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Arts and Craft fairs (Read 6,632 times)
 
Philip Peak
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Arts and Craft fairs
Aug 6th, 2005 at 9:02pm
 
 I have recently sent off an application to participate in an Arts and Crafts fair next month (Sept 10) and I looking at how to set up my displays.  Up until now the only craft fairs I have ever done were with my kids school down in GA.  They were small affairs and I did them mostly to help out the school so I didn't spend a lot of time worrying about appearances.  
  I know there are several of you out there who do a lot of shows and I was wondering how you set up your booths. Things like display shelves, shelf and table arrangements etc.  Would it be possible to get some of you to post pics of your setups to give some ideas on effective displays.  
 The advertised spaces are 10x10.  
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« Last Edit: Aug 6th, 2005 at 9:03pm by Philip Peak »  

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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #1 - Aug 8th, 2005 at 5:37am
 
Phillip,
I spent 3 years doing shows. I don't do them anymore and I can't find my pictures. However I do have some advice. We used grey panels as backgrounds with clear shelves. A 10x10 booth sounds like a lot of space but it's not. The panels fit against the walls so we had  lots of space for everyone to view our products. You want to try and display items eye level if possible. Tables are too low. Also try not to 'crowd' your displays with too much product. It makes your pieces too hard to pick out. We would take our best item and place it out front to bring in customers. Once inside we could get them to look at our other things. Please don't sell yourself short either. Price your items well (don't give them away). If you price a vase at $50.00 then that's what it's worth. If you price the same vase for $75.00 then it holds a better value. Also it give's you wiggle room. Remember your booth display and decorations says a lot about you and your work. First impressions are important. Hope this little bit helps. BTW- I am interested in selling my displays. I am in Dallas, Texas.

Take Care.
Mike
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #2 - Aug 8th, 2005 at 6:01am
 
For most shows you are required to provide your own canopy as well.  Don't forget that you have to have your tax paperwork together as well.  The last show my dad went to, he said that the state tax people were going up and down the rows of venders shutting them down left and right.  OOPS!   8)
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #3 - Aug 8th, 2005 at 7:54am
 
Check with the show and see if they have a processing booth for credit cards.  Some shows will provide this service for a small fee. 

If not, you can get yourself set up to take credit cards, you will capture 20-30% more sales if your visitors know you can take them.  There are a few websites I have used to do this.  Propay.com is a good one, small fees and quick processing but they do have limits on transactions ($250 per sale & $1000 per month) but they allow you to enter the transaction anytime via a web terminal.  Get a card imprinter & the old style charge slips (you can get a whole package for this online for about $45 with custom name plates).

And, don't forget when accepting checks to verifiy the information on the check with the person's driver's license.  Also get at least one good phone number in case you have to contact the person.

Speaking of contacting people, use this as an opportunity to build a buyers network.  Bring a nice guestbook and ask the people that show decent interest if they would like to know about future shows, events, or when a batch of new work comes out.  Sometimes people don't buy at a show but will months later when you send out an email newsletter about a few nice pieces you have turned. 

If you can print up some business cards, do this as well.  You'd be surprised at how many people will call a year later looking for a nice anniversary, birthday, boss gift.
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #4 - Aug 8th, 2005 at 1:51pm
 
Doug
  I emailed the KY state tax office there in Louisville about that.  below is a copy of the emails I sent and what they said in response

I asked:

  I am an Indiana resident who is considering setting up a booth in a couple of Arts and Crafts shows in the Louisville KY area.  I have never done this before and I an wondering if I will be required to apply for any kind of license and collect KY state sales taxes.  I do not expect to do this but once or twice. 

  I appreciate your assistance

THey said:

You will not need to apply for a Kentucky Sales Tax Number.  What you will receive is a vendor letter at each show you attend.  Then you will submit the tax with that letter back to the state of Kentucky.  If you have any other questions, please do not hesistate to contact us again.



