Preparing for a Craft Show
I am grateful that creative live allowed me to have special guests because I really wanted to broad and everybody's experience, and like I said, I think that we all have things to teach, and I think that we all have things to learn, and I'm so glad that we can learn again from kate. Please come on out, come on out, action like goodness, I would be able to do it because really, out of all of the people that I continue to take workshops from and learn from and fire their books so I could be better at my job. I mean, really had a big effect on how I talk to other people and how I look at my own creativity and how I interject that creativity into the not so creative stuff that I need to do to make my business runs so they get to sing it right back at you, there's a lot of stuff that I have no idea the first thing to the, you know, that's so true for all of us and just why collaborating and building communities is really important, and as we go through this segment building the craft show, ...
because I want to remind everybody online and at home that you can send in your questions, if you want to know why kate erin are doing something if you have another idea that we should consider, let us know what it is because this section needs to be really interactive in order, tio each get the best craft show experience we can that we need to know what people are really thinking and what people want to know and how to work that out. So as much audience involvement as we can possibly get is best so agree I'm going to bring up erin duncan. Now. Erin is the proprietor of ren bird arts. She has brought all of her information are all of her product and booth supplies from home, and keeton aaron are going to build their booth while I dio some dipping in to see what they're doing and then also clicking through the information that we need to go through to understand all about craft shows. So the crashes section of the workbook starts and beach thirty five and, um, when we started in the business says, do you ladies want to get started? Yeah, so one of the first things that we do when we start a handmade business is, uh, think about going to crash shows where we go to craft shows and take a look at what other people are doing and figure out what that scene is like and so it's a place where we all begin even if we're not selling yet it's where we go to get inspired it's where we go to see what other people are doing it's where we go to check out the competition if there is competition it's there's a lot to be learned from walking your craft show and a lot of great stuff to buy too while you're at it. But I know that it's also kind of loaded in a little complicated when you're first starting out because again the fears crop up I have to apply to this I have to submit money sometimes with an application fee and what if I get rejected? Why should I pay someone to reject me? What if I go to the boots that nobody buys my stuff? What if I go to the booth and people say crazy things to me, which hopefully people will have some funny stories on the bizarre stuff that people say to them a craft shows because that certainly can happen in my sister is one of those ask er's in general where she's always asking people like, how much time did it take you to the they make that? And I just feel like, oh let's, go let's leave so I've included in your checklist of things to think about before you applied your first show and that's where we're going to start you need to find the right show and you need tio no if you are really ready to do a craft show so what I'm going to suggest that you try doing first is find the right show and to do that you can actually visit shows in person you can research shows on google you can get class credits toward your google master's degree like emily by searching searching the shows and you can ask your community there's also other ways that you can investigate crashes online you can look for images from the show to see if it looks if it's far away from you. If it's a show that you would have to travel tio you can look for images of the show to see what other kinds of booths and vendors air there. What the crowd looks like with the space looks like there's a lot you can find out from doing your research like that but the best tool you have for doing a craft show is checking with your community pretty know who's done it who do you know who has shopped there? Who do you know that is gone there? Could you know that loves it what what do they like about it? What don't they like about it? What kind of criticisms might they have that are useful to you? But at the end of the day you just need to trust your intuition just because you think the show is really big are really popular or you're convinced that it's the best place for you, that might not necessarily be the case, because if your ideal customers are going to shop at that craft show and it's kind of a waste of your energy and your efforts and your resources and your money and your time so you need to really go with your gut. Just because this show works for somebody else doesn't mean it's going to be the best one for you. So you need tio pay a lot of attention to that. So thanks to look for when doing our craft show how many people attend the show on average, organizer's should give you some idea of this sometimes they'll say come, come to her show five thousand people will come through in one weekend or whatever it is. So you want to know how many people are going to get the show because you want to know number one, how much to bring? Is it a big enough crowd? Is it going to be a robust enough crowd for you? Is it going to be like way too big for you? And you're not going toe be comfortable around so many people there's a lot of information. To be found in how many people attend the show like that will really have an impact on what you d'oh, how many vendors exhibit and how is the show grown? This is important because you want to know that the community where the show is located continue to come out and support the show again and again. So if a show is getting smaller that either means that they found that they had one but certain types of ideal clients themselves so they got smaller, they need each down, they decided to focus in on one area of what there, what their customer was really buying or if the show is growing that means they needed a bigger space because so many people were coming, more people were applying, more vendors were setting up, and it was making a much