Secrets of Selling at Craft Fairs: How to Get In, Make Sales, and Grow Your Business

Lesson 11 of 39

Apply to a Craft Show

 

Secrets of Selling at Craft Fairs: How to Get In, Make Sales, and Grow Your Business

Lesson 11 of 39

Apply to a Craft Show

 

Lesson Info

Apply to a Craft Show

We're gonna talk about applying to a craft show the actual application. Nobody likes to see that this's. Not my actual application because applications are mostly online now. But I got tonight to a craft fair, and it really bummed me out. I had already been in business for, like, eight years, and I thought I was hasta basically and I had already done this craft show several times in several different cities. And I got tonight. And I was super bummed out, like, really bummed out. I remember when I was talking about, like, not being prepared in all those bad feelings. Like I was like, this one denial I was like, what am I doing with my life? Why did I ever make anything? What am I doing? Everybody hates me. I literally like bad. I had to live journal my way through it and drink some wine and yeah, but then I really say the reason I got denied, like they sent out this e mail. I hear some general reasons why you may have gotten denied and I read it now. It's like, well, yeah, my stuff hasn...

't really changed much since the last time I did this show interesting oh, yeah. They were trying to protect me from all of people seeing my stuff again and me having now, like flea market experience where it's like, you know, we saw that we saw that we saw that we saw that they're trying to keep their thing fresh, too. So then I then I thought about it, and I thought, why haven't I made anything new? Okay, because I'm burn out because, you know, I've lost my spark because I'm kind of over this right now and I that caused me to do some soul searching, and I realized it was time for me to re evaluate my business, you know, they might work, hadn't progressed, it really hadn't and that's why they didn't let me in there is because they wanted me to have a successful experience, and I wasn't going tio I took it personally, obviously I felt like a total failure and a loser, but after that, like, I've tried not to take that kind of rejection personally anymore. Um, I would love to hear from you guys, can we read this? What have been some of your experiences submitting to craft shows? Have you experienced rejection? What did you learn from it? Um, I'd really love to kind of concentrate on the last part of this question I feel like I mean, both online and studio you guys have been so open it's like it's hasam was so easy to get information out of you yeah, just from, like, for applying for creative life just we had a really saying it makes you focus really, what am I who am I and my brand? It really makes you country really have to think long and hard, what am I presenting to the world? And so it makes you really focus on what are you selling is, you know, it's that's, what I learned is just from playing here that I really learned about myself what my brand was all about them, and so I was willing to change things when what I need to change this in that because I'm not this person anymore, so make sure they're asking all these questions I want to come here, what are your actually, if you if you're not if you've never applied to be in the audience to create life it's actually an application and you have to answer all these questions about why you want to be in this audience and you know things specific to that workshop so it's a process and you may get tonight, you know? So what about online? Has anybody learned anything from you? Of course ambulance says she's mainly learned not to let it get her down keep pushing forward I'm stone wire says I've been rejected from craft shows but never gotten any explanation as to why so uh one of the big takeaways for me with pictures pictures, pictures so taking pictures of your booth when it's set up taking pictures of you in your booth different displays and it always evolves so remember to take pictures, turn the camera settings upto high take some good pictures you can kind and pay certain components out of it I've been rejected for just not having a good representation of my work they uh say oh it's just not a white enough variety but I didn't want to overwhelm them so thinking about how to present that was this a show that what did they look at your web site or you just like sent in physical picture? I don't have a website back then, okay? Yeah eso no no really website or social media anything like that and things easier now having having a web site and when we first started it was paper application and people had to send in photos and, uh, having, you know, an online application where they're looking at your website is you have a better opportunity of them seeing the full scope of your work and your total awesomeness then you do if there just looking at three to five pictures so scorpio online says I've got rejected a few times but mostly because I waited too long jewelry always fills up fast so I don't know if that's an issue for anybody else here jury makers everywhere jewelry is the most saturated category and I will tell you um well, over half of the applications we get our normally jewelry and we don't let in more than twenty percent jewelry good, so I'm not saying quit making jewelry at hall I'm just saying, like it's go back so that branding stuff we talked about making distinctive make it grounded make it something not easily uh replicated things that I learned from the application process is way had talked earlier about, you know, trying to translate you're a product experience online and I was really struggling with that and someone had suggested to me an application that I should take pictures of people hugging my pillows and I was like, oh, that's such a good idea so my husband was the model eyes he's kind of snugly looking anyway, so I wish we were like one of those things where you do like, can you cut away to a picture of her husband, my little fella right now, like everyone like over our helen or something if you want to see him hugging it's on my web site but okay, so little ba doodle yeah, you don't doodle dot com yeah, go look at a picture of him because yeah, it was weird how that did help quite a bit because saying people immediately got the concept they're like, oh it's not just home decor, but yeah, it's a emotional transaction and I never thought about that until someone during the application process had suggested it to me, you know, we're actually we're gonna talk about photos in this segment and one of things we're going to talk about his lifestyle shots, which is really important let's talk about how to increase your chances of getting in because that's why we're really here, right? Uh, so one research the show we just talked about that do your research, do your research um, make sure that it fits into your criteria make sure that you fit into their criteria and then I absolutely love this print it's by one of our one of our vendors, miriam date emma I don't know if I'm pronouncing her this dem a she's awesome. She makes tons of awesome stuff and I have that print in my house and I just love it and that should be all of our all of our mottoes, right, and shut out to miriam thank you, miriam uh, so you want to be ready, be ready to meet those goals all that stuff that we talked about remember, are you ready? You were ready and that's it. So you want to you want to be ready on then? Also paying attention to deadlines. Mark that calendar you know, you guys saw my show sheet. Stacey has one. Do not miss a deadline and I say apply earliest if it's a first come, first serve show no brainer, just get your application in the second they released them. If it's a jury show, I still suggest getting your getting your application and early I mean, I never it never hurts makes you look pro style. I don't know, I always like like it when I see those first applications ruling it's always exciting, and I'm really paying attention to them, too, because they're the first ones and it's like whoa! And if they ask you to submit any kind of paperwork, do it on time, don't make them hunt you down, you know it's? Uh, yeah, and then reading reading the frequently asked questions. I can't tell you how many times I get an email replying to an email with information. I've sent a vendor and they're replying back to me and asking me a question that's below in the email that there were applying tio