Sunday, February 28, 2010

Craft Fair Extraordinaire Feature Interview #7 (Paper Pastries)



Yay! This crafter uses quite a scrumptious color palette! She has a holistic approach when setting up her booth at fairs. Her setup reminds me of a charming, vintage bookstore, and I know I would be at her booth for a very long time! I love these pastel shelves that are rounded at top!!

Paper Pastries creates a delightful assortment of paper goods, and stationary. I am very excited to share one of the most unique crafty setups I have EVER seen!! She also has vended at some larger shows and also trade shows, something that a lot of us do not get the opportunity to do. And she is well worth it!!

She was great to tell us a bit about her crafty successes, and we get to learn a little bit more about how she thinks!! Here we go...

1.) Please introduce yourself...

Company: Paper Pastries

Name: Margaret Haas

General Location: Los Angeles

Website/Contact Info:
www.paperpastries.com/
paperpastries@gmail.com

2.) What form of art/craft do you make? stationery

3.) When did you start vending at Craft Fairs? Were you
successful at first?
My first craft fair was in July 2009, Renegade in los angeles.
I got a lot of positive feedback and what I made over that weekend blew my online sales out of the water.


4.) What is/was your favorite Art/Craft Fair you have ever
attended/vended at and why?
My favorite craft fair was indie mart in Nov 09.
I was worried because it was outside, in san francisco, in november. The weather made all the difference.
It was sunny, so tons of people came out for it, there was great food, and beer, so shoppers were happy.
The organizer was so happy to be running this show, that made it better for vendors and shoppers.
I knew she had done a lot of prep work too.


5.) What was your least favorite Fair to attend/vend at?
Why?
The art-a-faire in huntington beach.
It was poorly organized and definitely not advertised. Not my kind of crafts.


6.) Who tends to be your target audience? What tends to be
your best selling item(s)?
Women are my target audience, most of them have been from age 20-50.
Best selling items are the i left my heart in cards, address stamps, pencil sets, and stationery sets.

7.) Do you ever do marketing for your upcoming shows, or do
you leave it to the Show Coordinators? If you do promotions,
how do you do them, and do they seem to work well? Do you
ever do giveaways at shows? Give out lots of business cards,
etc...
I blog, tweet, and tumble about upcoming craft fairs. It can't just be up to the organizers to do that.
From this, I have gotten a lot of family and friends to come to shows, but I'm not sure how many others.
Every show, I make sure to have tons of business cards on hand, and to have my mailing list available for sign up.



8.) Have you ever helped put a show together or run a show?
Which one(s)?
not yet

9.) How have Flickr, Etsy, Facebook, etc helped you expand
your crafty business?
I would say that flickr has exposed a lot of my products to an audience that otherwise might not have seen it.

10.) What do you think the difference is between an Art
Show and a Craft Fair? If there is any difference...
At an art show you can buy a painting, photograph, or illustration at a craft fair you can buy all that plus a scarf, card, ring...



11.) If you wish, please list your upcoming shows for 2010
and beyond.

march 6th- los gatos spring boutique at the history club of los gatos
march 13th Listen, Taste, Touch & See - A St. Patrick's Evening Arts & Crafts Fair! 4-9pm 1313 n. miller st anaheim ca
march 14th Pink parlour festival santa anita race track
april 24th + 25th unique la
july 24th+25th renegade la

12.) Any words of advice for people who do not think their
setup is as good as it could be? What is your most
successful layout for a table or booth. Be as general or
specific as you want.

You need to brand yourself.
it could take a month or a year. It could never be done. Before you buy anything for your setup, you should ask yourself- what does this say about my brand? how does this fit in? Am i buying this because its cute or because its cute AND works?

also, don't have this set idea in your head about how it needs to look- you need to be able to set up your display and product in a 10 x 10 space or on a 6x3 table.



13.) Any closing remarks?
I am so lucky to have been able to start this business with such a supportive group of friends and family.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Craft Fair Extraordinaire Feature Interview #6



I am SUPER excited to feature this Fantastic Crafter by the name of Polly Danger. She has some of the cutest display and packaging ideas I have ever ever seen!! She used to work as a Visual Merchandiser, and what a great fit that would be!

I can't get over how cute the fun packaging is here. Her iron-on applique patches are great. And her table setup looks so scrumptious, you could almost eat all of these goodies if they weren't paper and fabric! She has some really amazingly eye-catching displays that are taller, and also at eye level. The number of different levels on her table really make this setup stand out. Please read more below about my new favorite artist!



