Craft fair - nothing new under the sun

toomuchglassMay 12, 2008

The only thing I noticed that was "new" -- people are making all kinds of decorative stands for solar lights . That's about it ! Everything is just a new twist on an old craft .

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That's the thing with craft shows these days, you have to come up with something very unique.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 6:11PM
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I think the days of the "craft fairs" are coming to an end. I have not seen anything new for such a long time. Just the same old stuff. Too bad, I always enjoyed making crafts and selling them, everyone is just saturated with the country crafts, everyones house is full of them. I find that now I am seeing all these craft items at "Garage Sales".

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 7:44AM
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The three of you are so right!

As someone that does shows for a living I can agree with you that there's not much new at the shows. And the customers realize that. So my wife and I are always trying something new. And by the way, we have a room full of failures!

But it seems that once somebody has something new, everybody else has it too. Like the lighted glass blocks. You can't go to a show without seeing them. And the customers balk at paying $25 for them today.

And the shows do NOT need any more jewelers! I spoke with one promoter and she was saying she could fill all 150 spaces with beaders. But she limits her catagories to 10% of the spaces for each catagory.

Today, with the exception of Christmas, people want useful crafts. If more crafters would just sit down and think about what they could use around the house, and make it, they would do better saleswise. Our product is useful. I can't tell you how many people come into our booth and say "I need this!"

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 7:33AM
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That's what I look for - useful crafts. Not many ,though . Beaders --- UGH ! Too many ! The only one making any money there are the companies that sell the beads. At a craft fair I went to last year ( just browsing ) I counted 19 beading booths out of about 40 crafters.

I can honestly admit that no one has the *wall - flowers* that I've been making. I'm sure as soon as I get more exposure - they'll be all over the place.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 11:57AM
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You are so right Toomuchglass, someone will see your's and have their own ready for their very next show! That's how things get saturated so fast.

Most all of the beaded items are really really pretty, and I admire the talent behind all those great color combinations, but I don't have a need for much jewelry so I now walk right on past those booths.

I think I mostly look for "decorative" items. Things that would look good in my home or outside in the yard. I'd be buying your flowers if I saw them for sure. ;o)

Things have gotten so expensive now too--I just can't bring myself to buy too many $25.00 items "just for pleasure" anymore. At the last craft show I went to, I bought three little ceramic "signs" with sweet verses on them and a painted stake for the 4th of July. I saw lots of floral arrangements I really liked, nice wire items, darling appliqued shirts, etc. but to be honest, the prices are just too expensive for my budget now that I'm retired! Let's hope the younger buyers with all that disposable income will take up the slack and keep all the crafter's in business! ;o)


    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 6:35PM
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Exactly --- Lovstocraft .... From every craft show I went to -- the ones that spend are either Baby boomers - or well off retirees . In between folks are frugal - and buy alot of cheap things for their kids . ( probably to keep them occupied ! LOL )

In all the late fall shows I've been in ... I've never sold Christmas decorations. Everybody else does . Each one is cuter than the next --- but how many decorations can one have ??? I sell 'gift' items .... that's what people are shopping for . Something for the person that has everything --- stained glass suncathers ! LOL

I'm also wondering what the economy will bring .... scary.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 8:21PM
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I quit the Craft Shows about 8 years ago...I saw the end in site way back least around here.

I've been seeing the country crafts in the good will for years too.

Makes me sad.

I remember going to a new friends home for the first time. She had the cutest country home I had ever seen...I fell in love with the look.

Now here I am, living in a barn , which was my dream at one time. I still love this place, but am wondering....When the time comes to sell it...will anyone else be interested in living in a barn. Even though on the inside it is just like any other home. Dry wall and oak woodwork.

I wish those years of warmth and comfort would have lasted longer.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 11:16PM
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Me too, Pattico. I got interested in Country decorating and crafts when I went to a little restaurant in the mountains. It was so warm and "homey" with gingham curtains and containers of big sunflowers. They had these cute signs like a big pig shape with words like "Bacon 25 cents" across the front of it. I just fell in love with it all. And it was what got me wanting to learn to paint! Now I still want to paint, but since the cutouts are pretty much "out", I mostly do yard signs or holiday items.

I also loved it because I now had a way to tie all my mismatched furniture together. It looked good with all the country items like baskets of sunflowers, crochet afghans, and rag rugs! I had so much fun creating wood items, rag wreaths, collecting little figurines, and country fabrics. I remember making a big arrangement on the wall behind my couch with all kinds of country items. It was so fun!

I still have a few of those things, but now I have more lace and roses around, sorta Countrycottage/Victorian I guess--and it seems even that look is past-tense as well. Like you, I am a bit concerned about if we ever go to sell this place--will need to clear out a bunch of stuff, paint and pare down for the Pottery Barn look I suppose! ;o)


    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 12:20PM
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I have done three craft shows this spring. I make hairbows, bags/purses and ribbon belts. I have made about 200.00 each show selling mostly hairbows. I sell the small clip bows for $2 - $3 and the larger ones for $3-$7. Most of the sales are for the clips and it takes a lot of clips to make any money.

My son and his wife share my booth and do all natural stone jewelry. They sell several sets but they are expensive because of the type stones and I usually make as much as they do.

I agree that there is not much interest in the crafts anymore. The booths that rake in the money are food booths, especially the funnel cakes in the south.

I am always looking for new crafts but there don't seem to be any that will sell.

Love this forum.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 11:31PM
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Literally fell into a craft show - was looking for a yard sale and found the faire... lol Sold over a hundred neck coolers and numerous wine related items (coasters and hand free wine glass holders) Paid $140 for the booth for both days and cleared almost $580 AFTER paying for the booth. We had 100 degree plus weather - this is my favorite season! I only sell these type things. They will contact me later to buy more - cheaper than gas... lol

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 3:56PM
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Way to go Bonnie!
Often those last minute shows can be very good. Congratulations.
Funny, you love the hot weather. They're calling for a mix of rain and snow tonight up here.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 6:49AM
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I do love the hot weather - I was raised in the middle east and central CA is known for its hot weather - if it is a strong hot summer, I will sell 1000 neck coolers - yep... love that hot weather lol Next week-end will be cooler. I probably have 1500 coolers in reserve for the year...

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 8:23PM
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grandma bonnie that is great! Sounds like you have found the magic nitch.
It was so hot here last week that items like yours were the 'must have'
I see you are in my zone.......where do you live?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 8:33AM
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Jenni - I live in Paso Robles - about thirty miles north of San Luis Obispo.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 8:49AM
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There are several crafter that make fleece hats and mittens in No Calif around Eureka and they seem to sell out. My DD and GK's always try to buy us a couple each year and we truly love them as they are so light and warm back here in ND.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 4:35PM
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