bigger difference to that particular show. So they decided to grow and that's ah that's a pretty good sign how many people with the show do whatyou d'oh? This is important because you want to know if your product is going to stand out so it's not necessarily that you're competing with other vendors who do the same type of work is you but if you were going tio a soap on ly shou, you could be a pretty safe and assuming that most everybody he was going to come to the soap on ly shou I was really interested in soap, so that was a great place for you to be. But if you were going to a show where it was a pretty mixed crowd and there was some twenty percent of the vendors who were going to be there, make what you make or you feel like your your ideal customer is very similar than that. One ideal customer is going to be pulled in a lot of different directions. So you need to decide if that's something if you can add to that. And if you have enough to offer at this point in time to make an impact on that customer and therefore have a good show. So you want to know two people who have a similar ideal client. You do. They really like going to that show? What impact will the show have on your business and yourself? If you were tio, know that you get maybe eighty percent of your sales from your online shop and then you do a store, then you do a big show six weeks before christmas and that's, all the inventory that you have you need to think about. How is that going to impact your sales or your reputation, or your your connection with your customers as they start shopping for their holiday gifts? So when she decided to do a show then take a look at the much bigger picture of what's in what? How how is that going to affect you and your business audience studio audience? Do any of you have any show tips for what to look for when you're doing a show? Yes, heather experience that you definitely want to do the juried shows because like you're talking about having too many people selling one thing and not enough variety and I know as a customer when I go to a show I want to see lots of choices and all different kinds of things not ten tables of jewelry, right? I mean not that I don't enjoy jewelry, but I really like a variety, so I've learned definitely I feel like more success with a juried show where there is some sort of standard instead of whoever pays the ten dollars table fee, right? Yeah, right so you feel like they're curating the good stuff for you so you have the higher chance of being a satisfied customer when you get there easily. Um when I'm looking for show was a vendor um for the most part I won't do a show the first year that it happens with the first time that it happens I want to see that tested out I want to see how other people what their experiences um and another sort of rule I've made for myself. If organizer's contact me and ask me to do their show, it normally means they're not getting enough over response from the community in general and there's. Probably a reason for that. Direct outreach is sort of for an established show, a sort of an indication that the show might not be doing there's something wrong? Yeah, something wrong? Excellent insight. Leslie, have you ever done any shows? Not yet. Are you thinking about it? I've done shows as a child with my mom got the helper shape counts because remember how the jobs that we've had in the past, those experiences form what we do now? Um, a lot of experience of sitting in the sun with people wandering by and, uh and, uh, not ever making enough sales to make the fee that we paid to be there and sitting in sun all day. Yeah, so that this course wasn't available that way. You could have saved her sometime. Sometimes the money. Great. Kathy, what are you looking forward to? I know you said you were going to be a urban craft uprising coming up. Yes. I did the at serigne show to two years, but I found that what was really important for me was to get a lot of support, like helping me pack my car. I'm actually getting a friend who could stay either part of the time or visit me and, like, be my kind of cheerleader, yeah, awful that can really affect how you're feeling about doing the work is how much support you have for sure, because some, you know, physical labor to do a show for sure. Okay, what are you getting from online comment from jennifer lynn? If a show is inside inside of a building and not easily seen, I really don't recommend it. Even if it's a big well known show my first renegade was inside a high rise and the traffic wasn't that great. How you ladies think about what you think about that, I think that it really depends on the show itself and how good ever reputation hasn't how long it's been going on? I would go to a show inside if I would go to urban craft uprising if it was in an alley and, you know, a dangerous spot because I know for sure I'm going to be a satisfied shopper at that show, it's never let me down on all these years. So and also that's one thing you can learn about the shows. What kind of promotion are they doing? I've been tio a renegade before that was in an empty pool in brooklyn, in mccarron parker mclachlin park. I can't remember the name of it. Mccarron ok, so it is like a huge swimming pool that no water in it, and there was hundreds of booths, and and it was ah, blast that's, actually, where I met jennifer judd mcgee, the woman you did the paper cutting for this for my second book. And so I think that that really depends it's definitely something to judge the situation on, for sure, I know that you're gonna keep checking in with them, but I'm just chomping at the because they're sorting and full name is behind this table, and I want to know what's going on back there, what they're what they're doing, and I would also love to hear from aaron about what, what her challenges have been. What she's hoping tio, you know, have happened, kate here, who is from anthropologie, helping her with her with her table, definitely my weakness, I'm not very good, I mean, I couldn't make all day long, but I cannot display very well, so this is probably the best thing ever when I was wondering who did choose to do this I did think of aaron because she's really zeroing in on her business this year she's revamping different aspects of her business from the bottom up and when I said hey, how do you feel about your boots? I knew right away that she would be the really great person to do it here and also erin has tio ideal customers she has bribes, her handmaiden handkerchiefs which I