Please tell us a bit about yourself:
Hi, I’m Polly of Polly Danger and Polly Danger Notions. I make a variety of adorable sewn goodies from a studio situated in an overgrown garden in a suburb of Los Angeles. You can find me 24 hours a day here:
PollyDanger.Etsy.com
PollyDangerNotions.Etsy.com
PollyDanger.Com/Blog

and you can email me here:
polly@pollydanger.com


What form of art/craft do you make?
I sell handmade bias tapes, sewing buttons, and sewing kits in addition to ready-made accessories like mini wallets, coupon organizers and utility aprons.




Never be without your Polly Danger Craft Fair or Kitchen Apron!! The best crafty uniform you can get!

When did you start vending at Craft Fairs? Were you successful at first?
I first started selling at craft fairs in 2006, just about 6 months after making my first utility apron for my then job as a visual merchandiser. My boss was and is an incredibly crafty and encouraging person who made me share a booth with her. Before that show I really didn’t have much confidence in myself as a crafter, but I was really encouraged by how much I made that weekend and how wonderful the customers were.

What is/was your favorite Art/Craft Fair you have ever attended/vended at and why?
My absolute favorite shows to do are the Bazaar Bizarres. The coordinators are really warm and dedicated people who do a great job of making the shows comfortable, busy, and profitable. They promote their shows really well and are a wonderful bunch to work with!



What was your least favorite Fair to attend/vend at? Why?
I did a show once in a very upscale area where the customers shopped our handmade goods as if they were used underwear. I remember overhearing a man guffaw and then tell his wife, “These people sure are confident about their pricing,” and I really wanted to tell him how hard we all work to make quality products and that our time is valuable. It was really hard to be nice to customers that day. I’m happy to say that that’s the only time I’ve had a bad craft show experience.

Who tends to be your target audience? What tends to be your best selling item(s)?
My target audience are women in their mid twenties to mid thirties, and often new moms who are re-learning or really getting into crafts. My best sellers are bias tapes from vintage fabrics, mini wallets, and coupon organizers. The coupon organizers are actually so popular that I have trouble keeping them in stock!




Do you ever do marketing for your upcoming shows, or do you leave it to the Show Coordinators? If you do promotions, how do you do them, and do they seem to work well? Do you ever do giveaways at shows? Give out lots of business cards, etc...
I usually blog about the upcoming shows, tweet, and send notes out in my monthly newsletters. At shows I always make sure to have business cards and I like to have a dish of giveaways. For giveaways I make tiny iron-on appliques out of cute fabrics and pop them in a little cellophane bag with instructions, plus my shop and contact info. People always feel like they’re getting a little gift and they get to be crafty! I’ve seen a couple of people blog about those tiny freebie patches, and it makes me so happy to know that my promos are doing their job

Have you ever helped put a show together or run a show? Which one(s)?
Not yet, but I’d love to!



How have Flickr, Etsy, Facebook, etc helped you expand your crafty business?
I love Etsy because not only is it where most of my business is done at the moment, but my shop is advertisement in and of itself. I love that it’s so easy to make contact with customers there. Facebook gives my customers the opportunity to connect with me without the interruption of products and sales- it’s like running into a customer at the park after closing up my shop at the end of the day!


If you wish, please list your upcoming shows for 2010 and beyond.
March 13- Listen, Touch, Taste, and See in Anaheim, Ca
March 14- The Pink Parlour in Santa Anita, Ca
May 22+23- Bazaar Bizarre Maker Faire- San Mateo, Ca
For more dates you can sign up for the Polly Danger Newsletter at http://pollydanger.com/blog



Any words of advice for people who do not think their setup is as good as it could be? What is your most successful layout for a table or booth. Be as general or specific as you want.
My biggest advice is to take an afternoon to window shop and pay attention to the window displays, mannequins, and even how the signs are set up or where they are placed inside the store. The displays in the most successful stores are not just attractive, they’re meant to make people spend money! They are the result of expensive research, testing, and training- but the techniques are yours for the taking!

Before becoming a crafter I spent time as a visual merchandiser for an international retail company. They spared almost no expense to create fantastic displays because they understood that when someone stops and says with wide eyes, “Oooooh,” they’re probably going to buy something. My personal goal with my booth is to get people to stop walking and say, “Awww” or sigh a little bit- that’s how you know you’ve hit that emotional note!