Thanks, Shannon Seidel









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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #5 - Aug 8th, 2005 at 2:10pm
 
Very cool!   8)
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #6 - Aug 8th, 2005 at 2:26pm
 
Print and take the emails with you Phil, just in case the show coordinator asks for proof of your State Tax Liscensing.  Many are starting to do that.
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Philip Peak
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #7 - Aug 8th, 2005 at 2:58pm
 
Mike
  if that was an offer to sell me your stuff I appreciate it but I am a bit too far away (southwestern IN) to consider it right now.  I do however, get sent to Norman OK on occasion to attend traing classes at the USPS training center there and maybe then...
  If you live in Dallas, you and Texascop47 (aka TC) live in the same area,  have you two managed to get together at all?  I think jimmyc also is around there also. 

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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #8 - Aug 8th, 2005 at 4:44pm
 
By all means I would like to get together with any of you.  I just found out Jimmyc lives in Garland and I am in and out of Garland almost everyday.  Or we could all meet at the Woodcraft Store in Addison. I am in the Dallas area every weekend and am mostly free to move around a lot depending on any special events.  Just email me if you want to meet
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #9 - Aug 9th, 2005 at 5:19am
 
Hey TC.
Jimmy came to the house about 3 weeks ago. I had some turning blanks that I wanted to get rid of.  I live in the Plano, Frisco area so Just let me know. I used to go to Woodcraft about once a week, but now I just order everything from other suppliers. But if you guys want we could meet there.

Phillip, just let us know when your in the area.

Now days I don't get a chance to turn the big bowls and platters like I used to. I am a full time production turner now and it's all small stuff. Oh well at least I get to be in my shop all day instead of sitting behind a desk.

Speaking of selling stuff, I have lots of 4/4 exotic wood for those who like segmented work also a Hamelet hollowing tool that I don't use anymore. ( sorry not trying to use this forum to sell things).

Later
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Reply #10 - Aug 9th, 2005 at 6:43am
 
That sounds great we can get Jimmy to say when it is best for him and we can meet there.  Just about any Saturday or Sunday is fine with me.  I can also usually make it on Thur. or Fri unless something is going on.  I have a meeting both Thur and Fri of this week but things look good for the next couple of weeks coming up.
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #11 - Aug 9th, 2005 at 2:23pm
 
I game !!!.  August is pretty busy for me. Daughter going back to college this weekend.  Mom is having surgery on the 19th so that weekend will be out.  After that I'm on the downhill side so I hope to have my weekends free again.   I think it would be fun to get together.   PM me and I'm sure we can find a time that will work.... Grin
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #12 - Aug 9th, 2005 at 11:13pm
 
 Okay, getting back on subject a bit here, I would like for some more advice from you all concerning credit cards.  I have been researching (and bugging the heck out of Chris) how to go about getting set up to accept credit cards.
 From what I can gather, it is not a hard process (the hard part is wading through the seemingly endless options available) but my concern right now is finding a source that is reliable and inexpensive and trustworthy.  I know a lot of you out there do shows (LBaker comes to mind) and some of you may take credit cards, my question is what service do you use and would you recoomend them.  
 While surfing the net on this subject I came across two different services that would seem to fill my needs.  I am posting the links to them here for you to look at and give me your impression of them.

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« Last Edit: Aug 9th, 2005 at 11:14pm by Philip Peak »  

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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #13 - Aug 10th, 2005 at 4:24am
 
I used my bank where I have my business account. It seemed the best idea to keep all of my business financials in the same place. I made sure that they were on par with the other credit card sites as far as fees, etc. I have an 800 number that I call to verify and make transactions on the cards. I just use the old knuckle buster to swipe the card. In 3 years of taking credit cards I have only had one that was bad. My fault I didn't call the card in until that night. Some credit card companys will do a seasonal account. You tell them what months of the year you will be active. It's good if you only take cards during the spring/fall craft show season. You don't get stuck with the year round fee. Hope this helpls
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #14 - Aug 10th, 2005 at 4:25am
 
Opps, my bank is Bank of America
sorry
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #15 - Aug 10th, 2005 at 7:18am
 
Phil,

Take some time and check out this web page:
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There is an article for just about every aspect of doing a Craft Show you can think of including pricing your work and a checklist of supplies to bring.  There is also an article on Credit card processing.

