What does anyone think of craftshows anymore

i loved doing music festivals and art festivals with my wood
jewelry, , i am a 30year carver, fanatic finisher and the grain is
so seductive, i am afraid to do shows anymore cause i think it’s
all over in this country economically, so i work for a rich fashion
jewelry firm designing models and limited production runs, very
boring in comparison to inventing heavenly tidbits and selling them
to interested people, i really don’t know where in this country
(US), i could get away with a predominantly wood jewelry store,
but i wish i could try, dave

I’ve done them for 18 years.

  1. Economy stinks for low end stuff.

  2. There are too many local shows.

  3. Art jewelry priced to make a living is hard to sell to casual art
    show customers.

  4. Collectors are your only hope for purchases at local art shows.

  5. Major art/craft shows bring major clients with intent to buy.

  6. Major art/crafts shows jury in better art.

  7. If you can jury in to major shows, you stand a chance of making a

  8. Skip the little shows or sell for fun.

This is my personal experience and advice. Your experience will

Judy Hoch

The shows I have choosen to do are based on the number of jewelers
in the show.

If there are more that 15% I let the jury group know that I only do
shows where the number is at or below that percent. Explain how
difficult it is to spread the wealth with tooo many jewelers.

I also have several price points that seem to work and an area where
the cost for a single pair of earrings is say… 20.00 or two
for 30.00, based on type of product.

I don’t discount smaller shows now.I find I make my best money
there. No hotels, no food costs, small gas expences. The hours are

Enjoy the sunshine! Getting ready for the hurricane and evacuation!

I loved doing good shows, especially the out-door summer arts
festivals. Shows were much better 20 -30 years ago. I think they are
still viable at some level, but not nearly as good a way to make a
living as they once were. Yes, the economy is poor, but there has
been some cultural changes that are huge factors. More shows for the
public to choose or ignore as well as the fact that it is no longer
a new and exciting shopping opportunity. It is easy to forget the
thrill and wonder that these shows buzzed with back when the public
was first being introduced to fine creative handmade crafts.

My own business got much better when I stopped relying on shows for
my primary income. The funny thing is that most of my crafts colleges
assumed that the only alternative was wholesale. It was retail
mail-order and internet sales that did it for me in the 1990s, but
now it is traditional storefront retailing that keeps the wolf from
the door.

Now the only shows I do are local ones to promote my store and to
support the community culture.

Stephen Walker

people -

i love to do shows with a lot of jewelers! i often tell promoters
that i like being next to other jewelers - comparison is a great
selling point for me. at one well-known south florida show my booth
was next to a jeweler/couple whose design philosophy seemed to be
’more is better’. a few times during the first morning i saw
customers check out my display and/or the piece i was wearing and
then come over to look at my work; midway through the morning one of
the two went somewhere and returned with a large lace panel which
they clamped up as a screen between our booths. my point: spend less
time avoiding shows with larger percentages of jewelers and more
time developing a style that stands out no matter how many other
jewelers are around you.


people, think first - it takes less effort than straightening out a

IVE I have been in that situation before, actually both ends. My
jewelry style is very eclectic because I don’t just create wire work,
or fabrication, or beading, or metal clay. I do everything. Each
piece is different and created differently. There is room for
everyone. I have friends that also make jewelry and we do quite a
few shows together and there is never a sense of jealousy or envy
because they or I got a sale. Our designs are so different that we
even refer customers to each other based on what they are looking
for. It is good business because they will remember that we are a
community of artists instead of competing retailers/wholesalers.