I am getting lessons on selling sewing. I do meet all the seamstresses and quilters that prowl craft shows looking for ladies like me. I am always friendly and willing to talk about my craft. Why not. What’s the point in NOT being friendly. Of course I don’t expect them to buy anything. I should put up a sign: I know you CAN make it, but will you? Lesson Number 1: Keep your chin up and smile and you may sell your sewing.
The October 17-18th Fall Arts & Crafts Show at Cocoa, Florida Historic District had about 200 vendors. At least half are commercial vendors, franchises, Pampered Chef, makeup distributors and local businesses. An artist or crafter is positioned in between every couple businesses, it appeared. I will say there were lots of wonderful things to see. Lesson Number 2: Not my style, but sew it beachy and cheap!
Thousands of folks wander the aisles with their babies and dogs. Not many of them are there to buy; some are on bicycles or just off the beach. I think the Saturday morning folks were more interested in snagging the best of the best and most unusual. I saw some big painted wood items being carried out. I did not see one large painting go past me and there were many wonderful artists with that “beachy” theme. Lesson Number 3: Focus on making the unusual along with the marketable and sell it.
There is always competition for the customer’s dollar and hard to find the crafts shows that are (1) fun (2) the right venue for your craft. Even though shows advertise as “handcrafted items only” and ask for a photo showing you in your work space, that does not mean there will not be commercial vendors and cheap imports to compete with at an arts & craft show. Craft “fraud” is everywhere, unfortunately. All I can do is learn as I go which shows do not enforce their own rules and not return. Lesson Number 4: Limit participation in craft shows that allow commercial or flea market.
The vendors are generally friendly. One ventured she had done about 1/3 of the usual sales on Saturday. She thought the show was too big. I am a bit disappointed in my low sales, yet thankful for the lady that bought table linens on a credit card so I could actually see this new-fangled thing on my phone work!
Less Number 5: Sew different stuff and maybe sell more stuff!