yeah, it's just it's, so frustrating like that it goes back to like the time respecting you know like producers need to respect your time you need to respect there's you need to respect your customers time your customers seem to respect you it's very, very, very important uh and then don't ask people don't ask people questions that you can find the answers to you know, like try to look yourself first aa lot of these craft show producers are also makers you know? They're also they're also doing a lot of other stuff you guys rika s f u you produce a show you said you just did a show well guess what else she does fifty million other things like believe me, she doesn't want to tell you the show date when she's you know when it's already right there on the website boom don't apply a shows that don't accept your type of product which we talked about so follow the instructions fully to the t if they ask for five pictures and then five pictures if they ask for a link to your photos and you do not have a website, you do not have an etsy shop you do not have any of that create an online album like a flicker or ah I don't even know what one of the you know there's a ba jillion of those I can't even begin to name them and put a link to that there don't apply and then send them an email saying actually don't have a website, so I have attached pictures of my application or pictures of my stuff it's very frustrating you don't know who's on that jury people like marjorie is people that aren't even in the same room, people that aren't even in the same city, people on other sides of the state that we're going back and forth, you know, sending the setting these spreadsheets for everybody to look at stuff, we're not all in a room flipping through emails and pictures would be fun if we were, but we're not, uh, incomplete applications mayor, you know, just do it just take it seriously and do what you're supposed to dio that's it sweat the small stuff? Um, I can't tell you how many times I get bounced back e mails from vendors that air yelling at me, and then they actually when I look back at their application, their email address let's just say it was supposed to be happy lady it's h a p I you know, it's just like all wrong, and they're all type o ng up on their own emails and then yelling at me, so you've really make sure we're all going, we're all going to die, I'm sure that you guys have seen it grammar mistake on my slide somewhere in here we're all human but you don't want it to be overwhelmed with stuff one thing here in there and prepare a quadruple ba jillion all check your e mail address and make sure it's correct uh okay booth sharing yea we finally get to talk about this um think about your booth partner as a business partner for the day think about it their level of professionalism think about how they treat their business think about how they're going to interact with it their customers if you have kind of the selling technique that I like to do which I call the storytelling sale cell and they're like used carmen salesman style seller that's just like hey come on in here as anybody want to see some soul hope like that is going to be so annoying to be next to that all day that's happened to me before which is why this example is coming up and it was driving me crazy and my customers nobody even wanted to come in, you know or other people that are like giving out candy trying to like draw people and I'm like uh you know, think think think think this person reflects you that was an extreme example although it has happened to me but you want to think about their aesthetic of their booth how is their stuff gonna look with your stuff is your customer are they attracting your type of customer? Is this going to benefit you because or is that customer goingto choose between one of the two you know? So you really really, really need to think we actually stopped doing share boost a patchwork like a year and a half ago because I just did not see the benefit to anyone we offer a lot of shows will offer smaller, large booths so if you can't afford a big booth, get a small one do you think that people wanted to boost share it's really just a financial wonders if you could kind of cross pollinate and be an adjunct service to someone else you think it's different for everyone I think people are thinking about about money. Um, the thing is, this is your this is your business, you have to invest in it, you know think about the time you invest of what shoes you're going to get, you go to the mall or wherever you buy shoes and you try them on and you walk around in them, you inspect them, you see what they're made out of you probably will buy spend a little bit more money on a pair of shoes because it's your feet and you want to be comfortable you need to really spend that time and money on your business so investing in educating yourself coming to this class you guys online and here you guys are getting this class for free but guess what? You invested your time that is sometimes more valuable than money so if that means you know you have to use two of your vacation days to do this that might be worth it to you so yeah yeah regarding sharing in both, you know, for most of shows they do it's not just like oh, I can't afford two hundred dollars for booze I can pay one hundred and want to share it's more that um I don't have a partner I don't have close friends who want to do shows us me and so I am all alone in my booth and I am stuck there we're going to talk about how we're going to talk about that we're gonna talk about getting an assistant and you're not alone your customers were there carol from online makes a really good point she's talking about booth sharing she says I had a booth partner once that helps our neighbours set up her booth instead of actually helping her she's had a good thing install so be careful with who you have is a booth partner totally we're gonna have ahh we're gonna have like a big lesson on on assistance which same thing kind of like both partners that people that you're sharing your spit your space with um okay following up noting those important dates you're noting when they're going to tell you if you're in or not and then if you don't hear from them, they say twenty four hours after that then you email them you're not emailing him saying, hey, when do I find out if I'm in it was actually right there on the website is below in the email you're responding to right now, so uh and then if you if you are denied, you know, let's return to that notion of using it as an experience for growth and for learning think about why why you were denied it's totally fine to reach out to the show and asked why you were denied but do it respectfully hi, my name is so and so this is my business name was my application number what give them all the information you need they need I was just wanting to get feedback on my application I understand you're busy, is there you know you're in show season? Is there a time of year that I can email to get this feedback and they what do they say? Yes, they say no, they say whatever uh and then the last part of, you know, howto uh make a increase your chances of getting in is to have a great application most of these jury shows we're talking about, we're focusing on they're going to be looking your website and your social media your your block your online presence whatever that is for you and then they're going to be looking at you're writing so that writing this this on your wives have any writing on the application you know what we talked about the application here every applications different some people ask for a business description some will ask for a product description a bio but you're always going to need that writing for your for your website and then photos photos photos, photos photos like a billion times photos uh we have a bonus material here, but this is a craft show application checklist with r s v p hopefully by now I've already are sleepy for the course you could actually follow along with us I'm nicole why is having a show application checklist so important? Well, if you do not get into the show, you will very easily see why because one of those boxes will will not be checked. This is just really for you to help you make sure that you're doing the best job that you khun d'oh so and then it has outcome on there it's like yeah I met the deadline it's a good fit for my brand my photos were great, I'm ready I'm this I'm that if everything's yes that outcome should be yes