Last thoughts . . .
Best of luck to all of my fellow artists and crafters this season!

a special thanks to Polly for being so gracious to share her expertise and words of advice to us all! I hope you have a lovely craft season yourself, and thank you SO much for your time!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Craft Fair Extraordinaire Feature Interview #5



Today, I am excited to feature a very talented artist, Colorfly Studio, who works with a lovely mix of different media. She paints canvases with beautiful, bright colors. Her work really makes me smile! I love how bright it is, and how eye-catching it is. Her setup is very nice - it has clean lines, and really draws all of the viewers' attention to the work itself! The bright white background is a nice contrast to her colorful work.

She was nice enough to take the time to answer a few of my questions about her successes at shows and such...


1.) Please tell us a bit about yourself:
Name/Company Name: My name is Jennifer DeDonato and my company name is Colorfly Studio. The reason Colorfly Studio came about is because people had a very hard time saying my last name so I felt I needed to come up with a easy memorable company name. My husband came up with Colorfly because of my love for color and I am crazy about dragonflies and butterflies.
General Location if you want: Houston, Texas
Website or Contact Info: www.colorflystudio.com takes you to my site and my etsy shop is www.colorflystudio.etsy.com
See her on Flickr here.

2.) What form of art/craft do you make? I used to use only paper but in the past years I have added acrylic paints and dye ink into the mix. So I would officially call myself a mixed media artist.



3.) When did you start vending at Craft Fairs? I started about two years ago. Were you successful at first? My very first show was wonderful and I couldn't have asked for a better response to my work. I thought it might be a fluke so I kind of blew it off as such but then I had another big show and it went really great.

4.) What is/was your favorite Art/Craft Fair you have ever
attended/vended at and why? My favorite art fair is the First Saturday Arts Market in the Heights area of Houston. I am lucky to live in a city that has a wonderful art scene! I love it because the artists that attend are so amazingly talented and friendly. It's also great because the market happens the first Saturday of very month so if you attend on a regular basis it becomes like a little store front.

5.) What was your least favorite Fair to attend/vend at? I did a local craft show and it was not good.
Why? The main reason was it wasn't the right audience. The people attending were mostly consultants for other companies like Mary Kay, Stampin Up!, Taste of Home. I didn't know this ahead of time and now I think it's important to check to see what other vendors will be attending.



6.) What tends to be your target audience? Young couples with children and women.

7.) Do you ever do marketing for your upcoming shows, or do
you leave it to the Show Coordinators? If you do promotions,
how do you do them, and do they seem to work well? Do you
ever do giveaways at shows? Give out lots of business cards,
etc... I have a blog that I promote my upcoming shows on. I have had several people come out to meet me because of that. I end up giving out a lot of business cards. I am working on a email newsletter that will go out to my past customers to let them know where I will be and what work will be available.

8.) Have you ever helped put a show together or run a show?
Which one(s)? Goodness NO...that is so much work and I have my hands full just getting my EZ Up canopy in place.



9.) How have Flickr, Etsy, Facebook, etc helped you expand
your crafty business? I have all three of these accounts. The only way Facebook helps me is it lets my family and friends know where I am going to be. I think the account that has helped me the most is Flickr. So many people are able to see my work because you can join specific groups geared toward your work. For example Mixed Media, Quote Art Group or Cut Paper Artwork just to name a few. You join these groups and then you can put your work in the group pool. This is great because Flickr will let you know when new work is added to the groups you have joined. I found on Etsy that you just get lost and it's hard to advertise. I say that because when I have gone to promote, the ad spaces have always been sold out. I think if Etsy decides to promote you as a featured seller then you're golden but to try to promote yourself is really challenging.

10.) What do you think the difference is between an Art
Show and a Craft Fair? If there is any difference...I think the main difference is the prices. At an art show you will have original artwork or one of a kind jewelry that can cost some big bucks, At a craft fair you are going to find items sold in multiples.