think we're going to see a few of eyes one ideal customer client that she has and then she has a whole other avatar that she works towards and it's it's tough when you have two separate client tells and you do sort of similar work there's just a teeny tiny variation how do you make that work for your business? So they are currently folding up picnic place mats is that correct back there, ladies? Ok, basket so our morton already these floors are so cute. Yeah, I love to use materials that tie back teo either the end use or the material that you're using s o you know, picnic place but picnic placemats it's hard to say it. A picnic basket filled with pickles is kind of a perfect perfect little island like we put them all in backwards see any things like this all the time yeah and then he just picked him up and switch them around so when you're thinking about doing shows another thing that you need tio take into consideration is do you have enough inventory? Has this ever happened to any of you where you shown up and you'll be there sold out but in a bad way because you could have done so much more business if you had brought more product or you just didn't really bring enough to cover your fees does that happen to any of you guys? And if not could you make up the story since I asked ok, we'll just move on from there but it's important to think about how much inventory you're going to bring because you want to make you want to make this show worth it for you financially because again we are we're here to make money and if you're just interested in giving away your crafts and not making money on that then I'd like tio private messaging my address because I'll be happy to help take some of that inventory after him but and this is what kathy was just saying if you need it can you find help on the day of the show that's a really important thing to consider sometimes you have to walk really far you have to hold has he bins it can be really hot out and maybe you're dolly has a flat tire, not that that's ever happened to me more than once, but you know, it's, a very laborious job, its setting, a pure table, it's moving heavy things, it's been making things attractive, and then by the time you're done with all that, you're supposed to be like fresh faced and smiley and, like, happy to interact and talk with people that it can be a bit of a challenge, so you need to make sure that you're interested in prepared to do that kind of hard work. So you got a clothing rack there? What are you going to do with it? I'm so intrigued to string some of the hand embroidered hankies from the clothing racks so that there's multiple heights and there are things in front of the customer and then things kind of behind the customers so that they have a lot of different interests to look at and work around. So do customers like that when they're approaching merchandising spot like what's, your customers really want to see what makes them comfortable when they're approaching the booth, but I think they don't want to be too crowded, so you don't want to put your stuff like right at the front of the move, probably, but you don't want to put everything too far back to because you don't want to make your booth scary. For people to come into and I think it's really sometimes I mean, I've done this before where I set up my table a little too far back and there's no one there yet and you're just sitting there with this like glazed smile on your in your eye like nobody wants to come into the booth here looking like that so I actually kind of always like to stay a little busy but be approachable so you know, I'm kind of oh it's like sort of just moving things around nicely but you know not so that a customer is afraid to come in and touch things and then as soon as they kind of get close to me, I'll stop and be like, oh, how are you how's it going? You know? And then one of the other things that I just talked to erin about was which are her best sellers of these different their pocket squares right of these pocket squares, you know? I mean, it seems like a no brainer, but I forget to the things like this all the time, like, what are your best sellers put them out in the front and then people have the ability to always kind of leave through whatever is behind it, but they can see, you know, kind of what the star sellers are and then a little bit of height so you know, you always want to go from low to high not too high that the customer can't reach things but you know so that you can kind of see multiple levels of thing and that maximizes your space totally you know? So if this was like let's look at this if this one wasn't wasn't, you know there to give it height like she's she's lost some space because when you're walking by, you don't really know what's back here if it's anything so you know, she's really making the most of this table by building up and you could even do one more level behind that of, you know, like another kind of, you know, layer of the pocket squares if you really wanted to build all the way out and then a nice thing to is using vintage props that kind of work back to each other, so I like how the wood is similar colored kind of a similar feeling so it's got that like vintage feeling if you're going to go with the vintage feeling definitely go with it throughout the whole boost don't kind of confused people and have, you know, like this and then a plastic container over there ideally it would be great to get like, a vintage quilt rack or something like that, maybe there's something that she could eventually do tio make this more than two generally what she has with spray painter wrapping fabric on the bars or yeah yeah you could probably spray paint it like a white and sand it down a little bit even um or washington yeah, well what are tons of washington's in washington you could change that might be a little time consuming you know that's what you're in teo but also it's nice to have the containers contrast her products so if aaron had containers that were also really printed like you know if you had like fabric bends it might just be too much people wouldn't know what the display is and what the product is and they might be like what are you selling here? Baskets or what's inside of it so it's nice with this I think it's really easy for people to see like these these are the containment and this is the product that's clear to people you're not wondering if this is for sale, right? You definitely know that this although someone might ask you because it's a craft fair