Spring craft shows

foxylil_ohMarch 18, 2009

I'm getting ready for my first show this year and as usual I am not ready. I am wondering if anyone else gets in shows this early? I found out from previous spring shows that Easter stuff doesn't sell much. Last year all that was going out the door was yard and garden wooden items and guess what-I don't make any of that. I sew sweatshirts and sewing items so I hope to do good. Anyone sewing for the spring shows?

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grandma_bonnie

I make and sell the neck coolers and potato bags for my spring shows. As I have said before, money is tight, and people do not want to buy unless it is useful - or after saying that... Anyhing for grandkids or dogs... My first big show will be April 25 - a flower festival...

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 9:18AM
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thelmalee

My first show is March 28. I have been selling hairbows, ribbon belts and bags/totes. This year I have learned to make the A line dresses and jon=jons that are lined. I am anxious to see if they will sell. I have appliques on most of them, a few with easter appliques. I am trying to decide how much to charge for them. If I can keep the price low, maybe I will sell more but not make very much. Would anyone be willing to let me know how much they charge for them. On the hairbows, the small ones on alligator clips I charge $2 and $3. The larger ones on barettes I charge $4 to $8.

Thelma

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 9:34AM
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christopherh

We've done five shows so far. We started the third week in January. Sales have been pretty good. But I agree, the customers want useful things. And the items must be priced right. If the item is in the same price range as a store, the customer will almost always go to the store. I can't explain why, but they do.

Also this year exhibitors MUST be standing and be willing to engage the customer. No magazines, books, DVD players, nothing. Shut the phone off. And don't sit making stuff thinking you're "demonstrating". Unless you're a craftsman making brooms, go to the show to sell, not make. Because the exhibitor either next to you or across from you will be doing just that. You must work to sell your product. So be enthusiastic and SMILE! And if you must sit down, get a tall director's chair.

Commit this to memory: "There's NOTHING at a craft show anybody NEEDS". It's up to you to convince them they want it.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 8:45AM
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thelmalee

Hi Christopher - What do you sell? I live in a rural area and only have 4 per year that are nearby. I plan to try to find some nearby during the summer. I really enjoy craft shows and meeting the people. If I make enough to support my "habit" I am satisfied; not much profit.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 11:09AM
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lynnlynn

I have to say that I agree with all of the things being said. I have my first one on the 4th of April. Does anyone have ideas for dogs. I have requests all the time but I can't seem to come up with any ideas.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 11:30AM
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christopherh

I made house numbers for over twelve years. But I got tired of making them so I moved on to other things.
Bonnie posted a picture of my product a short time ago, so if you go back a few pages here you can see my numbers.

I too live in a rural area.... Vermont. I live in a town with 850 people. So I must travel to do shows. I do this for a living so I drew a 250 mile radius around my home and do shows in this area. I use Craftlister to find the shows. You input your Zip code and how big a radius you want to go. The shows come up.
So far I've gone to Edison NJ, Syarcuse NY, Hartford CT, Burlington VT, and Salem NH, just north of Boston.
We have over 40 shows scheduled for '09. Can you tell I love what I do for a living?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 7:24AM
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snolady

craft shows dying off here. Nobody has extra money to splurge on those things. Too many people getting laid off their jobs. Good luck in your area.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 12:58PM
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thelmalee

bad luck for my first craft show of the season. Rain comes in Wednesday and rains all week. 70& chance of thunderstorms Saturday!

Thelnma

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 8:56PM
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thelmalee

My show was cancelled because of the rain. We have had 4 inches in the last two days with more coming tomorrow.

Thelma

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 9:59PM
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foxylil_oh

Well my first show is done and I must say I did faily good considering it is spring. I did sell my shirts, a couple jackets, a couple of onesies that I had appliqued on 7 appliqued baby bibs and an adult bib. I think that I had a record year for the spring show. I also stand at all of my shows and sell my stuff. I think that is why I have people coming back each show and I also make sure I hand them my ccalendar as I talk with them. Good luck to everyone.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 9:10AM
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christopherh

We did a flower and Garden show in Albany, NY. Sales wwere good but I have to tell you what I was witnessing all three days. We were across from a shed/playground company. They had a "Jungle Gym" type of thing. It had a platform which the kids could climb up by either stairs, a "rock" wall, a rope with knots tied in it, or a rope ladder. The roof was canvas so the kids could sit out of the sun. There was also a sliding board on the opposite end. One of the new wavy sliding boards. Well, new parents would place the toddler at the top of the sliding board and try to coax him/her down. The absolute look of terror was on these kids faces! Dad would help them down the slide, and once the kids figured it wasn't going to kill them, the absolute look of JOY came over their faces! These kids were one or two years old. And all they wanted was to do it AGAIN!!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 7:28AM
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mariend

I went to my first one this year as a buyer. Nothing new, did see one person sitting down reading book and others visiting with friends. Again like poster said, sales will be lost. The only thing new I noticed was someone had taken picture frames, (not homemade) and put pheasent feathers and flowers on the mating then put them back together. Pretty but pricy for me. Aroung 6-8 dollars. Things that sold, baby stuff, potholders, some jewelery, and of course in the food section the food stuff. Most are regular sellers and licensed or Pride of Dakots sellers. Some matched outfits sold, price not bad. I bought a quilted glass case from a seller I had bought from before. I love her style and product and just don't understand why she does not sell more. Wish I could take a picture. Very simple with a side pocket. Oh yes, one seller was selling bags to hold curling irons with a special lining to hold the hot irons. The younger gals seem to like those.
Good luck to all selling this year.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 11:48AM
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grandma_bonnie

Good for you foxylil! Sounnds like you worked hard and the sales prove it! Mariend - thanks for the report!Thelma - was the show re-scheduled? Not fun whenthey get cancelled. Thanks for the report Christopher! I have an outside show on the 25th in Porterville! Fourth year - always fun and I make good money too!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 9:38AM
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thelmalee

They announced today that they could not reschedule the craft show because of other events in the park and city. I have given away some of the little dresses I made with Easter applique and will keep the rest for next year. I do have shows on the 18 and 25th of April. This will be my first year to sell the a-line dresses and jon-jon's or shortalls. I am anxious to see how they sell.

