Holiday Craft Shows

grandma_bonnieOctober 12, 2007

To anyone going to sell at a show- HAVE A GREAT DAY! I have shows for the next two week-ends I have three show, but don't worry about selling any Christmas thing 'till the one on the 28th. I will be at the Farmer's Market tomorrow. If anyone goes to a show, can you report back here so we can see what is selling... Have a wonderful week-end eeryone.

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I'm going tomorrow - ( buying not selling )I'll report back !

    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 6:24PM
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I went to a craft show today about 30 tables, found it very disappointing. Same old stuff, nothing new. A lot of knitting, tree ornaments, a couple of tables had food items,Jewelry. Didn't see anyone buying anything.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2007 at 6:47PM
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Had a good day at the market this morning... Sold the potato bags and aprons - I raised the price on the aprons and sold out again! Maybe I'll need to rethink the prices again... I took some snowman bag holders and sold them all! Now to make enough to replace them and more - they really are cute... I'm making another 10 children's aprons tonight... I'll try to post a pic of the snomen tomorrow in the gallery...

    Bookmark   October 13, 2007 at 11:59PM
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Now for a report from a pro that does this for a living.

We did a show in Syracuse, NY at the NY State Fairgrounds. It was put on By a promoter called "Country Folk Art".

The space fee was $500 for a 10x10 space. There were about 200 exhibitors. Some took one space and others took 6 spaces. We took two spaces.

Crowds were excellent and sales were too. We have a wreath hanger that is in the process of getting a patent and since we can put on it "Patent pending" we had the only booth in the show with our product. We sold over 300 at $10 each in addition to our other items.
Many exhibitors bring their stock in race car trailers towed by heavy duty trucks. They take over 12 hours to set up. Some have a "general store" type of display.

The show brought in about 15,000 customers that paid $6 at the door for admission.

However there was a LOT of imported crafts at this show. And since most of it looks the same today, we CRAFTERS can actually do better than the B/S (Buy/Sell) merchants! Maybe it was the sign we have in our booth. "MADE IN THE USA!"

There was also some garbage at the show. One vendor was trying to sell socks! He was "disappointed" with his sales as the customers were not interested. May customers said "what are YOU doing at a craft show?

    Bookmark   October 15, 2007 at 8:33AM
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Thanks for the posting Christopher!!! I love the sign - may I use it? I don't do shows of your calliber, but I love what I do and make enough money to make it worth my time... I appreciate your imput - please don't stop. Where in the States are you located?

    Bookmark   October 15, 2007 at 9:21AM
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Christopher ~ If that was a big,quality show , didn't they jury it so the sock people won't get in ? Isn't there a rule that states things HAVE to be handmade ? I'm very surprised. The good shows around here are VERY strict about that. Organizers walk around and ask questions on how something is made , where you buy the supplies and so on ... if they think your items aren't the items that qualified you to get in during judging , you are blackballed. I've even seen vendors asked to leave a show because they were selling imports. If I paid $6 to get in a show where there was resales , I'd be up to the organizers complaing so fast . Sounds like you have the type of good crafts that I'd expect to see at a show. I'm glad you did so good !

    Bookmark   October 15, 2007 at 11:27AM
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HOLY COW - $500 for a space?!!! Wow - we thought paying $60 for a 10x10 was steep! Is $500 normal? Does Country Treasures charge that much?
I posted under another catagory last week - I did a show last weekend that 90% of the crafts were "Made in China". Some lady thanked me for having a homemade snowman. When we fill out the application for our space they specifically put "handmade or made by crafter". Does the application you fill out have the same specifics? And why don't they kick these "crafters" and i use that term loosley - OUT!!! Does the $500 speak louder than "Made in China"!
If you can't tell these import crafts MAKE ME MAD!!! If people want this stuff - sit at home and buy it off the internet.!!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2007 at 11:40AM
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Christopher, I have been attending Country Folk Art shows for years. They used to come to the L.A. County Fairgrounds twice a year, this year only once. They used to fill up two of the large buildings there, now down to one. Not only do we have to pay $6.00 to get in, but also have to pay parking fees of around $8.00! Their shows are usually high quality and allot of the vendors have been with them for many years. I think many of the vendors get repeat buyers from year to year. Glad you were able to get in and were so successful.

Now that I'm retired and on a more limited budget, I really notice that so many of the items are expensive. I tend to try to not pay more than $20 for a single item. That leaves allot of things way out of my range. The little craft show I went to yesterday had allot of painted canvas panels with nice big designs. They were $29.95 each. Even wooden and metal yard stakes were $17.95 and up. And should I even mention the price of the jewelry items??? For some of us, the items are just getting out of our budget range, so we enjoy looking but really can't afford to buy much anymore.

And I hate it when everything is the same stuff I see in Tenderheart Treasures, Collections Etc., Victorian Trading Co. and other catalogs. They don't even try to change it! Makes me start to wonder if creativity is dead--have we really already "seen it all"? LOL

Best wishes with your shows,at those kinds of prices, you have to really have some "hot items" to make enough sales to pay for your space! I admire your courage, and applaud your success. ;o)


    Bookmark   October 15, 2007 at 12:20PM
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I like the idea of the sign also. I did a show Staurday that was supposed to be handcrafted only. Well as usual there was your imported stuff. The way they are getting around it here is they are making a few things that they would consider homemade and then sticking the other imported things out to. I conforted the organizer about it and she said that as long as things are 40% made by the booth renter they are okay. Its not fair but the event organizers are out to sale spaces.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2007 at 1:38PM
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I had to fill out an application once and they stated right on there that products must be 90% handmade. They checked ,too - believe me !

    Bookmark   October 15, 2007 at 3:11PM
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The shows that I do here always say on the application that items need to be hand-made. But it never fails that you find so many booths with "Made in China" Items. It seems us hand makers can't compete with them sometimes. It really bothers me!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 1:10AM
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We've been doing Country Folk Art shows for about 11 years now. At one point we did 15 shows with them in one year. At $500 to $600 per space, you can do the math.
However, now they don't jury anymore. If the check clears, you're in. They are at a point where they're "selling real estate."

But in the last 5 years now, shows in general have declined. There is much more imported work and MUCH more jewelry. And many jewelry exhibitors are young and get discouraged when they don't sell. Because they design for 20 somethings and show attendees are 40 somethings.
They don't know their market. If they designed for 40+ customers they would do very well.

We do anywhere from 30 to 40 shows per year. We start in January and end Dec 21. We do craft shows, home improvement shows, flower and garden shows, etc. We do shows with nationwide promoters right down to the local high school here in VT. And with a population of 1,200 in our town I can guarantee you the show is small. But it's fun. And after almost 30 years of doing shows, it's STILL fun! I am one of the fortunate few that can honestly say "I love what I do for a living!"

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 7:21AM
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