As for the two websites you listed, their fees seem a bit high.  One charges $120 set-up and $10 per month.  The other doesn't charge a set-up fee, but you need to lease a terminal (and those things aren't cheap).
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #16 - Aug 10th, 2005 at 8:10am
 
Chris, da frog speaks the truth. That's a great site; thanks for the info.

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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #17 - Aug 10th, 2005 at 8:32am
 
Chris I have been examining the propay.com web site and I am seriously looking at them if they will answer my email I sent them with some questions I had that was not made clear on the website.  Your right about the different levels of service but you can go up to the next higher level for just @ $20 more or so.  It gives you at least 500 per transaction and 3000 a month limits plus you can take discover and now according to the website American Express.  (as of Jul1st). 

  I just called to ask for an application for a show in October.  Got to make all this worth while.
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #18 - Aug 12th, 2005 at 4:56am
 
Nice Website, thanks again Chris.
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #19 - Aug 16th, 2005 at 11:20pm
 
Well, for those of you who were wondering, I finally got set up with that company Chris was talking about propay.com and although I haven't had the need to use it yet, I am now getting very excitred about doing my first show as a licensed business merchant and doing my first credit card sale.  There is a lady here at work who has been wanting one of my bowls ever since she saw one but hasn't been able to afford the one she wants (the big one with the rim was supposed to be hers when it was done but a problem here at work, namely a denied promotion) and she had to back out, but now with the Credit Card route available to her...?
 Anyway as for the site, they are real easy to sign up and the fees seem reasonable, if you are considering doing the craft fair thing and want to take CC's check them out.

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« Last Edit: Aug 16th, 2005 at 11:22pm by Philip Peak »  

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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #20 - Aug 17th, 2005 at 5:24am
 
Thanks for the update Phil.  Seems this company is becoming the vendor of choice for our type of sales.  I've read many other threads talking about this subject, and propay always seems to come in with the most positive points.
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #21 - Aug 17th, 2005 at 7:08am
 
Got a couple of web sites for all of you out there thinking of doing craft fairs and such.  There is some good reading here especially the craftlister site they have a forum with some good info.

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Check them out.  Oh I should add that while both site do have a free membership, you don't get enough info on the events listed, well actually on the craftlister you can get a name and phone number if you look around enough.  I am considering upgrading for the years membership.  I have already signed up for two shows from the craftlister site.
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« Last Edit: Aug 17th, 2005 at 7:19am by Philip Peak »  

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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #22 - Aug 17th, 2005 at 7:44am
 
Great info Phil.  Propay is easy and reliable from my experience, you should have no problems.  Did you go for the phone authorizations?

Rick, they treated me well for 2 years so far, no missed transactions, money, etc and customer service has always been helpful.  The rates are pretty competitive too.  The nice thing is you don't actually have to be a business or have a business account.  Most banks want all kinds of documentation to do this sort of thing.
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #23 - Aug 17th, 2005 at 1:18pm
 
According to them you can do either/or.  I plan on doing Phone authorizations for most transactions until I feel comfortable with it.  I will have my cell phone with me at all the shows I go to.  So far I am confirmed for one, Sept 10th and got an application  to send in for a two dayer on the 24th and 25th of Sept and I am awaiting an application for a two dayer in Oct.  I am spending almost every waking moment here at home working on my booth.  Got some shelves made up but they need some more work.  I'll post a pic when I am done to see what you all think.
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #24 - Sep 4th, 2005 at 1:31am
 
  Just an update for any of you that want one.  The first of three scheduled arts and crafts shows is this coming Saturday (10th) and I am a bit nervous.  I set up may stuff as I would expect to set it up at the show and it seemed awfully bare but I forgot I had some stuff in a small gallery of sorts down in Louisville KY that I need to get back, plus I have about 5 items I plan on doing a bit of rework on when I get the chance. 
  I got my Credit card service set up and a knuckle buster for swiping cards for reciept purposes,  my EZ-up canopy is ready except for some weights to anchor it down (show is on an asphalt lot so no stakes, but I have an idea already).  I just hope the weather is good that day (it is supposed to be). 
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #25 - Sep 4th, 2005 at 4:49am
 
