I’ve been to quite a few general craft shows (as opposed to just wood craft focused shows), both juried and non-juried, and it seems I’ve found arguably the best seller at these shows (other than food, of course), and I thought you’d like to know what it is. Sadly, it’s not woodworking, though cutting boards usually do well. Actually, it’s a photographic craft, but don’t despair, it’s something just about anyone can do, has a very high mark-up a...
This is a continuation of my discussion on 2010 craft sales. The previous blog was getting a little lengthy and since I am switching gears, it seemed to be a good place to split the narrative. If you didn’t read the last one, you should after you finish this one (or preferably before). Just like the shows, my online sales doubled from 2009. A better economy made this possible. But I also had sales coming from sources that I have never experienced until last year. My only online store ...
It’s been a while since my last blog on this subject and I have finally got to a point where I can collect my thoughts on last year’s shows here in the South. I’ve actually been busy building inventory as I get ready for the 2011 shows, but my mind has been in a writing funk. Last year was my best year for sales in this business. In fact, sales were a little more than double over 2009. I did the same number of shows as 2009, but I dropped a couple and replaced them with new shows in 201...
I have good shows, bad, shows, wet shows, and hot shows. Every show is different, but they all seem to have one thing in common; the drama. Uneventful shows tend to track with the size of attendance. Large shows will normally bring more drama than small ones. Drama can take on the form of bad weather, disorganized shows, or idiot customers. There is usually some mini drama at every show which can be easily dealt with by a polite comment. These are some of the more extreme ones. I am ...
I seem to always talk about the good shows and mention that I have bad shows, but I have never really elaborated about the bad ones. It’s just normal human nature to talk about the successes and not the failures. The craft show business is not always a bed of roses and I have more than my share of failures each year. So what are the pitfalls? In my mind, a bad show is one with low or no sales. I’ve been fortunate that I have never lost money at a show. I always make sales, but I also ...
There has been a lot of active craft show discussion lately since we are in the middle of the season for some of us. I was running my spreadsheets the other day and decided to post some numbers to show what is selling here in the South. I took the last eight shows and did a pie chart of the percentage of sales for each category. I generally have three size boards in both end grain and face grain. Anything smaller is useless and anything bigger presents a transport problem. My sizes are...
So far, shows for this year have been much better than last year. The crowds are large and everyone has been in a buying mood. This translates into more sales, and even more work to constantly replenish inventory. My big sellers last year were lower cost items in the $5 – $35 range. This year everyone is back to buying my higher priced items. This weekend’s show in Atlanta’s Chastain Park continued the buying streak. It seems that walnut is “in” this year. Anything with walnut ...
I started this blog series back when I first started doing shows as a diary to show what it takes to start up and actually do craft shows. It was more of a “lessons learned” through the school of hard knocks, because being a newbie, I didn’t have a clue. Even though I blog about shows and what I am doing in my shop at DGM Woodworks, that site is subdued somewhat, because it is geared toward my customers. Now that I have over a year under my belt, I have a more educated point of view on the...
to any and all lumberjocks who maybe attending the mountain state forest festival this thrusday , friday and saturday. my wife and i will set up in the college gym selling our cutting boards, spoons and woven rag rugs. please come by and introduce your self. we would really like to meet you and talk woodworking.the forest festival is located in Elkins, WV for anyone that don’t know where it is at. looking forward to meeting you.
I’ve had a few emails lately from LJs asking why I have been suspiciously quiet for the last few months. I just didn’t have anything to write about. I use to say that everything I know I learned in kindergarten. However, I just recently learned an important lesson. Craft shows suck when it’s cold, rainy, or both. March is maybe too early for outdoor shows here in Atlanta. I have so far participated in three shows. The first one, the Conyers Cherry Blossom Festival, is the first big s...
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