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

 

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

 

Lesson Info

Craft Shows Should be a Part of Your Business

Welcome to craft show secrets how to get in, make sales and grow your business thank you so much for tuning in I'm your host vanessa for this course nicole stephenson is a writer designer, producer and illustrator with over twenty years of experience she's the co producer of craft cation and also co producer of patchwork show a modern makers festival let's give her a huge creative life welcome on stage nicole's doing I'm really excited feeling excited I know it's your first time here on creative live being an instructor so we're so lucky to have you I think the burning question for this course is why what is the biggest mistake that people have one approaching crashes? So I think the biggest mistake that people make is just thinking about that day of the craft show and not thinking about all the things that go into preparing for that so not being prepared and organized and kind of focusing on the day instead of all the work that goes into it right? And I know we always here, you know, ...

be overly prepared and you could never be prepared enough but what are the actual results that come with preparation? Everything awesome that you want basically you will save time and money when you're at the show you won't be stressed out and freaking out you'll be relaxed, you're able to connect with your customers more and make more sales and just maximize your time and your efforts. Thank you so much, nicole. We are all excited to get started, so I will let you take it away. Okay, awesome. Uh, it's. So nice to see all of you. Some of you. I know and some of you I have just met, but already I feel like we're going to be friends. I I have been preparing for this course for months and months and months and much like what we're going to talk about about preparing for craft shows, and during that time, I've been working by myself. I worked by myself, I usually work in my backyard. I have a studio back there, but sometimes I sit at the table and I'm sure that most so you work by yourselves too, right? So that's kind of what us creatives have toe kind of put up with is spending a lot of alone time so it's really special for me to be here with you guys today? Usually when I'm working, these are my co workers, so I'm not completely alone. These are my three chickens that's red and carol and carla my husband named them I don't know why he likes to name our pets after people names, but I did name red that's the pet name, so if these guys are great, but they don't give me that feedback that I need, you know, they're cheering me on by clucking, but there's something different than being cheered on by people that know what you're going through. So we're all here because we are makers, so maybe you're a jeweller. I see a couple of jewelers here more than more than a couple a lot or an artist or a painter or designer or crafter, maybe you call yourself a soloist or storyteller, but whatever it is that you do, you are making you know that feeling that you get when you make something, it makes you happy. We were just talking of, we're just talking about that great feeling, um, and it all starts out with that idea, you know, that idea that you get in your head in that spark of inspiration that you get, and it feels so good, you're so excited, you know, you just can't wait to sit down and make that thing, and so then you're sitting down and urine, that creation process and it's, like time is just bleeding past you. You forget to eat your up too late and it's, just you just feel so alive on dh, then the third step is sharing it so that's the part that some of us I don't want to say have a hard time with but it might not come as naturally is when you have to share that thing with the world um right now, oui I think that this time we're really hungry for that ria life human connection you know are everybody I don't have my phone up here, but I'm sure all of you guys have your phones have your phones and everybody back home you're watching on a computer so we're doing so many things online so that really life connection has become something that we're hungry for it's just so so meaningful to us and I really believe that craft shows our place to make that awesome connection with your customers and with your fellow vendors. Not only are you making those connections but you're showcasing your creativity and your building your business and then the last thing of course making money right? We all want to do that because making money is what allows us to keep making and getting those awesome feelings. So why? Why solid craft shows what are the great things that we can get out of craft shows so you can grow your brand in your customer base which allows you to build your business and make money it's also a really great place to get feedback on new products, so when somebody's shopping in your online shop or your etsy shop, you can't really see what's their physical reaction to things when they you know, pick something up and they're looking at it and you can't see how they're analyzing it but when you're in person at a craft show you're actually watching your customers interact with your products and getting feedback from them vocally but also getting feedback from them just by watching on dh one of the other things I love about doing craft shows is that it's a great opportunity to travel and to turn you know most of us that have, you know, kind of independent businesses are not super wealthy so when you can turn a trip to go do a craft show into a working vacation it's really off some combination that's how I've gotten to do most of the traveling that I've done is to doing that and you can also connect with wholesale buyers and the media which we were talking earlier about kind of taking that jumpin toehold into wholesale I was talking with our studio audience about that and how it takes your business to that next to that next level and then what we talked about already which is building your creative community, which we're all doing here right now and then the last thing hammer this point home apparently making money so we all need thio make money but we want to do it with the thing that we're passionate about so what happens if you go to a