Saturday, September 11, 2010

And so it starts... 10 things I look for in a Craft Show

I was looking at my Pennysaver today and it has started-- Venues looking for crafters for their fall shows.

Things that I look for in a show---(in no particular order).

1) I like juried ones- as they weed out the riff-raff.

2) I ask if it is their First year... if it is- I want to know that they plan good advertisting- and what they plan to do. How about parking? Most places have a lot.. but I have been where there is no real lot. And you have to find a spot to park in-- and then you wonder where the customers will park?. You need to know things like this.

3) I want to know how many vendors they plan to ask & if they plan to limit the number of vendors that make similar things. ( Last year I went as a consumer to a local show and out of the 75 spaces there were 90% made jewelry!= that is just too much).

4) I also want to see if they are allowing Pampered Chef/Tastefully Simple/Avon etc. Really- I don't want to do the show. I want a craft show to have crafters in it. I get that it is hard to sometimes get vendors-but I don't feel that those businesses belong at a craft show.

5) Food- are they serving it? I generally bring my lunch but consumers sometimes like to know that they can grab their lunch if they need to.

6) Do they require the vendors make at least 90% of their craft themselves? I really think that is important. I make my own things. I want others too, to. I am really sick of going to a so- called Craft show and seeing that a good percentage of the vendors are just re-sellers. They are buying from places like Tender Heart and selling it as their own. It is amazing that you can find the same flaw on more than one of their pieces!

7) When I am looking for a show to do-- I STAY AWAY from ones that have Flea Market, Antiques, Bizarre, Rumage Sale, or Garage Sale in their name. I am a crafter- I am not selling my things at a garage sale. My things are better than that! I find that people who come to shows with those names are looking for a bargain. I don't bargain. I am running a business.. not a garage sale where you bargain.

8) I don't think it matters whether you do a show put on by a school, fire dept, American Legion. It is personal preference. One of my best shows every year is in a Fire Dept.

9) Will there be help for unloading? This is just Nice. Some places have the Boy and Girl Scouts help for credit.

10) Around here--- You are LUCKY to find a show for $25.00 or less to do. I think if you find one for less-- I would do it just because! I think that a lot of the shows are just getting greedy and they don't offer anything more than the cheaper shows. I have and do pay a lot more for shows- But they have to be really good shows with a good reputation before I will pay more. I want something for my money. It is a long day, I want to do more than just break even at the end of the day. (and that includes my time for just being there).

I am sure there are more things that I look for --But these are the biggies.. What do you look for? ....


  1. i like to see guilds invited to have a stand. if it weren't for the qld spinners, weavers, and fibre artists at the ekka (think the state fair of qld), i'd never would have tried it.

    i'm not a quilter (nor do i play one on tv), but i am working on a blanket that i'll have to hand quilt later. i love embroidery, knitting, crocheting, and spinning. i do none of those well. i find the hardest part about getting excited (for me) is the lack of different styles of patterns. i get disappointed when a craft show seems to have scads of sellers with a similar theme--seriously, i enjoy a little tea pot now and then, but how many need to be stitched.


  2. Yes, I followed. And I put you in my Sewing blog roll.
    Do you have a tutorial for the tote purse??

  3. Sorry, I got so needy, that I forgot to tell you that I love your blog!

  4. This Tote Purse was a special order and I have to make 3 more! But I don't even have a pattern for it. I really just wing it. It is fully lined with finished seams. It is just an open tote-as per my order. As soon as I get to making the others next week- I will write down everything and see what I can come up with. I did take good pictures and measurements. I delivered this one 2wks ago.
    Thanks for asking.

  5. great advice and info... thanks for sharing!

  6. Thanks for following my blog. I'm following you now as well. I have yet to do a craft show, but reading this does put some things in perspective.

  7. Thanks for following!
    I am your newest follower.
    Quick Tattletails