I do hats and handbags and am thinking of doing some craft fairs like sugarloaf in somerset nj-I was wondering if anyone has done this show or any others that they feel are good shows-I'm not sure if the economy has affected this avenue-thanks for all the help in advance.
Sorry - I don't do craft fairs but I have heard that the economy has made doing these types of shows difficult. You should see if the show management will give you a list of fiber artists who have done the show in the past so you could speak with them.
That's good advice Ruth. I had a local shop owner tell me the fairs are having trouble getting people to exhibit.
Cake lady, I'd first find out if there is anyone else doing the same things you are. If there are already too many artists doing handbags, it my not be worth it unless your items are really unique. I guess a little investigation is in order. Good luck.
The economy has effected sales somewhat. Having said that last year was fine for me. I like to go to a show and see what it's like. I do not want to go to a show with poor quality vendors, cheep items( granny just covering the cost of her yarn) or resellers. I prefer juried shows it usually means they re looking for quality vendors. the other thing to do is make sure you are pricing your items correctly. it makes a big difference to sales. Cheep doesn't often sell at a quality show.
thanks a lot for the advice-I used to do a lot of shows back in the 80's with my pottery-I'm not sure about fiber-and I'm not sure about this economy-shows I had trouble getting into back then are calling me to see is I want to do the show-and when I go to a show as a buyer the attendance seems to be down-a sigh of the times or the internet-it's also not easy to get and internet business going as a fiber artist-and etsy-I'm not sure about that either-I have an etsy store since 2009 and to date have sold nothing and I even looked at peoples work simular to mine at the same price point-we all do beautiful work but it's definitely not easy to make the sales that allows us to feed our HABIT-by the way is there a support group for Fiber Addicts I'm not kidding I need a SPONSOR-I have attached a picture of one of my pieces-I hope you like it.Attachment DeletedAttachment Deleted
A very nice hat. I find people want something a little different but not crazy for the most part. they do like to see crazy hats and I sell a couple of Viking hats a year. I do live in a conservative government town but there are lots of high tech people too.
Beautiful hat, Cakelady. You've found your support group. We all support fiber addiction. :-)
Business whether small or large has been facing a lot of challenges for while. Finding a niche is really important as well as networking. It's a journey, one step at a time.hang in there and don't give up.
We don't have many here. If you already have the items to sell, the cost of the stall isn't too much and you can get there easily, what's lost if you sell nothing? You might find out about other/better places, make contacts, buy something nice etc. Weigh up the pros and cons of doing it.
Post by luvswool and dyestuff on Jun 18, 2014 17:18:50 GMT
There is definitely still a "recession" climate in the States, depending on where you live. Also, nationwide, there seems to be much more competition for the consumer's dollar than there was even just 3 or 4 years ago. I have seen a decline in business in my small Etsy shop this year, where I sell mostly vintage linens and accessories. When I began the shop 4 years ago, I was selling on average an item a week. Now I do well to sell an item per month, seriously. There is more on-line competition and the bricks and mortar retailers are discounting everything, all the time.
Tough, very tough out there! Having said all that, people seem to like the individuality you can obtain at small arts and crafts fairs, so go ahead and give it a try!
when people loose there jobs they try to work for themselves. Have you noticed there are so many jewelry makers. It's one of the most common suggestions for people to make to sell. Daycares and dog sitting are 2 others things suggested for at home businesses.
Post by luvswool and dyestuff on Jun 19, 2014 1:46:48 GMT
Ann, agreed--many people who lose jobs do not go back into the official work source; rather, they try home businesses. Their numbers are not counted in the unemployment figures either. There are also many retired people who want to continue to work or produce in some capacity.
All of the suggestions are very helpful-it's still very hard to decide what to do-we all can make all the beautiful things in the world but if we can't sell them all we do is fill plastic bins-we don't have any artist co-ops where I live-I live in New Jersey-I also am a chef-I have a large restaurant in South Orange New Jersey-we are a brewpub-my son is the brewer and I run the kitchen-I spend 8 hours cooking and the next 10 hours working on my fiber-I'd rather be doing fiber in a little house in Maine on a cliff overlooking the ocean-Dream on-I LOVE fiber and I guess I am addicted to it-not the worst thing to be addicted to-I bring a lot of my hats and handbags into the restaurant to show some of my customers and they all say I should not give up(no one is buying)I did sell a handbag that way-thought about having a holiday craft show of my own this year-maybe-I get depressed and say I'm going to stop but I know I won't-maybe tomorrow will be better-there's always tomorrow-I'd like to see some of the pieces you all are making-is anyone going to the sheep and wool show in New York in October-maybe we could meet up for lunch one of the days-this is two of my handbags
The handbags are lovely. It is very hard to say what will sell to whom. I've done a series on marketing on our feltingandfiberstudio.com blog you may want to look at. Unfortunately, there are no easy answers. It requires some work and introspection to determine who your ideal customer may be and how to market to that customer base. In the mean time, just enjoy the process and the journey.