Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My first craft show

Over the weekend I got to attend my very first craft show! It was a small, local trunk show with members of the Kansas Etsy Team. I made a whopping $40. Well, not really, after buying lunch, drinks, some last minute items like a cash box and reciepts... *sigh*.

I will say that it was very much a learning experience for me. I got to visit quite a bit with the other vendors, get feedback on my display (it sucked) and on my product(they liked). I got to have some good business discussions on things like "is this a business or is it a hobby?", "how to price in a bad economy", and my favorite "variety of product is nice, but the money is in a niche market".

That last one really made an impression. It made me realize that the one thing I really love making is my beadwoven rings. I am good at it, and I feel I bring a lot of design to beadwoven rings that wasn't there before. That said, going forward I will be making more rings and do less playing with other techniques. I will also be rebranding my rings, so look for that announcement in the near future!

I will leave you today with a picture of my sad little table. Feel free to offer any comments or advise.


Quote: In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative original thinker unless you can also sell what you create. Management cannot be expected to recognize a good idea unless it is presented to them by a good salesman.
David M. Ogilvy
Pin It!


  1. Ok, first off, I would have used a bright color for the table cloth so that it would catch the eye.

    That said, I like your display. I don't see what they didn't like. Of course, it was rather cluttered but that is hard to take care of with so many different items and so little space to work with.

    You might want to get a couple of bracelet bars which would free up some of your space and maybe a couple of necklace holders. You could look around and see what you can create yourself.

  2. Here are 3 links to a 'do-it-yourself' necklace display:

    and down to see several bracelet display options:

    Candys in Oklahoma

  3. I agree with GramdmaMarilyn - a little more color in the display.

    Also I love, love, love your beaded beads. I don't see the idea on your display showing these will also work on the big hole bracelets and necklaces? I know some ladies who collect them and buy TONS of them. Would add another option there for sales.

    I've found several places for great prices on display pieces and if you e-mail me (I'm on the Beadaholics group as Rae (luvzhorses) I'll be glad to share links with you.

    Hope this helps!

  4. I think a black or a white table cloth is best, it shows off the color of your jewelry better. What i do at my craft shows is use a deep red table cloth and then cover the top with white table runners. That way you get the color, but it doesn't distract from the jewelry itself.

  5. I don't think that anyone could have hated your display. You just needed a little height think props and think up.

    I have very few true jewelry displays.

    I use things I find at thrift shops or tag sales ( vintage vanity set tray, a large ornate picture frame which I backed with black material and stung picture wire in rows on the front to hang earrings etc...)

    It's always good to have what I call cheapies just a bowl or display of easy to make wire rings or super simple earrings that I can sell for a few dollars each, not everyone can justify spending $20 dollars or more on a piece of jewelry, most times I sell enough of these to pay for my booth fee.

    Of course there are people that have the cash and want to buy my higher priced items as well.

    I wish you great luck on your further ventures and am willing to help you with display ideas if you would like!

    Also I am signing up to follow your blog,your jewelry is beautiful!

    ~Maria Rosa

  6. I want to say thank you to everyone who responded! The encouragement is grand.

    I will definately be working on some display props, and hitting the big lots for some bed risers!

    There is another small show in my area next friday night... hope I can have at least a few improvements by then. I will post pictures and let you know!

  7. I like your purse shape jewelry holders. They are eye-catching. Where did you get them?

  8. the purse and shoe shapped displays were flat cardboard pieces that were on sale at Michael's - 99 cents for a 12 pack of each. I cut one up to make a little leg in the back to hold the display up - taped the leg on.

  9. Great..thanks! I'm going to try there this weekend. I have a show in a couple of weeks and like them. Also, I heard of another idea for adding height to your table by putting pvc pipe over your table legs. It will stop where the leg meets the cross bar and is supposed to be a bit sturdier that bed riser. I haven't tried it so I'm not sure. Just food for thought!

  10. Your rings are really cool, but I also LOVE your beaded beads.
    You could sell the beads on their own for crafters and for people to change out with their outfits.

    I use PVC pipe on a camp table and cover the whole with tablecloths.
    They work very well and my product is closer to eye level.

    Shows are tough. My 1st 2 I made a total of $35.00. I didn't even cover the money spent to enter.
    Chin up and best of luck!

    Warm regards,


  11. Congrats on your first show! I used to do shows several times a year, and I always enjoyed the energy of interacting with customers and other sellers.

    I have found that a neutral color is best for the table covering, but it is difficult to find one that will match all your pieces. I wound up using high-quality napkins and homemade runners to add a splash of color the table. Also, instead of grouping items by type (bracelets, necklaces, etc), I found customers were much more engaged if I created areas of like color or style. Also, avoid using a fabric with a shiny finish - it competes with the jewelry.

  12. Having had a bead store and having done shows, the display is everything. Table cloth should stay neutral and what is on it should make a person what to own it. Look at stores when you are in them for ideas as well as the websites that you were given. Also consider where you are selling : if the venue is too much like a garage sale don't do it. If it is too high end, don't do it. Also look for Clubs to sell at for the holiday.. Our Yacht Club has a holiday sale which I could attend for instance. Have good business cards to hand out.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...