11.) If you wish, please list your upcoming shows for 2010
and beyond. Vox Culture (Feb 19), First Saturday Artist Market Houston Heights (March 6) CITYCENTRE Spring Market 2010 (March 27, 28), Midtown Art In The Park (April 10) , Cross Creek Ranch Arts Festival in (April)



12.) Any words of advice for people who do not think their
setup is as good as it could be? What is your most
successful layout for a table or booth. Be as general or
specific as you want. I have had my booth every way possible! I have noticed that as patrons are walking and looking they usually want to be left alone to take your booth in. I put my table off to the side so the artwork can be seen and where I am not intimidating buyers. Nothing worse than a person thinking they are going to get pounced on. If someone comes in I greet them and leave them to look. However, after a few minutes striking up a small conversation is always good. Something like..."All my work is made using paper and paint. Oh, and I make my own frames." That usually leads to other questions and the longer they stay in your space the odds of them buying increase. Always say hello to kids and pets ALWAYS! I have little things for small children to keep like (goldfish, lollipops, etc). One market I attend has SO many dogs owners so we started giving little treats for them. I think having a small table with some goods on it right outside your booth is key. I put less expensive items there like cards, magnets, prints. It gets their attention and then they come in and look.

13.) Any closing remarks? Best of luck!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Craft Fair Extraordinare Feature Interview #4

Now, we all know that you can never have too many beautiful dresses. Little Girl Pearl dresses are NO exception! This seamstress spends a lot of time traveling, but when she is home, I believe that she sews a LOT. Her young daughter is usually the pretty subject of her lovely images. It is fun to see her grow throughout the years.

Little Girl Pearl
uses some of the most amazing designer fabrics to sprinkle her booth with, and also sew with. She uses a lot of really bright colors, and it looks like her booth evolves all the time, as does her craftsmanship!!

I love how she has hung a white wall on one side of her tent, and then hung various coordinating fabrics from another wall of her booth. She displays super cute images of her girl in floating frames, giving them a nice, airy look.

Feel free to visit her on Flickr Here
and Etsy Here...



She was kind enough to answer a few questions, and here is what she said:

My name is Melissa McKeagney and I am the owner of little girl Pearl, a clothing company that features modern fabrics and classic styles for girls. I am located in Central New Hampshire in the middle of the woods. I love the quiet and am often inspired by hikes through nature. My website is http://www.littlegirlpearl.com and I sell on Etsy and at some local art markets.

My first show ever was in New York City of all places, about two years ago. I vended at Vida's Market which was an all children's product show. Everything for my display had to be compact because I traveled by air down to the city. Tables and chairs were provided, so all I had to worry about was my product and a few display items. I did extremely well and had wonderful feedback from everyone, but the show was modestly attended. However, I was very encouraged by that show, and next started selling at the Concord Arts Market in downtown Concord, NH, about 40 minutes away from my studio. It was a much easier gig even though it is outside. I didn't have to fly for one, and even though weather is a factor, I can take as much as I want in my Subaru!




I have also done the South End Open Market in South Boston, and have done very well there too. The only day I vended there happened to be the hottest day of the summer, so while I sweated and panted, I was very busy, and again had great feedback from customers.

To try to pick a favorite art market is difficult, because it depends on the weather one is outside, and also your next door neighbors. If the vendor beside you is pleasant and upbeat, it can make all the difference in the world. I've done very quiet markets customer-wise that I had the most fun at simply because my fellow artisans have made the day.

My target audience is a bit smushy because I think sometimes the smaller sizes inspire Aunts and Godparents who may not have been looking for that little new baby girl in their lives. But mostly it's Moms and Grandmothers who purchase my clothing.



When I'm doing a show, I try to blog about it, twitter it, and put it up on my facebook fan page. I also advertise in our local "Shopper" when I'm doing a local show because people actually see the ad, and I've had very good success with it. I don't send out postcards, because I have been slow to get up a mailing list. I don't usually do a giveaway or any kind of promotion, but if something is on sale, I mention it. I give out tons of business cards, and I think that is essential.

As far as my display goes, it is ever evolving. I think the most important thing is to use all the cubic space you have in your tent or layout, that is to say HEIGHT! You have to use the vertical space as best as you can. Not only does it draw a potential customer's eye around your space but it is visually pleasing as well. My biggest challenge has been my skirt display and I'm still working that out. Last year I devised an umbrella-quin, a collapsible umbrella for the twirl skirt with an accompanying dowel for the top that can be broken down and easily transported. This year who knows what I'll come up with! I like a cohesive looking space, and I think by keeping things simple and allowing my colorful product to stand out I've achieved that look.




