In a few months, 3 friends and I are going together to get a spot at a local craft fair. I will have one table to display things on. I am decent at sewing and have a large fabric stash. I need to start making things so I will be ready when the time comes. We all want to have something a bit different so we aren't competing with each other. I was thinking of going the "eco-friendly" route making reusuable sandwich wraps, snack bags, shopping bags, lunch bags, coffee sleeves, etc. I also make bibs, burp cloths, baby dresses. The baby stuff is adorable but much more time consuming. Plus I don't know if it would appeal to such an audience. My questions are: do you think the eco-friendly stuff would do well at that kind of venue. It is a college-town so maybe a bit more crunchy than other areas around here. If so, what price point would you set things at? If you have any other ideas or have had experiece with something similar that sold well at a craft show, I would love to hear. This is our first show so I'm excited but feel like such a novice. Thanks!
Take a look at etsy.com and hyenacart.com in order to get ideas of how much things go for. Be sure to look at the items that sold, not just the items that are listed.
They also have info specifically for the sellers, although I think most of it won't be pertinent to a craft show.
Good luck and have fun!
Also, I was just at a craft fair and the only person that was actually selling anything was the dog treat lady! I hope you do well, though good luck!
I love that organizer. What about crayon/pencil rolls? I love those things and have made several as gifts; all are much loved and I live in a college town. You could even make some in the college and HS colors. Same could go for the eco friendly stuff.
I think your ideas are great. I would go with the eco theme and skip the baby clothes. Check out etsy for more ideas and pricing although a lot of stuff on etsy is over priced. Look at the sold items and see if their stuff is actually selling at that price. I make a unique product. It is cheap and easy to make. She is selling hers for $50-$100. I am selling mine for $12-$25. I thought gees, maybe I should ask for more. Then I looked closer and realized another difference. I sell about one every two weeks. She sells one once or twice a year. I figure the more people walking around with mine the more people who will say "where did you get that?" and they will say "well I got it at this etsy shop". Anyway....don't look at the prices and think "wow I am going to get rich" until you actually look and see if people are buying at that price. Also know your local market. Don't forget to factor in the cost of a booth. A booth at our local craft festival is $200 and you can only share with one other artist...i go back and forth..
Also, you likely won't sell everything. Think in terms of "would this make a good Christmas gift this year" LOL I think the stuff you mentioned would make some fun gifts for friends and family if you end with left overs. That makes this a win win experiment. Or you may decide to open your own etsy shop (the thing about etsy is even if it is an epic fail you can get up and running for about $5. win win. Its also a lot faster to list things than it used to be. ) So with the stuff you have settled on I think this sounds like a can't fail endevor. Have fun with it.
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If you're doing this to make $$, I would recommend making stuff that is fairly simple to make and that LOTS of people would buy. To me, something that crunchy-types and more "mainstream" shoppers would like are:
Matching place-mats & napkins
I'm not so sure of the idea of dish towels, I think it's important to have the right sort of cloth for a dish towel.
Burp cloth? Don't most people just use a clean diaper [never used, if they're squeamish] ? I think the market for those would be limited.
re: "eco-friendly" route making reusable sandwich wraps, snack bags, shopping bags, lunch bags, coffee sleeves, etc."
- Maybe make a few, but I don't think those will sell to the general public as well.
Baby dresses - maybe have one or two for sale or as *samples* and have a sheet for people to fill out if they want to have some made to order. I imagine that the labor intensity of making them would make them expensive & perhaps hard to sell.
- pencil bags/cases
I want a new set of cloth mama pads...because my dog ate half of my beautiful new stash. I bought the ones without "wings" and I love them. If you have organic flannel or cute prints and they're not too expensive, these might sell. They don't look too hard to make, either.
