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Thread: Holiday/Fall/Winter Craft Fairs - what do you do?

  1. #1
    Senior Member kwendt's Avatar
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    So I was thinking of thinning out my stash, by signing up to take a 'table' space at my town's Holiday Craft Fair.

    But um... I don't have a clue what 'crafty' things to make. Or what to sell them for.

    So far, I see that people make purses, pincushions and pillowcases. How much does one charge for these items? What other items do people make? Or perhaps, more importantly... what items to people buy?

    Anyone doing craft fairs want to advise a newbie? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I have never done a crafts fair yet but I have been to a lot of them and watched my wife spend lots of money at them (okay I helped too). I would say anything Holiday oriented would sell really well and I think the purses are really neat.

    Good luck in your endeavor and keep us posted!!

    Billy

  3. #3
    Super Member moonwork42029's Avatar
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    Gosh...you'll be under the gun to get enough made for a sale now I'd think. Is it worth the "pressure" to get stuff made at this point. I believe most that do the holiday sales start up early in the summer so they have a good stash of items for sale.

    This year, you might want to browse them so you have an idea of what is being offered and just chit chat them as to "gosh how long ago did you start making this...etc etc".

    Don't want to be a bummer on your idea but also know it can put loads of stress on you at this super busy time of the year.

  4. #4
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    It's always hard to know what will sell. I try to do things that if they don't sell will make good Christmas presents. Aprons, pot holders, tablerunners etc. Sales here have been difficult the last couple of years but it really depends on the economy in your area. Good luck.

  5. #5
    Super Member trisha's Avatar
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    What people will really buy are team items. You are from Florida, make things for the Dolphins. Our wonderful team is the Cleveland Browns (hahahaha) otherwise known as the Dawgs. So I used to make dogbone pillows, large and small from Cleveland Brown fabrics, stuffed Christmas trees from the same fabric. Everything we made had to do with the Browns, Cavas, Indians. People will just buy that stuff up. It may not be what you have in your stash, but that is what sells.

  6. #6
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    Smaller things seem to sell easier, esp. if the economy is not good. Potholders, coasters, Mug rugs, Cloth napkins, runners, etc. Good luck!

  7. #7
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    Good luck. I never found the key to selling anything at craftfairs.

    Some people seemed to do really well and others including myself were there to look good. :lol:

  8. #8

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    I've been doing craft shows. For 17 years and there is no right thing to sell. You have to have a variety of items and prices. Like the lady said team items always seem to sell, I think its because crafters don't make items with men in mind so wives and kids buy anything that's got the favorite team on it. Check around because there is usually more than 1 team that sells well. Christmas ornaments do well. A lot of people buy ornaments as gifts for their coworkers as well as family and friends. Always have something you can let go at just pennies, children love to buy for their parents and if you have something you can let go for whatever they have, you'll. Get the parents buying from you too.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Kath12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moonwork42029
    Gosh...you'll be under the gun to get enough made for a sale now I'd think. Is it worth the "pressure" to get stuff made at this point. I believe most that do the holiday sales start up early in the summer so they have a good stash of items for sale.

    This year, you might want to browse them so you have an idea of what is being offered and just chit chat them as to "gosh how long ago did you start making this...etc etc".

    Don't want to be a bummer on your idea but also know it can put loads of stress on you at this super busy time of the year.
    I agree. I used to do craft shows for over 20 years. I usually started making items in February. You need a variety of of items at different price points. This year just scope out the market and get ideas. Good Luck!

  10. #10
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    Maybe it would be a good idea to find someone to share a table with. It's kind of late to begin making things for this year. You need a large amount of items. I used to share a table with a friend who made completely different items, so we didn't compete with each other. Good luck if you decide to do this.
    Sue

  11. #11
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    I've been selling purses, wallets & other fabric items at craft shows for 5 years. Sales this year are the lowest ever, not just for me but slot of the vendors I've talked with. That being said, items under $10 sell better. Let people know they are nice to have on hand for 'thank you' gifts, stocking stuffers, secret Santa gifts etc. People need to know how & why to buy your items. Good luck!

  12. #12
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    I did well last year sellig AM Girl doll clothes. I hit the mid point between the really expensive ones and the cheap ones cheaply made. But that is very labor intensive to do and is mostly a labor of love because you cetainly don't make a decent hourly wage. I had no time those year to build up inventory again. Maybe next year.

  13. #13
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    Have you thought of having a garage sale or "open-house" billed as a "stocking stuffer" sale with small hand-made items? This is what I thought about trying this year. It may not work in all areas of the country. Texas generally has fair weather up until mid-Dec. It would probably be less expense for you and then
    you can see what sells and prepare for next year and a craft show if you choose. Good luck!

  14. #14
    Senior Member kwendt's Avatar
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    Wow... great ideas, everyone.

    Okay... I so agree... it's too late to build up an inventory for this year. So I went to craft fair today in a nearby town. Was fun. I saw that LOTS of people did jewelry. And there were several vintage linen resellers. What seemed to go the best, was a lady selling purses that were really well made and great embellishments on them. Some funky, some elegant, small and large. There were 3 or so sellers of American Girl doll clothings ($12 per dress at one, $8/dress at the other). A Christmas booth, where a lady had found cutter quilts and cut them up to make small hearts, etc... which she then reworked to make Christmas ornaments. Seemed to me, that all of the quilters/sewers who embellished their items in some fashion... seemed to attract more attention.

    The concept of having different price points - right on. I could see that a lot of people were selling small priced items. And along the way, there were some folks who literally bought $200 or more of such things, or bought bigger ticket items.

    Another thing I noticed that really worked well... was the booths/tables that were delightfully decorated attacted more customers. Skirted/covered tables, tall displays using things like iron gates, Japanese screens, etc. NOT your average posterboard on an easel! Some booths had rigged up twinkly lights, soft Christmas music, scented candles on warmer mats, and even little vinettes with their products/wares. I was amazed.

    So now, I think I have a better understanding of what's needed and can plan accordingly for the next year. I can see why one needs to start making things in February to have enough stock and variety! Phew.
    Kim
    from sunny South Florida

  15. #15
    Super Member wanda lou's Avatar
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    I like the idea of sharing a table with a friend.
    Never look down on anyone, unless you are helping them up.

  16. #16
    Senior Member pennijanine's Avatar
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    I share tables with two friends and we all do different things. Denim rag quits, baby quilts, sets of placemats and table runners. Sometimes we do very well, other days not so good. I guess you just need a large variety of items and lots of them!

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