Today, I am kicking off a 5-part series on craft fairs. This information is geared toward Stampin' Up! demonstrators that are looking to supplement their income by selling various papercrafts; however, anyone interested in participating in craft fairs should find some useful information.
I'm going to start by reviewing the different types of craft shows that you may encounter and what you can expect to pay to have a booth at one of these shows.
The biggest and best shows are almost always "juried". This means that before you can participate, you will need to send samples of your work and pictures of your booth set up along with an application fee. A selection committee will review all of the applicants and will then select participants based on the quality of the work and the "best fit" for the fair. These fairs are usually well-attended, so you can expect to pay about $100 and up for the booth fee.
Most of the craft fairs that you will encounter will be non-juried shows. Booth fees will usually be in the range of $20–$60. Some of these shows will limit the number of vendors with a specific craft. If they allow you to promote your Stampin' Up business, they will probably only allow one demonstrator. I say "probably" because you will want to ask the organizer about this. If they do limit, you need to be first to send in your application. If all goes well, this spot in the craft fair could be yours, year after year.
In either type of show, you may find that the organizers have a strict "handmade-only" policy. At these shows, you will not be able to promote your Stampin' UP! business. You may be able to give out your business card, but be sure to ask the organizer before doing anything that might be construed as promoting Stampin' Up!
There is one more type of show that you might encounter, and I will refer to it as a vendor fair. Vendor fair participants will include other direct sales businesses and local small businesses. Vendor fairs are a great opportunity for you to promote your business first, while selling handmade items on the side. The booth fee is usually pretty small.
So, how do you find craft shows? Start by asking any creative people you know about the craft fairs that they participate in or attend. You'll get a lot of good information and will have an idea about which shows you might want to check out.
In some areas, an internet search may provide you with some leads. I find that one of the best ways to track down craft shows is to start making phone calls to organizations that typically host shows:
When you call, keep it simple: "Hello, my name is Melissa. I'm calling today to find out if your organization hosts a craft fair?". If no, you're done. If yes, find out the name and phone number of the show organizer. Then make the call and you are on your way!
Here is a super easy project that is perfect to sell at holiday craft fairs. I took a mini cupcake pan, and tied a pretty ribbon on top. To cover the openings, I punched cardstock 2-3/8" scallop circles and 1-3/4" circles from Designer paper, layered the circles, and added strips of magnet to the back to hold the circles in place. The numbers were printed on my computer, then punched out with the 3/4" circle punch.
Edited to add: The magnet strips are not generally strong enough to hold circles in place securely. They will slide around if moved and the muffin tin cannot be hung on the wall. You will have to use stronger magnets in order to keep the circles in place
Just fill the tin with little pieces of candy and trinkets, then remove the circles to let the countdown begin. After the holidays, you can use the numbered circles as refrigerator magnets for kids to learn their numbers. Plus the recipient of this gift will have a new cupcake/muffin pan to use throughout the rest of the year.
The next installment on craft fairs will be posted on Friday, so be sure to check back. In the meantime, if you have any questions for me, leave a comment at the end of this post or use the chat box.