Craft Business vs. Hobby

by Sonya

If you want your hobby to bring more business, you need to look more business-like. For example, many shows I go to have very tiny booths and those booths are crowded to the brim with hundreds of examples of the exact same item. I avoid these booths because they are over-stimulating my senses; there is too much to look at and I can't take it all in.

If your booth area is over-crowded with dozens of examples of each item in every color you can make, then the uniqueness of this item is lost.

I much prefer to go to booths where there are two or three examples and then made aware of other color choices or the ability to customize.

I also tend to avoid booths in which the owner/operator is either a) disinterested in customers (by either talking to someone working the booth with them, or so engrossed in a book that I'm ignored) or b) watches my every move like a stalker.

I recently purchased some beautiful crafts from a seller simply because of their customer awareness and service. The seller said hello, made herself available for questions, and then continued polishing and straightening items in her booth. She was quick to answer questions or offer suggestions, but not pushy.

In the end, your display and attitude affect your money-making potential the most.

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What Makes a Buyer Select Your Craft Booth

by Pauletta
(Willoughby, OH USA)

I love craft shows. I go to every one that is within 30 miles. I look for unique things that I can display in my home or give as gifts.

What draws me to a particular craft booth first is how items are displayed. Items need to be arranged neatly. I have seen displays where too many items are put out and it makes everything look confusing. If you have an item in 20 colors, put out 2 or 3 of them and let the shopper who seems interested know you have additional colors.

Space things nicely so your table doesn't look cluttered. Clearly mark the price on the item. There is nothing I hate worse then to find something I like and not know what the crafter wants for it. If the crafter is talking to another customer and there's no price marked--chances are I will walk away.

Once I'm at a table I like to ask questions about the items I'm interested in. So be prepared to talk a little about how many hours you spent or where you got your ideas. When I give craft items as gifts I like to be able to tell my gift recipient a little bit about the item I'm giving.

Everyone loves a bargain and most craft shoppers are no different. I will be more likely to purchase something if the crafter offers a small discount for purchasing multiple items. Maybe she will say something like "If you purchase 2 or more items I can offer you a 10% discount." That always seals the deal for me!

Carrach's Comment

I create silk dyed pieces and I love to talk to people on how I have created a piece, I try to make sure all my items are marked so that if I am busy with someone, I can quickly conclude a sale without letting either customer feel dumped or neglected.

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What You Do, Do It Well

by Ariel
(Fort Smith, AR)

First of all, sell good quality items. Nothing makes me want to rip out my hair more than an AMAZING idea with a lousy follow-through. Even if the rest of the stuff at the booth is amazing, I find it harder to buy if I see something sub-par. A well-done display of items is the best impression.

A mistake I see too much at fairs is improper displaying, be it too much or too little. You need enough out that the customer can see you have variety (or if you don't, so they can see that your quality is consistent). However, you don't want so much that there isn't room for say, a stack of business cards with website information, or room to write on a check.

To get a booth to stand out, Be creative! It's the ones that are different that catch my eye, and if you can make it cute or homey in the midst of others attempting to do the same, that speaks volumes about ability.

Honestly, the person, the display, and ultimately, the item are the things I consider when buying. If I don't like the looks of the booth or the person, I may inadvertently avoid the booth. If when I get there, I see nothing I like, I'll buy nothing. But if it's an eye-catching booth with a personable crafter, I'm already leaning towards walking away with an item in tow.

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