The “Selling at a Craft Show” series is intended to help those interested in selling any handmade good, whether it be knitting or crochet, paper airplanes and jewelry. Each post will focus on a different aspect of selling your goods at a craft shows or fairs. If you have any specific questions you would like answered, leave a comment!
So you read Part 1 of this series on how to find a craft show, now what!? First thing, check out the rules for applications for all shows. Some shows will require pictures, others may require actual sample products. Many shows also require an appliction fee, which can range from $10 to $100.
If the show you really want to do is juried (meaning not everyone that applies is accepted), I recommend applying for a second or even third show if you can afford it. You can also decline to participate in a show if you’re accepted to more than you think you can handle, but once an appliction deadline passes there is no going back.
If your application requires pictures, be sure to have the best pictures you can! The only thing the jury or market manager will have to judge your product on is the pictures you provide, so you want to be sure they show your product in the best light possible. I always have a professional photograph my products. If you can’t get your products to a professional, find a photo studio. Grab a kid (yours or a friends) and head to JC Pennies or the Walmart photo studio. In the town that I live in there’s a studio that will do a photo session with you and give you a cd with the edited images for $79. That may seem like a lot, but remember that you can use the photo’s for more than this one appliction.
When it comes to filling out your appliction, be sure to feel it out completely! Fill out all the sections, and be sure to send in any supplemental things that they ask for, and of course, be sure that you get your appliction in on time!
And what if you don’t get accepted to a show? Don’t get to disappointed! Many juried shows do not let new applicants in their first time around. Some vendors with really great products will have to apply 3-5 times before they get into a show. Some juries will provide feedback on your items and give you ideas to help you get in in the future, and others will not. And when you get frustrated, think about it this way – Many great vendors don’t get into a market because their craft category is over saturated. The Jewelry and Fiber Arts groups can fill up fast, where as the quilting and woodworking groups may fill up slower. If you’re in one of the groups that fills up fast, you don’t want them to let everyone in. If they did the competition for customers would be high, and your chances of making a profit would go down, so really they did you a favor! Now you can go elsewhere and hopefully make a profit at a less saturated market!
So good luck with your applications! If you have any questions, leave a comment!