(Glen Allen, VA.)
I love craft shows and attend as many as possible, especially around the holidays.
I can usually find unique gifts at craft shows which are not available in regular retail stores. However, I am NOT interested in buying the same ol' same ol' craft item that has been around for years. Unique products that have style and function and which are of high quality appeal to me.
I'll never forget my favorite craft show find which was probably about 30 years ago. It was a very unique neck scarf called "The Scarfette," that was displayed at a crafts show in Brooklyn, New York. They were "expensive" at the time (about $7.00) but my mother knew that the concept behind this scarf intrigued me, and I bought one. The scarf could be worn around the neck, around the head in several different combinations, and came with a printed set of instructions.
I've looked high and low since then and have never, ever, seen another "Scarfette" or anything like it. I probably should have purchased more than one, but I was sure I'd be able to find another one someday.
Suffice it to say, something UNIQUE will make a sale to me. And a booth that specializes in just a few items will be more of a draw to me than a booth that has dozens of different items. I figure that once a crafter has perfected his or her product, they should stick with what they know and turn out quality pieces. If something is not well-made, I will walk away. Quality is of utmost importance.
Fair pricing is another important criterion as a consumer. Most people frequenting craft shows understand that handmade items can be pricey, but overpricing products is a definite turn-off. So is the booth operator who is talking on a cell phone, reading a book or looking bored. If a vendor makes an effort to engage me in conversation, I will be more likely to spend time at the booth. Plus, having business cards available with an e-mail address is really important, in case the buying wants to purchase more items after they get home.
As for that "Scarfette" from years ago – I still have it and wear it, although it has faded over the years. I did manage to make a pattern and sew some of my own, but I sure would love to find the person who designed the original "Scarfette" and buy a few more!
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