craft show and you're not prepared and you're not ready all those great feelings that you had you know, when you were making your thing are all replaced by bummer feelings not so great feelings of you know, self doubt like you're sitting in your booth. Why did I do this? Why did I quit my job to do is why did I only go to part time? You know, why did I take this risk is, you know, did I make the wrong decision? You're second guessing yourself and you're also wasting your time and money because you're not prepared to have that time you're you're at your booth in the apple, the booth fee and you're missing out on the sales and missing out on connecting with your customers and growing your business so you'll hear me talk a lot about this over the next two days, but I am a big fan of preparation I am even when we were we were our kind of crew here was talking about it, they're like, you are so very paired, you know, it's so funny how you really do live out what you're preaching like I practice what I preach on, you know, just imagine if I came here to my creative life that I did not have any slides and, you know, our crew hadn't gotten together and kind of figured out like who was going to show up here and then I just walked in and was just like hey dude what's up like let me just tell you about some craft shows you know and I just thought hey man I've got it covered I've done hundreds of crash shows I produced you know been producing them for eight years I've got this well chances are it wouldn't quite work it wouldn't quite work out this way when you're at a craft show when you see that vendor if their booth is like always super crowded I know that if you've been to a craft store sold that one you know this feeling when you're seeing that one booth that's just booming and he was just like looking like sitting in your booth okay well um yeah and you're like kind of for me at least when I was in that position I was choking back tears you know because you're putting you put so much into what you too and to just see all this action next to you and you're just like everybody hates me everybody hates my stuff that's totally socks why am I here it's not an accident the fact that that booth is going off the hook you know that that is a result of preparation you know in that vendor being prepared organized and figuring out what their customer wants and how to give it to them which is what's going to happen to you guys by the end of this ten days at the end of this course, you raise their going to build confidence in your business so that you can grow your brand at craft shows. You're also going to overcome those fears of sharing your work with the world. I know that is a really big deal when you take all those great feelings you had when you were making and then you're putting them out there, you know, it's like it's kind of like going on a blind date, you know, or or a first date with somebody, um, you're also going to get all the tools and resources that you need to have a great craft show experience, so let's, talk about what we're going to talk about today. We'll talk about that benefits of selling it craft shows of which there are so many I cannot wait to teo, get into this with you guys, and we're also going to design a goal plan for your business at craft shows and then figure out which which goals are good for you and then figure out the actions on how to make those goals happen, so we're going to start from the beginning there, and then we're gonna talk about the application process, which I know is kind of. I don't want to say like a pain point for people, but I definitely hear that a lot from vendors like why didn't I get in? What is really happening behind the doors with that jury like, what are they looking for? What are they thinking? Why did this person get in? And I didn't, so we're going to go through that and talk about what the jury is really looking for what they're looking at, and then we'll talk about how to get those things won't talk about writing an awesome bio and having great photos and then and of course, following directions, and then we're going to talk about branding your business and also getting your product's ready for the marketplace and making sure that your products are actually ready to be bought and we're also going to talk about pricing, so pricing is a big deal. It was just talking before with one of our members, our studio audience about pricing, and I was saying it's not based on a guess it's not based on emotion, not based on what your sister would pay for it or what you've seen something like it it's based on an actual formula, and I'm going to share that formula with you guys so that you'll be pricing based on fact. And then we're also going to talk about how to prepare for the show with the ultimate craft show packing list so that you're never at a show and you're like, cool I forgot my rolling rack and where am I gonna hang my shirts, which actually happened to me before? Ah and then we're gonna go through a timeline checklist so you know my be prepared be prepared, so we're gonna go through a timeline so that you know what you're supposed to do and when you're supposed to do it so I don't know where everybody's out in their business we're going to talk about that in a minute, but I do know just from talking with the people in our studio audience we're all kind of different places nobody is going to be at the exact same place maybe you've done a bunch of craft shows before, but you feel like you need to bump it up, you feel like you're missing, you're missing something like what? What am I missing? How can I be that crazy crowded vendor booth? Or maybe you've never done a craft show before and you're just making for your personal enjoyment or for your friends and family and you really wantto take that next step or maybe you've done a few and you're now you're ready to apply to a juried show wherever you are wherever you're starting from I just need to start from where you are and it's going to be awesome. All of this stuff that we're going to learn is going to help you. It seems kind of like work because we're talking about checklist and worksheets and being prepared in all of this stuff. But all of this is actually going to give you more time to do that thing you love, which is making

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.