on people ask crazy things e review that's a that's a good segue way into you crazy things people have asked that shows I know someone's got stories there online I know it happens all the time that people a big one I know is somebody will come up and look at this and say all I could do that and then they walk up like yeah what do you do when that happens to you how do you handle that good morrow what is it about that um so he did across show a really long time ago and I was outdoors and these two ladies walked by and kind of whispered to each other in a very normal voice my granddaughter does that she could totally do that and this was the end of a very long not very successful day so I have to admit I was a little snarky feeling and s o she said it and my immediate response was that's awesome because I'm looking for someone to help me in my studio so if you could give her my number e I know it wasn't very nice but it's not good at the time she they immediately walked away because they knew they knew it was pretty rude to just kind of dismiss all of the work that I did by saying it's not worth it you know somebody else can do that too now do you think that's what people are actually saying or do you think that's what we hear is the maker or do you think people just mean I've always it's tended to think the other way that people are like oh I could do this because I can do stuff to if I try I got some creativity I maybe can figure out how to do that that I sometimes think people don't mean to be saying I can totally make that yeah, because this it's but that is definitely feels different to us what better will really mean exactly I mean it's a matter of perspective you know from their side of it you know, in retrospect I'm much older now so I can see how you know, it was just sort of a conversation between friends, but I have to say it's one of those stories that I tell people who are especially just starting out with craft shows that they're like, oh, man, I wish I had the guts to say something like that it's like, well okay, but there is another way to look at it like you said, you know, what would you say to that same person now? I probably wouldn't say anything yeah, because now I'm confident in my work if somebody isn't going to buy something than it doesn't matter what I put out or how much it is or anything like that, they're not my customer, they're just plain not going to buy it and they will have their reasons or they'll say it's wonderful or I'll be back and you know all of those things that people say it craft shows, but in the end I know that my right customer will find me and buy from me that's right dead good I mean and we're going to talk about this in a little bit but it's important to know that it's not your job to make stuff that everybody who looks at it is gonna like it's just not not only would that be impossible, it would just be ridiculous it would be like you trying to talk to those three million buyers on etc you know you just you can't do it not everybody is your customer so I wanted to talk about since we were talking so much about our fears and fear failure and things like that comment that came in from phantom who said I booked myself a table at a local church fair this saturday so that I could dip my toe into the market. I felt I needed to do this to see what the reaction would be to my efforts and I'm wondering if when you go to a show and let's say you don't do well like what is the next step after that? Do you go? Do you just look for different types of shows or do you chalk it up to maybe it's just your energy wasn't there you weren't confident or like what are all the layers of that? Well, there's a lot of layers to that I would say if you go to a show and you're trying to test out if your product is worth continuing on with that on, you have a lot of products left over then lucky you because you have a lot more opportunities and chances to figure out different ways to try to sell it so you could easily take that same work that didn't solve the show and put it online and see if your response is there. You could try tweaking who you're talking to with your customer profile, you could try adjusting your prices, there's a lot of fun experiments you could incorporate into what you're trying to do if the show doesn't go well for you the first time, but it could just be this show. It could be you if you want put it back on yourself, which I don't think you need to do. You can just say this wasn't the right show for me or you can say this didn't work because I'm terrible, so it really depends on what direction you feel like going with if your fears going toe went out and say you failed at this because you're a failure or if you're just going to say, I'm going to take another. Shot and do something different hopefully if you have researched the show well enough and you know for a fact that your customers air there that the kind of person that you want tio have shop from you was already shopping there and that it's a good price point for what you have I mean it would be what's going to be an art festival or an art show where there's thousands you know it's really expensive penis is going to be very different than what you're going to find at a great citywide craft show you know but that's two different markets in two different persons two different people to different shoppers so making sure you're at the right place to begin with I think can really help you avoid those problems but if you have a bad show give it another go that's a slogan I just made up you know what carrie you are that is the reason why I'm enjoying learning from you so much because I say what if you fail and you say lucky you looking on your opportunities I know all the time constantly and it's just a chance to try something new which is great since I I don't like commitment so you know it's just an opportunity to try something different and to figure it out fantastic yeah I know we have a lot of content tio keep getting through social you should keep going with that right let's talk more chicken. Yeah, let's check in now now you guys are getting some good stuff. Are you able to take payments, erin if somebody shops your show asher all set I'll set for that so what's happening here? So there are a few other things that we just hung up thes air, all the beautiful little embroidered hankies. Um, and I think it would be fun to just, you know, if you had a lot of time, teo, you know, just kind of keep going with it on dh. Then we put out these