Make sure we get some photos and a final report Smiley
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #26 - Sep 4th, 2005 at 4:51am
 
Phillip, what fair are you setting up at on the 10th of sept.? There are several fall festivals going on at that time and I was wondering where you will be.
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #27 - Sep 4th, 2005 at 12:55pm
 
Smoky, he is going to be at Highview Baptist Church.   8)
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #28 - Sep 4th, 2005 at 1:08pm
 
Philip, gallon milk jugs filled w/either sand or water work well. Be mindful of "trip hazards." Do you have event insurance? Check w/your local, ind., insurance, agent.
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #29 - Sep 5th, 2005 at 4:47pm
 
Hey guys
  As you may have noticed, I posted some pics of my booth setup for the craft fair.  I think it will be okay, I made some changes from my original idea (mainly left out one large shelf and added on smaller and a work table).  I will not leave these pics up very long but I would very much appreciate some feed back from you all.  It is Monday night and the craft fair is Saturday and I am gonna set the booth up Friday night.
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #30 - Sep 5th, 2005 at 7:00pm
 
It looks good to me Philip. More light on your turnings would be helpful, if power is available.
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #31 - Sep 7th, 2005 at 1:17am
 
  Unfotunately there will be no power provided.  I want to thank everyone for their input and I will let you all know how everything goes as soon after 4:00 PM EDT on Saturday as possible. 
  I am taking my booth pics down since I seem to have gotten all the input I am gonna get on it.

  Chris
  You gave me an idea for a display stand and I am gonna put it together tomorrow.  I will post that pic when I get it done. 
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #32 - Sep 7th, 2005 at 8:24am
 
Take and post some pics of your booth setup during the fair.
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #33 - Sep 8th, 2005 at 11:56am
 
One more question.  I have a bunch of stuff from my "early days" of turning and as you might expect it looks less than..  well lets just say it is not the best.  I am considering setting up a small section of heavily reduced prices.  Question is, good or bad idea? 

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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #34 - Sep 8th, 2005 at 1:11pm
 
Probably not the best idea Phil.  It will make people wonder why they are 'reduced' and what defects have caused them to be reduced and how it reflects on the non-reduced work.  You're not only there to sell your wares at that present function, you're also there to generate interest in your product for future & repeat buyers or future shows...put your best foot forward and leave it there.
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #35 - Sep 10th, 2005 at 3:51am
 
Good luck, I am off to a local craft fair in an hour or so. As a viewer, mind you.
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #36 - Sep 10th, 2005 at 1:28pm
 
OK Phil, it is now 4:25 your time (and mine) so



                         REPORT!!!
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Reply #37 - Sep 10th, 2005 at 8:07pm
 
 The report is, it was a dismal failure.  Did not even come close to making back by entry fee.  Sold exactly two items, both were the bracelets at $10.00 each and one of them was to another woodturners wife who was making such a big deal out of them that another woman who happened to be in the area stopped and got one.    It was a long hot miserable day.   It was supposed to be a juried  arts and crafts show but I think Smokey will verify (he showed up and kept me company for a while) that some of the stuff was questionable that it was made by the person selling it.  I felt like I was in a high end flea market instead of an arts and crafts show.  I did get some booth pics although I did some rearranging as time went on and the sun moved overhead.  
 The shelves worked real well and there was plenty of light inside to see (actually had to get sunglasses inside to keep from squinting).  Got lots of compliments on my work but aside from the two bracelets, zilch....!!
 Needless to say I am glad it is over with.  I am signed up for at least two more shows over the next month, both being two day shows one in two weeks (again in KY) and one October in Indiana (finally one in my home state).  I am debating one more one day show in November in Louisville.  
 Lesson learned?  Plenty.  I probably might have done better if my prices weren't so high.  I used a general $10.00 per inch rule and adjusted if thought it necessary.   As the fair was coming to a close, Stitchin' Girl and myself looked at my stuff and decided that probably many of the items may have been a bit on the outlandish side price wise.  I have no doubt that had this been an real upper crust art and craft show I would have sold out or had a greatly reduced inventory.  The two most looked at and ooh ahh'ed at items were my mesquite egg and a cedar fluted piece that I  made several years ago and of course the big maple bowl with the rim.  The pens got a lot of attention especially the corn cob ones but again, sold nary a one.  
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #38 - Sep 10th, 2005 at 8:43pm
 
