Whether you are new to the handmade industry, or have been around for awhile and looking to expand your audience, I’m here to share my thoughts from a recent show I participated in.
It was called a Sip ‘n Shop. Held at a local clothing boutique where they love to showcase woman owned businesses. Held over one day, 4 hours, and had little to no advertising.
I have been a craft fair attendee for years. I love the handmade community; all the creative individuals in one location. Those that pop up at the end of the year in our local high schools, parks, and event centers are my favorite.
Here’s some photos of my recent booth.
Let’s talk about the PROs of selling your handmade items:
- You have the opportunity to connect to the community, and show them first hand the quality of your handmade items.
- The venue is (usually) a place customers know what to expect from this event.
- You can show firsthand, what your brand really is through your presentation.
- You are able to sell your items to the end user without having to ship them.
- Branding your table with cute labels, props, and marketing material, is easier to show what your brand is about, rather than online.
Let’s talk about the CONs of selling your handmade items:
- There is usually a booth fee associated with this event. In my case, it was only $30, but I sold $10. You can do the math. In some cases, it can be in the $100s or even more for the booth fee. I caution you to look at your products to see if the return would be worth it.
- The packing and organizing, set up time, and labeling each item with its respective price, can be a bit daunting.
- You may be standing around a lot, if in fact the customers aren’t flooding in that day. Bring a chair.
- If there is lack of advertising on the event’s part, the customers won’t know about it. Take it upon yourself to notify your community if they are local.
I encourage you to up photography game, by getting really good at photographing your products. You will have to submit photos of your work, in most cases. They will make or break your entry. If it’s a juried show, it will be highly based on your photos. I have a Product Photography ebook available for creatives.
Another thing I recommend, is being prepared with your supplies. I have an Amazon Store with some craft show supply ideas. Bags for your customers to carry their products home in, Square Reader (or you preferred method for taking payment), tags, tablecloth, stickers… *I do earn a small commission when you purchase one of the products in my store.*
Speaking of Square… if you have an Etsy shop, you can link it directly to Square. It syncs all of your products. Once you sell something, it gets deducted from inventory and shows up as an “in person” sale. Kinda cool, really! You will find that link under Integrations in your shop dashboard. *not sponsored *
So, let’s wrap this up, friend…
Would I do it again? Maybe. It would have to be the perfect event. Handmade/ Maker event. It would have to be in a place that I know they have been advertising the event. Cost? I’m willing to pay for the right event. But, if I’m being completely honest, I probably won’t do one again.
My inventory (mostly) comes from my samples as a Knit/Crochet designer. I have only so much space to house them all. I did open an Etsy shop exclusively for my makes/samples/wholesale purchases. Feel free to visit it HERE if you’d like. Cozy Space Interiors fills my need to sew, crochet, knit and be a maker, other than a Designer. I’m sure as a maker, and possibly an Etsy seller, you can appreciate what I’m saying.
Well, back to designing. I hope you felt this gave you some clarity whether an in person event is for you.
Until next time, friend,