beautiful, um, adorable little kind of, like, many works of art. Um, they look like they're all one of a kind, right? Yes. Um so there some that are on the table there, easy for people to touch and pick up and then there's some that are again there's a little bit of height and you're seeing them from, you know, two different directions. If you had a booth that he would attend, you could actually hang some two, which would be great, you know, if you had, like, a whole wall of them. Hung there's, a really cute fabric store in new york called pearl prl in soho, and they have this huge wall of embroidery hoops that are filled with all the different liberty print fabrics and it's a curious thing on earth so I think it would be nice to be able to do that to you that's a great idea yeah so and then I always like to leave like a spot where I can be because I think you know, sometimes you go to those boots and like people out from behind them on a little intimidating so it's kind of nice to like include you as the height in one place so like you know you've got your height here you've got it here you've got a little tight right here and like, if you stand up and someone took a picture of you behind your booth, you would act kind of as the hyatt as well beyond you wouldn't have to like, you know, peek out from behind your display right? So erin did you price your items for us? No, I will know like how that so I want to talk about your branding a little bit because I think that that's pretty important so visually we have a statement going on with the burlap looks like vintage changer chips it's like a chief what do they call those like t chips like a cheap quill like so I made a little financial it would limit would take with me to a craft her instead of like for the art in the placement replacements are kind of hard tio to tag without puncturing the fabric and I don't want to make it a rip the tag and then tear the place mat right? So usually just make a that's a lot of mine because they're all the same praise correct, ok? And then if I was a customer and I was approaching your booth and I wanted tio know how I could learn more about you or if I didn't want to buy something today but wanted to look back is the business card the primary tool I would take away? Or would you offer to sign me up to your news better list? I do have a newsletter list I would have that out with a pen on dh, then business cards ok, so where would that go on your booth right now? Um, I usually kind of put it and I don't know this is the best way to do it, but I usually kind of put it in the corner so that it's not so people are looking at things, then they're not standing in front and you know, yeah, we're also three we all have things thank you. We're like customer way so there's probably somebody out there it's right now don't think people did not notice that I just need to change my look get some damage, your vision, one other thing I would recommend is making thes sign similar to your business car? Because I think they're I think they're a little bit big on dh, they just kind of add, like, you have a lot going on, which is great, like there's a certain aesthetic that, you know, is kind of like more is more, which I love with lots of different print in color and pattern. But I think with some of your branding that I like that you're branding is sort of neutral and actually coincidentally kind of matches this so the united states your signs, you know, if you wanted to hang a sign here where really similar to your business card? Ok, I would say that the signs don't really seem to fit in with the with the rest of what you have going on a little distracting, I think, and I love this isthe stamps, you know, it looks so nice that it would be great if that messaging was tied into everything else that you had. Teo, I think okay? And what? What? What other questions do you have about your booth? I have a before picture. I'm gonna have to scan through to get to it on when you stand in front of you, but this is erin's booth before and so you know, this isn't everything that would be possible to do if we were going to a craft show, but I mean, this is what she had before which the hanging the handkerchiefs up from being, you know, what is this a a piece of wood is that's a slice of wood that the anchor chefs from? Um, well, I think it's a cake stand oh, yeah, yeah, and that's like it doubleday platter. Okay, great. And then that is the placemat itself set out. So what do you think about the contrast from this to that? Like, I like I definitely like how these air kind of contained and the little bit because I actually don't have those on there. Um and kind of like how the art is a little bit more in front this I definitely love the kind of like, laundry feeling. Is there people afraid to pick those up? I wouldn't, because there know it, you know, very e anything that the craft so you smudge it, you buy it lady way would get to see tons more like, you know, if you did string because you could probably do could probably do like one or two more that you didn't you don't want to necessarily put anything below this mark. Um, you know, but if it looks really full, I think when people see, like full presentations, they get really excited, you know, when it looks kind of more like peace males, they are kind of, I don't know there's like a psychology to it where people get more nervous, you know, I agree with that, and then do you think, kate, that as soon as something sells its important tio important to to replace it on the table right away, if you can? I think so, yeah, definitely to keep your table's follows makes people, so I've heard people have said to me before, I like it when my tables empty because it lets people know that people have shopped there, and I think now I don't think that's what it says people e your table full and stopped and abundant makes people attracted tio for sure, I think another thing too, to think about with this kind of table is just I have something that goes all the way to the floor because your table is the perfect place to store all your stuff, and you have so much stuff that you don't necessarily want people to see at a craft fair so it's nice to just kind of cover the whole table, and then you get all this space too. You know, kind of be messy under your table. No one needs to know about it, because as the crafter goes on, you're getting more and more like possibly a little frazzled and it's. Nice to have, like a space that's secret on that. No one needs to know of.