I think I mentioned this one other time Philip. My wife did art and craft shows for several years. Unfortunately the results are often like yours. Folks tend to shy away from buying anything over 20 bucks. I've heard the $20 bill referred to as "yuppie food stamps" because so many people stop on their way to the show at an ATM and get a few 20's. They tend to not want to part with more than one at a time, and it's usually at a food booth. Very few people know what goes into a work of art or the craftsmanship necessary. Thus the term, 'starving artist'. But don't give up because someday someone comes along that will see something they love and take it home with them. Just have plenty of inexpensive trinkets to sell to cover the booth fees.
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #39 - Sep 11th, 2005 at 4:42am
 
I've had it go both ways, Phillip, and the size of the show was just the opposite of my sales. I sold over 3 times as much to a small, local crowd as to the big, multi-state crowd at my last effort. That was a long, hot, crummy day too. Like you, lots of compliments, but nobody was selling much at all except water. A lady next to me said it was the worst sale day she'd had there in 5 years.

One thing I have found to be of some value, is to keep track of what items I tend to sell at which shows. Then I can avoid dragging along things that probably won't sell anyway.

Better luck next time.
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Reply #40 - Sep 11th, 2005 at 10:32am
 
Philip, sorry to hear of your less than satisfactory day.  But your stuff is well worth many more tries, and at a true arts and crafts show with good quality offerings, I am sure that you will do very well  Hang in there!

Jim
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Reply #41 - Sep 11th, 2005 at 4:55pm
 
Sorry to hear about the show, but just take the lessons, do your best and drive on. Wink
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Reply #42 - Sep 11th, 2005 at 5:25pm
 
Sorry to hear the show did not go as you hoped.  Keep trying.  Craft shows can be tough.  My parents did a few a year for quite some time selling laminated cutting boards.  Some shows were great, other never got back the initial investment.  Keep plugging away.
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #43 - Sep 12th, 2005 at 3:16am
 
Philips booth was set-up real well with everything above waist high. Of coarse his turnings looked great. Some of the other merchants had merchandise that looked like it was made in China(I'm not saying it was but it sure looked like it, especially the X-mas stuff). I'm surprised he didn't sell more with all the lookers he had. The next one might be better Philip, hang in there.
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #44 - Sep 12th, 2005 at 5:25pm
 
Very sorry to hear.  I only had my stuff in one festival and the only things I sold are my mushrooms and only 1 or 2 boxes.  No bowls...nothing.  Some shows/fairs/festivals people seem to only wanna buy things on the cheap side.  I am trying to support local crafters more though.   Experiencing what it's like nowadays first hand...changed alot of the stuff that I buy and where I buy it at.  I'm sure you will have many productive sales in the future.
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Reply #45 - Sep 18th, 2005 at 6:31pm
 
Philip, I'm signed up for a big pre-Christmas boutique in mid November. So I want to learn all I can from your success and disappointments. I'm going to go a little different route than you with the majority of my goods being smaller, less expensive items. I may throw in a few bowls and things but I can't turn the big whoppers you turn on the big PM. I posted some pics tonight of a couple Christmas ornaments, pens and hope to have a few dozen of those things available. I'm working on some other smaller trinket type things too. This boutique features a central check-out so I won't have to worry about taking checks or credit cards personally. They keep 12% of your sales which isn't bad and they advertise heavily and get a huge turnout. I won't be in my booth alone either, I'll be sharing it with my wife and daughter's things and they've done pretty well in previous years. But keep us posted on how your craft fair booths go. I'm interested to see how the had turned wooden gift market works. And if anyone else has experience with Christmas time wood gift items, I'm all ears.
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #46 - Sep 18th, 2005 at 9:00pm
 