I also think that by having a lot of different price points you will draw people in as well. My dresses are a little more expensive, but if someone doesn't want to take the chance on that, I have small inexpensive hair ties that anyone can afford. For me, accessories have been good add-on sales.

***This year I'll be concentrating more in Boston at the SOWA market (www.southendopenmarket.com), doing 6 dates there.

I'll be there on Opening Weekend, May 15 and 16
June 13, 27
July 11
Sept. 12
Oct. 3

I'll be doing 1-2 dates at the Concord Arts Market as well this summer.

The best advice I can give to any potential craft vendor is to be positive and love what you do. If you do those two things you are bound to be successful! Have fun!




Thanks so much Melissa! I have learned quite a bit from you!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Craft Fair Extraordinaire Feature Interview #3


Today I am featuring another righteous babe! Becky OH! Fabulous Custom Handbags has a most amazing purse setup. She is another seamstress with a professional looking booth and even more professional skill set. Her purses are just sweet, and it looks like they take ages to sew up each one. She also has a bridal line that appears to be hitting just the right target audience. Every gal wants something really special on her most important day! In her booth setup, she displays 11x17 images of beautiful ladies modeling her bags. I recommend this to everyone! If a customer walks by and see someone he/she wants to look like, he/she is sure to stop. I tried this with baby pictures, and it really worked well. I am sure in Becky OH's case, it is the same, probably better :)




Here is her interview...

1.) Please Introduce Yourself
Hi, I'm Becky O'Neil of Becky OH! fabulous Custom Handbags. I make stylish handbags from beautiful fabrics here in my New Hampshire studio.
You can find me at www.beckyoh.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Beckyohhandbags?ref=ts
Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/beckyoh/

2.) What form of art/craft do you make?

I make handmade fabric handbags.

3.) When did you start vending at Craft Fairs? Were you successful at first?

I think it was 2005 when I started doing events. I was very successful and it fueled me to do more!

Becky's Booth at the Prudential Artisan Market, Boston.

4.) What is/was your favorite Art/Craft Fair you have ever attended/vended at and why?

I adore doing so many shows here in New England- it's hard to choose a favorite. I love the city crowds at the SOWA market in Boston and the DeCordova Art in the Park is a very special event too. The level of creativity at both these events is amazing.

5.) What was your least favorite Fair to attend/vend at? Why?

Well, handmade is very important to me. I think my customers want unique and artistic things. My least favorite events were those shows I did in the early days that were not handmade only. I don't really want to compete with mass-produced items.

6.) What tends to be your target audience?

Women 20-50 and my bridal line attracts brides of all ages.



7.) Do you ever do marketing for your upcoming shows, or do you leave it to the Show Coordinators? If you do promotions, how do you do them, and do they seem to work well? Do you ever do giveaways at shows? Give out lots of business cards, etc...

It always pays to promote yourself, you be responsible for every part of your business. That being said, a great promoter is worth their weight in gold.

8.) Have you ever helped put a show together or run a show? Which one(s)?

No, running a good show is like a full-time job. I leave it up to people more organized than myself : )

9.) How have Flickr, Etsy, Facebook, etc helped you expand your crafty business?

I use flickr as an ongoing portfolio and a catalogue of new fabric for clients. I also meet other creative people there through their photos and get loads of inspiration on photography techniques. My facebook fan page is a casual way to keep connected to my customers.


Her corner booth at SOWA.

10.) What do you think the difference is between an Art Show and a Craft Fair? If there is any difference...

I think people expect to see more fine art such as painting, sculpture and photography at Art shows and more practical art at Craft shows.
I do love that the line is becoming blurred and the artist community embraces all kinds of creative work.

11.) If you wish, please list your upcoming shows for 2010 and beyond.

I am always updating my event page- www.beckyoh.com/Events&links.html
I will be at the SOWA Market again this Summer- www.sowaopenmarket.com/index.htm
Other events will be posted on my website as I am notified.

12.) Any words of advice for people who do not think their setup is as good as it could be? What is your most successful layout for a table or booth. Be as general or specific as you want.

When I m not working on my handbags, I am thinking about booth design. I feel it is important to present your products in an uncluttered way so the customer can see what you are offering. I have to weight what I can lift, carry and fit in my car with what I wish my dream boutique on wheels would look like.
My advice to to stand back and take a picture of your booth each time you set up and look at it from a customers point of view. Items plunked down on a table may be easy for set-up, but will it draw a customer from across the room?
I have to be flexible in my booth design because you never know how your space will be arranged. I like having modular pieces that can be stacked or rearranged easily. My tall screens are a favorite as well as my free standing box mirror.
Sometimes I am inspired by a walk through the hardware isle or antique store. Don't limit your imagination when it comes to your display!

