Updated: Aug 7, 2021
Abby Holt of Craftability.org knows from personal experience that setting up to sell your products at a craft show or vendor fair can be very overwhelming. "From designing your display to pricing and inventory to processing payments, there’s a lot to consider." Lucky for us at Joatmon Creations, she has put together a wonderful list of tips and tricks that can be used as a "starter kit" for selling at these shows. If you participate in any kind of sales event, I hope you find this as useful as I did. Share your own tips and tricks in the comments as well!
Image courtesy of Pixabay
Budget-Friendly Tips for Top-Notch Booth Presentation
Selling your wares and showcasing your craft to the public can sometimes feel pretty clunky, especially if you lack proper display materials. Since there is often some truth in the old stereotype of starving artists, stretching your budget on your booth makes good sense. Thankfully, you can find budget-friendly solutions to create a top-notch, professional presentation.
Before you go too far, the first thing you need to establish is the bones of your display. Think about how much horizontal surface you need for an effective presentation, whether some of your items will hang, how to protect instruments, and so forth. For instance, will you require lightweight, collapsible shelving? Do you need folding tables? How about some freestanding racks? Make sketches to determine a practical layout for your typical booth to help decide what will go where.
Amazon for More Savings
Once you narrow things down, look to bigger retailers to find low prices and a broad selection. Most popular retailers have a wide range of items and will ship straight to your door. Plus, you can take advantage of cashback offers so your funds go further. Topping it all off, many products ship for free in just a day or two, so you’ll be ready for upcoming art fairs and events before you know it.
As someone selling beautiful things, aesthetics are obviously an important part of your presentation. With that in mind, beyond the bones of your booth, think about how you will flesh things out. One suggestion is to add drapes. You can use them to create a more intimate experience for your customers by walling off your work from other vendors and choosing colors and fabrics to compliment your wares. Round things out with coordinating tablecloths to hide table legs, and provide coverage for any materials, storage totes, and extra supplies you take with you.
Exhibit Backdrops explains there are multiple ways to hang drapes, from a grommet and hook style to devising a freestanding frame. Think through the materials you need, and make some notes about tools and hardware to piece it together. Stores like Lowe’s offer hardware in all shapes, sizes, and types, so you can pick out everything you need, and if you spend $45 or more, you can save time and gas by having it all shipped to your home at no additional cost.
Getting To and From
Between your creative materials, finished work, delicate instruments, and display, there is a lot to haul to your events. Think about how you can make things as easy on yourself as possible. Items like drapes, tools, and hardware should be stored conveniently so they are kept together. Storage totes are one suggestion, and, as The Wirecutter points out, are better-designed options that offer protection from the elements.
Whatever you decide, you want items to be easy for you to pack and have ready for the next event you attend. Consider whether it would help you to have totes that stack or roll and if you want them to be transparent so you know what’s inside at a glance. To ease your search, consider shopping with a retailer like The Container Store since they specialize in containers of all types. You can save significantly if you join their rewards program since they give a discount on your first order, have ongoing special offers, and will let you know about members-only savings events. It’s a great way to get what you need without going broke.
Even if your handiwork doesn’t provide you with a full-time income, you will still have to pay your self-employment taxes every year. Before you begin selling at shows, it’s best to take care of a few basic business responsibilities. You can outline a business budget, develop an organization system for your financial documents, and structure your business as an LLC in order to take advantage of some welcome tax breaks. Plus, you’ll enjoy asset protection and plenty of flexibility. So how can you establish your creative business as an LLC? Filing your LLC in Massachusetts through an online formation service will make the process much easier!
With a proper display, you can show off your wares in the best possible manner. Contemplate what structure your goods and/or instruments require, how to flesh out those bones, ways to cart it all to and from your events, and, above all, staying above board as a business. With a little creativity, you can put together a top-notch, professional presentation.
Abby created Craftability to inspire you to put your own crafting abilities to good use, whether it’s painting, jewelry-making, quilting, or calligraphy.
Joatmon Creations provides a variety of handcrafted accessories and gifts to fit your needs. You are bound to find something for yourself or a friend when you check out our shop.