Class Description


Selling at craft fairs is a big investment of time, money, and resources – it’s also one of the most powerful venues a crafter has for getting products in front of people. In Secrets of Selling at Craft Fairs: How to Get In, Make Sales, and Grow Your Business, Nicole Stevenson teaches you everything you need to know about working the craft fair circuit.

Craft shows are complex affairs. From the application, to the preparation, to the actual hustle there are many variables to plan and prepare for. Nicole has been a vendor at over 300 craft shows and produced over 40 – in this class she'll help crafters make informed, strategic decisions about where to invest their time and effort. You’ll learn how to:

  • Find and apply to the right show
  • Develop your “look” using basic branding
  • Prepare for shows with products, checklists, staff, and a pitch
  • Merchandise and display products for maximum effect
  • Deal with pricing, permits, and taxes

Nicole will offer insights on troubleshooting common challenges so you aren’t left in the lurch without the equipment or information you need to do a great job. You’ll also learn strategies for keeping in touch with customers and building relationships with event producers that last long after the show ends.

The world of craft fairs is complex and it is not always easy finding the right match.  Secrets of Selling at Craft Fairs: How to Get In, Make Sales, and Grow Your Business makes the process of finding your perfect fit as stress-free and fun as possible.

Reviews

user-1b0a09
 

It was an awesome experience. I learned so much from Nicole. She is entertaining and so knowledgeable that I feel I left the show with soooooo much info. I loved being in the studio audience, I met so many great people, crafters and new friends I feel we all became one big support for each other. I am putting to good use everything I learned. I look forward to coming back to Creative Live for another learning experience. Craft Show Secrets taught me all the ins/outs of craft shows ...I'm excited for my next craft show. Time to Create!!!

Lisa Jones
 

Great Class! Full of practical information + tools about how to REALLY succeed doing shows. I have attended many a craft show and found an enormous amount of useful tips. I especially loved the bonus material! Thank you Nicole and Creative Live for keeping it real + FUN!!

a Creativelive Student
 

I've been growing my business successfully online for the last six years, but hadn't shown my work in person for a decade. As a refresher, I took Nicole's craft show class to be sure that I made the most of the time I would have in front of my customers. Because of the preparedness and mindset that I gained from Nicole's teaching, my show was a huge success. My interactions with the customers, producers, and other vendors were genuine and joyful, building a stronger foundation for future business and relationships. This course took the worry and stress off my shoulders so I could enjoy the opportunity that I had. Thanks, Nicole! Tamara Kraft Pithitude