Newsletter -  March 30, 2011

The Jewelry Crafter

A newsletter for the home jeweler

This newsletter will be published once per month, and will include hints and tips for your jewelry business. Any feedback or comments about the topics presented here are always appreciated. Click here to e-mail us.

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So You Want to do Craft Shows?

by Mary Harvey

You’ve ventured into the wonderful world of jewelry making, and you feel that you would like to start selling at craft shows or art fairs. How do you go about finding the right show for you?  How do you know if you are ready? What show supplies and displays will you need?

There are so many questions, and over the next few newsletters, we hope to give you some insight into how to pick the right show and make it a success.

This week: Finding the shows.

There are many ways to find local shows. Here are a few suggestions:

    • Your local free paper – there are usually some listings here for upcoming craft shows and contact information
    • Local schools – most schools have some sort of craft fair or fund raiser during the year
    • Local chamber of commerce – they usually have some info on local shows
    • Tourism bureau – most cities have tourism bureaus that have maps, guides, etc. to various cities. 
    • Online directories – Many state arts and crafts boards will have online listings of shows. Just google “arts and craft shows” for your particular state, and you should be able to find listings.
    • Craft stores and other crafts people – they will usually have information about upcoming shows.

Now that you have a list of shows, you have to determine which shows are right for you. Call the show promoters and ask them about past attendance, where the show will be held, show hours, etc. Ask them to send you an application. Get as much information as you can so you can make an informed choice.

Here are some of the different types of shows:

Flea Markets: The price range for jewelry at a flea market is under $15.  These shows attract bargain hunters looking for a deal, and if you have inexpensive rings, bracelets and necklaces, they will sell well here. Flea markets are usually pretty easy to get into and have low booth fees.

School or Organization Craft Shows: If you do craft shows put on by schools or other organizations, you want to have things in the $10-$50 range. You can have some more expensive things, but these shows are still for those looking for a deal. Most smaller shows are pretty easy to get into and don’t require a jury process. These are great shows to start out with.

Art or Fine Craft Shows: These are higher end shows and are usually difficult to get into, especially if there are lots of other jewelers already in the show. They typically require a jury process with slides, and have expensive entry fees. These shows can be really great money-makers if you can get into them, because people go there expecting to spend.

Once you start doing shows, you will get on mailing lists, and will be sent applications from other shows. You may also get applications while you are at the show from other promoters looking for vendors. 

NEXT TIME: Am I ready to do a show?

Custom Jewelry Supply - Supplies for the jewelry designer

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