If you are in a college town, you're talking about kids/young adults who probably don't have a ton of disposible income and also not access to their own washing machine (so may probably wouldn't be interested in mama cloth, for example). The also are probably walking around with lots of tech stuff. Just brainstorming here. So, if you could think of stuff that is easy for you to make, could be a low price point... that might work! :) Can you do kindle covers? I bought a few from etsy for mother's day, and they were adorable and didn't seem that hard to make (not sure if your stash has the right fabric, though). Same idea for tablets like ipads... or maybe some sort of small travel bags (like the crayon rolls) for make up and other toiletries. If you are looking to appeal to actual college students, I'd think about making cute and affordable things that you can sort of advertise as gifts for them to buy now to stash away for their family (maybe the napkin/placemat sets, aprons, etc. for parents and the like). I wouldn't personally buy baby clothes at a craft fair usually... we always have a lot and hand-me-downs and gifts are always coming in. But I'd be tempted by small super cuddly lovey type blankets (like satiny on one side, minky on the other), cute dress up clothes (fancy looking tu-tus for little girls look very easy to make... people also love super hero type capes-- also look easy-ish).
What dd and I always end up buying is stuff for her American Girl dolls. Doll furniture, clothes, etc is generally cheaper from crafters than from the American Girl sites.
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I agree with Pathui5- the runaway best sellers at craft fairs around here are stuff for American Girl dolls and Build-a-Bear bears. Those tables are the most crowded and seem to have the most turnover.
Jewelry is hit or miss as are the quilting/afghan tables. Why do people insist on acrylic yarns, poly blend fabrics and atrocious prints?
The slowest tables appear to be baby clothes, bibs, booties, knitted baby caps, etc. I think mostly because they stuff is too cutsie. It might also be because most people have someone in their life who is making this stuff for them already. The one exception appears to be homemade "taggies" or knitted/crocheted "stuffed animal" lovies.
I saw one table at at holiday craft fair that I really liked but the stuff was very pricey. It was basically a Vera Bradley knock off line. Very cool prints and you could get small overnight bags, cosmetic kits, jewelry rolls, wallets, backpacks, lunch bags etc. She had samples made up and the quality excellent. She seemed to have a crowd but I didn't see much $$ cross hands.
Pardon me while I
Checkout wwww.craftster.com for inspiration, ideas, etc. Amazon (your library?) has several books on the craft fair business with advice on products, pricing, booth set-up and more.
I did fairly well with baby clothes at craft fairs pre-recession, 5-15 years ago, but folded in the current market. Best sellers were always of fabric with flames, dragons, etc so I wasn't in competition with the average Grandmother! I have been away from it for a couple years, but I am thinking of starting over. I want to use re-purposed yard sale t-shirts for shopping bags and or baby clothes.
My advice is to limit yourself to a small number (3-5?) of different items, then do a variety of sizes, colors, whatever applies. What I mean is don't offer too many choices. Remember that shoppers at a craft show are looking at thousands of things, and get overwhelmed. Pick your best designs, and make an abundance of them. I liked to have a couple different prices - one item for less than $10, most things in the $15-25 range, and maybe one higher priced item.
If you have any local craft fairs to check out in advance, take a field trip. Note what seems to be selling, talk with vendors. What booths catch your eye?
Check in to the requirements of the craft fair you plan to participate in. Some are juried, meaning you have to send in samples of your work for approval. Some are quite expensive, but heavily promoted and attract 1,000's of customers.
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Right now, the thing I see becoming popular in our area is some kind of reusable coffee cup sleeve, like the cardboard ones they slip over the cups at Starbucks? I think the fabric ones that can be worn as a bracelet (remember wearing your scrunchy on your wrist till you needed it for your hair?) are going to be big. Everyone knows someone who drives through for coffee every day and they're a great add on for a coffee house gift card. Some are super ugly but there are a lot that are cute. Google coffee sleeve bracelet for images.
Thank you to everyone who replied! I hadn't checked in for a bit and was excited to see so many great ideas. I already have a vintage Etsy shop and am in the process of setting up a new shop for upcycled items. I have a stash of coffee sleeves already. I love the idea of ipad, kindle, etc. covers. I will have to look into that. Thanks again everyone. I really appreciate the input.
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I was reading your information pitch and maybe I can help you - I crochet baby clothes (doll clothes as well) - while I am some times a vendor, I prefer to make baby clothes and sell them at very reasonable wholesale rates to persons such as yourself to increase your inventory.
I tried to attach some pictures here of my crochet work for you to review - this response email would not allow it - if you are interested send me your email address and I will send you some pictures of lovely crochet babe outfits.