7 tips for success when planning for this show season

By Patrice Lewis

1. Choose the right show

Selling hand-crafted artisan products isn’t simply a matter of renting a booth at the nearest craft fair, you need to find out if the show’s demographics match the kind of product you make.

2. Stocking the right amount

The next thing to find out is the event’s anticipated “gate,” also known as the number of attendees. Do the show promoters expect 500 people to attend? Fifty thousand people? Obviously, this is an important thing to know in advance because it will determine how much stock you’ll bring.

3. Pricing your products

There are many considerations when it comes to pricing. Rates will depend on how much time and raw materials go into the making; the demographics of the show; and how much competition you face. You need to price your items high enough so you don’t lose money on your time or the cost of raw materials, but low enough that people can afford to buy them.

4. The power of lists

When it comes to getting ready to travel to your first show of the season, you need a powerful – and free– tool: a list. You might be the most experienced crafter on the planet, but we’re all human. As such, we’re prone to forgetting to bring something critical with us as we set up at a sales venue. So, make a list.

5. Distant shows

Unless the craft show is in your home town, give yourself sufficient travel time. Then give yourself some more time in case something unexpected happens like a flat tire, or engine trouble. If the venue is held in a place with which you’re unfamiliar, have adequate directions to get there.

6. Manual transmissions

In this internet age, many people can’t fathom places without cell phone coverage. But some outdoor events are in dead zones, making credit card transactions impossible. For this reason, it never hurts to have one of those “chunk chunk” manual credit card machines with paper credit card slips

7. Enjoy yourself

What could be more fun than watching people admire your product and pay you money to take it home? Working craft shows is undoubtedly a lot of work but it is highly rewarding, as long as you’re prepared, that is. Just remember this: It’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.

To get the complete article purchase the May 2019 issue of Handmade Business by contacting Nancy Pudroski at (715) 445-5000 ext.122

Patrice Lewis is a wife, mother, homesteader, homeschooler, author, blogger, columnist, and speaker. An advocate of simple living and self-sufficiency, she has practiced and written about self-reliance and preparedness for al­most 30 years. She is experienced in homestead animal husbandry and small-scale dairy production, food preservation and canning, country relocation, home-based businesses, homeschooling, personal money manage­ment, and food self-sufficiency. She and her husband have been married since 1990 and have two daughters.