I will let you know how it goes after this weekends two day affair.  Another bad show and I may call it quits (not really I have paid for and been accepted into at leastone more show this year in Oct.  Nothing after that yet.  I probable should start thinking about doing somethign like ornaments and such.  I sen your inside out ornaments and they are beautiful  you should not let those go cheap.
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #47 - Sep 19th, 2005 at 2:57am
 
Phil -  I think your on the right track doing making some smaller, lower priced stuff. I did a small local , one day craft show yesterday. Made about $100.00. Key rings, bottle stoppers, and a couple of pens were what sold. Had all the bigger, higher priced stuff, but none sold. Lots of looking, and nice comments. All my business cards disappeared. Was told I'd be getting called, have to see about that. My personal opinion is that doing small , local shows you need small stuff to ake money. If your lucky people start to recognize you and then maybe the bowls and hollow forms start to sell. If you really want to sell the higher priced items LYou need to get into bigger shows. More cost and probably travel involved there. I had one lady tell me my bowls were to expensive. Tried  to explain the work and time that went into them but some people don't want to hear it. Don't give up. Always try and improve your product and work your way into better shows. Good luck.
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #48 - Sep 19th, 2005 at 4:29am
 
I hate to put it this way, and remember, I only have been to a couple of small arts and crafts fairs, but...here goes...and remember, I have never sold anything or tried, and have only observed.
I was walking through the walmart the other day(though I try to avoid that place) and came across turned bowls in the area for flower displays etc. They were poorly done with obvious tool marks etc. However they were 10 bucks or so depending on size. I have seen the same at other craft stores, home stores etc. Not a big deal and to each his own (though it is a waste of good wood!).
Here is the part that hit home. The people shopiping in the walmart are the majority that go to the "cheap" craft fairs. I just don't think you can expect them to appreciate all of your work on a nice bowl and make the leap from that cheap walmart bowl they see everyday. To them as Phil said, it is too expensive. I think these places you are more likely to sell small, inexpensive craft items. The one renisance fair in KC was a little different, but I still did not see a lot of high price work come off the shelves, but lots of small stuff.
I would think to sell your work, it will need to be where people who appreciate the fine details and know what goes into it, and/or who are willing to spend the money for quality and beauty. Turning is a low penetration area, and I am not sure the best place to find consumers educated on its work.
I have walked a lot of galleries and some have done better than others at educating the viewer on the work it takes, but most have just put them on display with a price, often with very nice peices next to not as nice work.
Is this a nock on the American public. In some ways, yes. I just think most people do not appreciate and are not equipped/educated to appreciate turning as an art form. They have not made the leap in the qualitative differences between walmart and the gallery for turning as they have for other mediums. People know that the poster at the walmart is different from the gallery and show.
Okay, off the box, the soap is getting slippery.
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #49 - Sep 19th, 2005 at 9:03am
 
I have to agree with Nappen.  People in this country have gotten fully into the WalMart mentality.

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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #50 - Sep 19th, 2005 at 2:09pm
 
I just posted a couple pics of some ornaments I've done. I have lots more available to photograph and post if anyone desperately wants to see them. They have sold pretty well for me at the pre-Chrismas shows that come up in the next few weeks.

In looking back at what I've sold in previous years at the smaller craft fairs, the great majority has been under $35, a few pieces up to $50. One thing that has helped is I have a loyal customer who has brought several friends to my booth and purchased 20 - 30 pieces herself, mostly for gifts. And she's not my Mom, either!