13.) Any closing remarks?

Shows and set-up can be stressful, but I love meeting other artists. We can learn so much from each other!


Early morning SOWA booth picture. Opening weekend of the South End Open Market, Boston.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

We Make London Show : Applications Due Feb. 26th!!



Please visit their blog HERE...

We are excited to announce the details of our Summer fair.

It will be held at Chelsea Town Hall, Kings Road, London, SW3 5EE on the 26th June 2010.

This will be our 6th fair and our second at Chelsea Town Hall. It will also take place a few days after We Makes 2nd birthday so it will be a fun summer event.

We are now open up the application process for this fair.

The deadline for applications is midnight on 28th February.

We will then let everyone know if they have a stall by the end of the second week of March.

To apply please email us for more details and an application form at wemakelondon@googlemail.com

Craft Fair Extraordinaire Feature Interview #2


Today, I am super excited to present to you, Syko. She is one of my favorite artists, and her setup is quite stunning. I have been inspired time and time again by her clean lines, and whimsical imagery. She makes beautiful greeting cards and sews fabric shapes onto the fronts of them. Also, she does a lot of hand-sewn goods too. She uses black thread to outline a lot of her images, and I think that is so cool. It appears that she is beginning to design a large line of fabric/textile designs too! Wow, what an all around artist!

Please visit her Etsy Shop here to see more beautiful items...
Or her home page of her website here...

Please read more about her below. You are sure to be impressed!


1.) Please tell us a bit about yourself:
Name/Company Name: Kajsa Wikman/ Syko Design
General Location if you want: Helsinki, Finland
Website or Contact Info:
syko.typepad.com
syko.etsy.com

2.) What form of art/craft do you make?
I make whimsical appliqu├ęd textiles, such as bags, pillows and art quilts. I also have a collection of printed work, my postcards is my best selling product.



3.) When did you start vending at Craft Fairs? Were you successful at first?
My first fair was a Christmas fair 2001, it wasn't a huge success :) The more I learn, the better it gets.

4.) What is/was your favorite Art/Craft Fair you have ever attended/vended at and why?
Aura Street Market in Turku (Finland) because it is a young, fresh event in a good location. And most important a roof over your head is included in the price even if it's an outdoor fair!



(She had fabric with her logo printed at Spoonflower, and uses this as a background display! How unique and interesting. This takes her display to the next level.)

5.) What was your least favorite Fair to attend/vend at? Why?
That must have been an outdoor Christmas fair in pouring rain. The booth was expensive, I had a fever and there were no customers at all. The only people I saw were people taking their dogs for a pee. I promised myself never to participate in an outdoor fair without a decent roof...

6.) What tends to be your target audience?
Women all ages.

7.) Do you ever do marketing for your upcoming shows, or do you leave it to the Show Coordinators? If you do promotions, how do you do them, and do they seem to work well? Do you ever do giveaways at shows? Give out lots of business cards, etc...
I announce it on facebook, my blog and my website. I don't give away stuff for free, but it is very effective to have a bargain basket! Lots of business cards too!




8.) Have you ever helped put a show together or run a show? Which one(s)?
-

9.) How have Flickr, Etsy, Facebook, etc helped you expand your crafty business?
A LOT! I wouldn't be working full-time with my craft if it wasn't for Etsy and flickr. And my blog. Gave me the confidence and the positive feedback I needed to get started! Facebook is great for marketing local events.

10.) What do you think the difference is between an Art Show and a Craft Fair? If there is any difference...
No idea.

11.) If you wish, please list your upcoming shows for 2010 and beyond.
-



12.) Any words of advice for people who do not think their setup is as good as it could be? What is your most successful layout for a table or booth. Be as general or specific as you want.

Stand out! Dare to be different! Choose one background color for the booth. Use neutral baskets and shelving to display your crafts, you don't want to them to steal the attention from your creations! If you have a small table, use high, light shelves on top of it to get more space. Have many of each item and group similar products together. That makes it easier for the customer to see what you have to offer.





