Sunday, October 17, 2010

Craft Fair Philosophy

Yesterday I watched a first-time craft fair vendor. Her booth was well-designed, her product was plentiful,eco-friendly and cool. She had professional marketing signage. I don't think she had a very good day. It's so hard to get it right at craft fairs. Your target market is always changing. There are many variables: indoor versus outdoor, customers on a budget versus spendy up- and- comers, an older population who don't want dust catchers versus hipsters looking for something no one else has, kid-friendly products versus pricey touch-me-not items. Here's some advice from a craft fair vendor/patron of twenty-five years plus:
1. Smile and engage people when they slow down at your booth. It's overwhelming to see the array of items offered in every booth. Make your products special.
2.Don't get discouraged if someone walks away after your ten-minute spiel about how your product is made and why you made it. They might come back after they've compared it to other things they see.
3.Price your product to fit the market. Things are tough today. It would be nice to make big bucks crafting, but realistically you charge what the market will bear, not what you'd make per hour in a nine-to-five job.
4.Be passionate about your work. If you don't love it, how can you expect others to?
Oh, today's bracelet is the one I wear to this season's fairs. I take it off when someone stops to look and say, "Try one of my bracelets on. You'll love it!" I love it myself. Would I sell it? You bet your boots I would!

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