jewelry is my BIGGEST
concern, so I am also a busy gal these days. ANY feedback anyone can
offer me is SO appreciated! Perhaps there is a book published that
will cover a lot of these issues anyone can recommend to me?
Excuse my long winded post, too. I guess today I am more terrified
than I am excited. I have spent the last several nights with all
this going round & round in my head until exhaustion takes over.
Failure scares the hell out of me and spending all the cash to make
it happen, then not making any sales will crush me emotionally AND
financially. But, the alternative is to do nothing and I really need
to start SOMEWHERE. I did a Christmas craft fair in a local mall
several years ago and sold not a SINGLE item. (I had made tons of
those cloth covered bulletin boards and ended up giving them all
away as gifts over the next few years.) Anyway, thanks for reading,
and any suggestions at all will be GREATLY appreciated!