Saturday, November 13, 2010

Helping?? A Newbie With Craft Shows

This idea came to me from an Alchemy I was reading on Etsy. Someone was asking for help with their 1st craft show and wanting personalized hang tags, special bags, thank you notes etc. And the fact she was on a limited budget.

This is what I would do- and have done. Print your own business cards out on your computer. Or get some card stock- cut it into business card size.. use rubber stamps found at your craft store and create your own cards.. that is certainly cheap and can be lots of fun. Realistically you might only need to make 20-25 of them for a single show. Make some more and put a card into each bag that you sell.

Thank you notes- I don't understand at all. There is no point to them or need. Give them your business card. The best thank you is a return purchase.

Tags for your items. I personally feel that each item needs a tag. I don't like to ask the prices and I am pretty sure most of my customers don't either. I make my own on my computer. But go to any office supply store and get the white ones with the white string and use them.. I would also get a rubber stamp and stamp them. If you had time- get a rubber stamp with your name on it and use that too. You could also use a pretty sticker on the price tags. Use a fine line felt tip marker.

Depending on your item-- like jewelry- pick up some tissue paper at a dollar store and wrap the sold item in that before you bag it for the customer. I have also printed up stickers on my computer with my business name and store on it-- with a thanks on it. I use that for all my Internet sales.

That works for Internet sales for me-- they are one at a time and I can be fussy with them. Craft shows are different. Sometimes you are so busy you can't is all you can do to get the item into a bag... and some customers don't want a bag-- they just put the item into their eco-friendly tote.

For bags- I just use what I have collected. I don't worry about it. But if you did worry. Why not head to your grocery store and pick up the brown bag ones... or I have seen white ones too-- lunch bags.. Use your rubber stamps or print something fun on your computer with sticker paper and attach it to your bags. You could have your name and phone number and Internet store on the label. You could even use address labels . Make labels from scrap booking stuff and attach it to the bags. You don't have to go crazy and make 100 bags. Make up 25-30 of them. Or the package I think comes with 50 bags. You can also just get "Thank You" plastic bags at the warehouse stores.

Lastly- this lady wanted some sort of banner for her booth. I don't use one. I frankly don't know where I would put it. I tend to use the front of my table to pin things on my tablecloth or my runners hang over the edge. But I can see where others have them. But not all that many. I think it is probably an expense I don't need to have.

I think somewhere on this blog.. I have said this before. You need to bring-- a calculator, spare paper for notes, I use a receipt book- but I know people who just write down what they sold. A container for money (I use a fanny pack), change -Bills and coin (I bring about $50-60 if which $20-25 is 1's). Your Tax ID certificate to display, bags, at least 2 pens (in case you run out of ink). I also have a pair of scissors, scotch tape, 2-3 safety pins, white thread and a needle (just in case). My cell and drivers license. I don't bring a purse- it would just be in the way.
You also have to bring whatever you are using for display including racks, table cloth etc.

I believe that while you are just starting out-- why spend the extra money? You don't know if your things will sell well at a show. You don't know if you will even like to do a show. (it is a long day).  Look around and see what others are doing and figure out your own style--borrow from many.

There are so many ways to save money at a show. I would say to examine WHY you are doing a show-- if you are doing it because you have to do it to put food on the table-- go find employment somewhere. It is the rare crafter that is making a full time office salary doing this. I would say that a lot of us are good at what we do and would still do it whether we get paid or not- it is just fun that people actually like our things and pay us to make them! Crafting is a fickle thing. What sells this week, might not sell next week. I would think it would be a great pressure to know you have to sell to eat.

 What do you suggest for the Newbie? What works for you? Or What did you do- when first starting out? Please Share your thoughts.....

1 comment:

  1. I do pretty much what you do..:) took the words right out of my mouth.;)