Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer Art and Craft Fairs or 'What to heck am I doing?"

Am I crazy? Am I nuts? Will I even sell anything? Why am I spending all this money? Why am I doing this to myself?

These are the things I keep asking myself. These are the woes of the first time craft fair participant. I got swept up in the frenzy of a wonderful group I belong to - The Central NY Etsy team. They are having a couple group shows and I am doing one of them. I am also doing one show all alone - Ack!

Reality then sunk in! OMG - I have to have a tent and table covers to the ground and something to hang art on and I need merchandise! I have been frantically ordering Giclee reproductions, backing board, cello bags, display solutions and on and on. I am gobbling up resources giving tips on how to run a great booth and what you need to take with you.

Now that I got that off my chest - I have discovered some great sites with solutions for the artist - even the cheap artist. I know many use peg board and create their own displays. This summer my husband did not need another project so I looked to the web to find me the perfect and reasonably priced art display. I found these grids walls at ABC Target. They are free standing and at $58 for a Z shaped set of 3 walls they were also affordabe. I have seen these in use - My friend Cathy uses them to display her lovely cut paper artwork. I got the idea from her for these grids - Thanks, Cathy!!

I also needed a magnetic board to display magnets on. I turned to my good friend Amazon and found a nice looking large black framed magnetic white board from Board Dudes for $24.

I am not a seamstress by any means so I had no intention of making a table cover that looked nice and fell to the ground as it is recommended ( covers any boxes and other stuff the customers don't need to see). Tablecloth Designs to the rescue! They carry tons of sizes and offer custom sizes too. They make everything to order - even their standard sizes, but I had my order in 2 days for under $40.

I hope this isn't getting too boring, but I wanted to give a shout out to these companies. One last resource I want to mention. I get my giclee prints from iPrintFromHome.com. I love these guys. The quality, color and packaging is ourstanding. The turnaround is super fast and they are very professional! I have only ordered gicless, but they have a large range of products,
including canvas prints. They also offer promotional services for their customers. You can list your upcoming shows on their website and they will also include them in their newsletter that has a large circulation. I could go on and on, but I won't (too late!).

Thanks for reading my rant - let me know what experiences you have had with craft fairs. I would love to hear them.

3 comments:

Caroline Hayward said...

I feel your pain!! I'm doing both of the CNY Etsy team shows, it's a pretty big undertaking. It's my first year of craft shows as well, so I'm taking a "learning experience" attitude toward the whole thing. If I go and sell nothing, I at least learned what I need to do better next time. Good luck, and see you at the show!!

DEB said...

Best wishes for some VERY successful shows! I haven't had much luck at the table fairs I've done, and I'm too chicken to invest the time, $ and resources needed for the big art shows. You are brave and talented, and I'm sure your work will sell well!!

Jill said...

i just wanted to say that i like your playlist.

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