So far no one has asked if I would sell something for less than it's marked, or complained about my prices. Maybe I'm too low. No one else has anything turned at the shows, so it's hard to compare. I guess I'd rather sell it for a little less instead of hauling it back home again. I've been able to raise my prices some over time, and it pays for all my woodworking expenses, so I'm OK with it.
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #51 - Sep 20th, 2005 at 5:31pm
 
The sad truth is that you could take your best, most ingenious and creative piece of turning, box it up and send it to China, and they could send you a shipping container full of duplicates for less cost than you could buy the wood. Complete with your signature on the bottom! If we have to compete with Walmart we may as well have a garage sale and unload all of our turning toys and go sit in front of the TV. I don't expect to ever get rich at turning but I would like to see if I could sell a few things. That's why I'm going for a Christmas time boutique, in hopes that Walmart is sold out of my stuff.
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #52 - Sep 20th, 2005 at 6:07pm
 
One of the things you might look for when choosing which shows to display at, is whether or not the show requires "hand crafted only" or "made by the seller" items, instead of allowing imports, re-sale, or manufactured items. My state (Wisconsin) publishes an annual directory for all the arts and crafts shows and fairs that have sent in their info. It includes all of the basic details for each one, including any restrictions on what can be sold. If you can stay away from the import sellers, things might go better.

Good luck.
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #53 - Sep 25th, 2005 at 5:36pm
 
Well Phil, how did you do today?  We know you did well yesterday, was today as good??

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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #54 - Sep 25th, 2005 at 8:11pm
 
  Not so good today, weather turned bad as Rita's remains decided to visit town and stay a while.  I was gonna try to stick it out until the official closing time of 4:00 PM but if I had I would have been all alone after about 2:00 and most were gone by 1:00.  Still overall, it was a decent show.  On saturday, sold two cigar pens (one was a corn cob) one small plum bowl that was cracked and warped (the woman said she could not believe I only wanted $15.00 for it, I wasn't going to put it out but Jeanne insisted I should).
  I just realized that of the three bowls sold yesterday, two were Catalpa.  Strange isn't it.  I think if the weather had been better I would have done okay today but overall, I made my double my booth fee plus a bit more so I guess I did alright. 
  Got another two day show in three weeks (Oct. 15th and 16th) supposed to be another big show)  hope the weather stays good this time.
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #55 - Sep 25th, 2005 at 8:29pm
 
Congrats, sounds like an alright showing.  Keep it up.

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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #56 - Sep 26th, 2005 at 3:28am
 
Quote:
The sad truth is that you could take your best, most ingenious and creative piece of turning, box it up and send it to China, and they could send you a shipping container full of duplicates for less cost than you could buy the wood. Complete with your signature on the bottom!
If we have to compete with Walmart we may as well have a garage sale and unload all of our turning toys and go sit in front of the TV.
I don't expect to ever get rich at turning but I would like to see if I could sell a few things. That's why I'm going for a Christmas time boutique, in hopes that Walmart is sold out of my stuff.



Good point, but what I meant was we can't compete with the mentality of those that live the walmart life, and we shouldn't try. I was opining about the fact that if we are to sell (and remember I don't) then we need to find a market that caters to a different group that understands the difference between your one of a kind Christmas ornament or Phil's bowl and the 1000s of knock offs at walmart. Unfortunately, it seems there are less and less of these people.
Also, it seems silly to say in one of the most affluent countries in the world, that most people cannot afford what your work is worth, and they are so enamored of "the deal" that unless they feel it is a steal, they are just not inclined to buy it.
Why did ya'll let me back up on this box. Cheesy
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Re: Arts and Craft fairs
Reply #57 - Sep 26th, 2005 at 8:31am
 
'Cause it's fun to watch someone else up in the rarified air, for a change.
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Reply #58 - Sep 26th, 2005 at 5:49pm
 
I knew what you meant Ned. I was just being my sarcastic, somewhat cynical self.

Even as much as I try not to give my support to Walmart, I have to at times. Here where I live they've driven many of the smaller stores out of business. But I don't want to get too political. I guess I shop there for the necessities and elsewhere for the pleasures in life.
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Reply #59 - Sep 27th, 2005 at 4:40am
 
You have to admit, they had a good buiseness plan and read what the American public wants well.
Besides the small shops being run off, I just can's stand the crowds and the cheap merchandise, but mostly the crowds. Cheesy
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