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

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-
I will be at the SOWA Market again this Summer-
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.

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