I bought a curling iron bag at a craft show in Tennessee (I live in Alabama) with the intention of making some but I have not been able to find the teflon fabric to make the lining. I had thought about using an ironing board cover but they don't make the teflon ones anymore - or at least I can't find any around here.

I really enjoy craft shows - meeting and talking with people. I have a stool I prop on but am always on my feet when someone walks up!

Thelma

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 3:19PM
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luvs2click

I had a show March 28th - my first time really for an early spring show. It was a big one and well attended. I was happy with my sales (just over $500). People are still buying, even with the poor economy. Thanks to all who've posted on this subject - it is always interesting to read how shows are doing in other parts of the country. My next one is outside but not until mid-June. I've had a few canceled ones too - that is such a disappointment!
Arlene

Here is a link that might be useful: Photo site

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 8:04AM
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ilmbg

I've not posted here before, but was reading because I will ask a question about something else...

About the craft shows- I LOVE to go to them. I too, only buy useful items- maybe because I dislike 'clutter'- and I hate to do dusting of 'stuff'! The more bare the room is, the better- not quite a 'minimalist', but close!!
Anyway- may I say something- about sellers at the shows.
Several times there will be booths at shows that have the same items. It's still fun to look, because different people do their crafts with a different flair.

A big turn-off is when, for example a person who is selling the neck-coolers/collars, and tells me that 'all the other people here use regular moisture crystals- but mine are specially treated- nobody around here knows about these specially treated crystals. Mine will stay cooler twice as long as theirs do.'

What a bunch of garbage- only this seller happens to know about the 'secret crystals'- hers are better than everybody else's!

Nothing makes me turn and run as fast as I can from people like this- I can't stand liars/people who put other people down trying desperately to sell something. How stupid/gullible do they think people are??

I love to look and chat and possibly buy something from people who know their craft/skills!

JMOHO!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 3:56AM
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grandma_bonnie

ilmbg - was that person a young person? You don't make yourself look better by slamming the others... I do voice my concerns on the potato bags however - there are some made with polyester batting which is highly flamable. I do educate t5he customers on that but I also give my instructions to anyone who has a potato bag so they can cook all the different things (like artichokes! lol)The customers always say tht the bags weren't purchased from me and I reply that the instructions/recipes are free for everyone! Welcome to the forum, sweetie!
luvs2click - your items are beautifully done! I can see why your sales are good... Nice job!
Thelma - do you need the teflon fabric or would cotton batting work! One crafter I know used cotton batting for her pot holders...

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 10:03PM
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christopherh

That's one thing that somehow really annoys me. I do not believe in disparaging another exhibitor's work.
I can see pointing out differences in products if they're accurate, but saying what the above was saying about the competition's coolers is flat out wrong.
As an example, if there is another exhibitor selling house numbers, I will point out mine are fired numbers and will not fade or peel whereas the other exhibitor has vinyl stick on numbers. And then let the customer decide.

Our show schedule is now starting to pick up for the year. The truck is tuned and ready to go. Next week, Keene, NH, then Edison, NJ and then Burlington, VT 30 miles from Canada. No show Mother's Day and then booked solid straight through July.

Chris in VT

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 8:37AM
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foxylil_oh

Yes grandma_bonnie I do work hard like you do and all of us crafters. But we have so much pride when someone wants to buy our crafts. luvs2click your fairy houses are a lot of work also and are so professional and neat. Keep up the good work.I see that you are from Ohio also, where are you located?.....Di

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 2:24PM
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luvs2click

Thanks Di - I'm near Ashland Ohio - do shows mostly in Ashland and Wayne Co.

Arlene

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 8:10PM
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thelmalee

Had my first show this spring Saturday and did good considering all the other things going on around us. It was a very busy weekend. We had to compete with A-Day, a music festival and horseshow, but I was pleased with my sales. I have another show Saturday, so will get busy replacing what I sold.

Grandma Bonnie, I had not thought about cotton batting but am not going to do any now. I have just learned to make the A=line dresses and jon-jons and do the applique on them. For the present I am goint to stick to them, hair bows and maybe bags to match. It seems the bags/totes have about played out around here. do any of you make them and how are your sales.

I was exhausted when we got home Saturday afternoon from standing on pavement all day but it was a really fun day! I love crafting and the shows!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 11:37AM
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grandma_bonnie

Good for you, Thelma!!! Isn't it the best feeling? This next week-end, I'll be doing an Iris Festival in Porterville, California. Always do well - not expecting much this year as it will be in the seventies only. My neck coolers always do well there. We are having our second day of 105 so hoping it lasts thru the week-end. I love it whern someone will come to my booth and offer to buy my leftovers from me - I just laugh and say I do this every week-end - if I don't sell out, all the better for the next one... lol

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 10:14PM
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foxylil_oh

Where is your next show luvs2click? I am close to Lordstown. About 5 miles from the G.M. Plant. It is about a 2 hour drive to my sisters house in Mansfield. I go right by your area on my way there. Route 71. Do you do the Xmas show at the Richland County Fair Grounds? We do that one every year. It is a very good one day show if you are interested in doing that one. Glad to hear from a crafter so close. You have made my day. This is so unbelievable Arlene.....Di

    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 6:54AM
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