A special thanks to Kajsa for her words of advice!! Thanks for reading and have a lovely day!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Craft Fair Extraordinaire Feature Interview #1



I believe it is super important to learn from the pros when it deals with craft fairs, so I am instilling some help! Today, I am featuring Thomas Park Gifts, a wonderful woman who sews beautiful things for women and children. Her color palette is light and airy, with a bit of feminine whimsy.

Here is her interview:

1.) Name:Andrea Thomas-Lambe, Owner Thomas Park Gifts
South Boston, Massachusetts
www.thomasparkgifts.com



2.) What form of art/craft do you make?
I design and sew children & women's clothing and accessories.

3.) When did you start vending at Craft Fairs? Were you successful at first?
I originally owned a brick & mortar shop so I was limited to doing shows but closed my shop two years ago and have since participated in weekly shows. All in all, my first was probably 3 years ago which is when I started to sew.



4.) What is/was your favorite Art/Craft Fair you have ever attended/vended at and why?
I would have to say that my favorite would have to be my weekly shows. I have a "VIP" pass which lets me participate in three shows which run from May through October (with a few breaks here and there). The South End Open Market is my main market and I like it the best because of all the friendships I have made over the years and my regular customers. The promoter of this show works very hard on promoting it and it is now in it's 7th year. I also was fortunate enough to be selected for last years Holiday Event and that was great fun!

5.) What was your least favorite Fair to attend/vend at? Why?
My least favorite was an event that included a lot of random businesses and not just handcrafted items. In general, I try to keep my prices fair but since there is a lot of time that goes into my product, it is hard to compete with mass-produced items.



6.) What tends to be your target audience?
In the Spring and Summer my target audience is young mothers/fathers that are looking for unique clothing for their children. My reversible dresses fly of the rack and it keeps me pretty busy.

7.) Do you ever do marketing for your upcoming shows, or do you leave it to the Show Coordinators? If you do promotions, how do you do them, and do they seem to work well? Do you ever do giveaways at shows? Give out lots of business cards, etc...
The only real promoting that I do is listing my events on my websites & sending out the occasional newsletter . I recently joined Facebook and have my fan page HERE so I will regularly list events and promotions there. I did offer a coupon on the back of my business cards but honestly did not get the results I anticipated. I may try again this year with a few give-away type promotions.

8.) Have you ever helped put a show together or run a show? Which one(s)?
I am very active in helping with my weekly shows (South End Open Market, Mashpee Open Market, Providence Open Market & SOWA Holiday Market). It gives you a whole new understanding of what goes into an event! Everyone has a special request and it is just impossible to please them all. I have run shows on my own and co-managed. I really enjoy it but it is a lot of hard work.

9.) How have Flickr, Etsy, Facebook, etc helped you expand your crafty business?
I have not had luck with Etsy but love sharing on Flickr and Facebook. Since Facebook is brand new for me, we shall see...

10.) What do you think the difference is between an Art Show and a Craft Fair? If there is any difference...
An Art Show to me would probably be more "Fine" art and less craft. I don't really like the word "Fair", prefer open market or festival. I think a lot of people get the wrong impression from Fair.

11.) If you wish, please list your upcoming shows for 2010 and beyond.
I will be participating in numerous shows this season. The first being the 37th Annual Heritage Craft Fair in Framingham, Massachusetts. I have many applications out but most shows are juried and decisions have not been finalized. I will definitely be at The South End Open Market on Sundays beginning Opening Weekend, May 15th & 16th and runs through October (excluding holiday weekends). I regularly update my Events section on my website!



12.) Any words of advice for people who do not think their setup is as good as it could be? What is your most successful layout for a table or booth. Be as general or specific as you want.
As I used to own a brick & mortar store, merchandising was an ongoing process. My goal with my booth is to make it as inviting as possible. You have to draw the buyer in. Bright colors, neatness and uniqueness are key elements. PLEASE take the time to iron your tablecloths and have them completely cover your tables. Clear signage is important too. I try to change my set up from year to year and of course seasonally as well. I constantly look on flickr and get feedback from other crafters on what works for them. I like to think a little outside the box on displays. Try to make it flow and relate to the product you are selling.

13.) Any closing remarks?Markets, festivals & fairs can be a great way to make money but they are also wonderful ways to learn too. I have had some terrible shows financially but have walked away with great tips, new friends and fantastic ideas on ways to improve. Network, observe and remember to always be positive. No one wants to be around a negative vendor!