ScrollSaw Information and Resources #10: First Craft Show

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Blog entry by jerrells posted 05-16-2011 03:19 AM 1639 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: Lower Blade Clamp - Part 2 Part 10 of ScrollSaw Information and Resources series Part 11: ScrollSaw Business - Making Money That Is »

I am considering entering my forst craft show this fall. As I have now been scrolling about a year I think I have enought experence and patterns to do ne successfully. Here is a general plan and outline of what I have thought of so far – however add and correct as youmay wish.

1. Number of items to take – I am consiidering the following 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 60 ???

2. Types of itmes to take – looking at a varity of items to reach all types of persons attending.

3. Pricing of items – I am doing reseach into the price people would pay for an item and also yeild a return on me being there.

4. Display items like fixtures, racks, boxes to properly display items.

5. Tables, chairs, table drape (see what is provided and what I need to bring)

6. Business Cards (lots)

7. Log book of success (what sold good what did not) for next year.

8. Photos of items that I have done and are not at this fair.

What am I missing, what do I need to consider.

Thanks to all who can help in any way.

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

3 comments so far

View christopheralan's profile


1126 posts in 3742 days

#1 posted 05-16-2011 04:22 AM

Go to I get a ton of stuff from them. I have a banner, business cards, post cards, shirts, and a nice photo book of stuff that I have made. They offer great items and have a TON of sales where all you pay is shipping. Good luck!

-- christopheralan

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2864 days

#2 posted 05-16-2011 05:32 AM

Here's an idea for displaying your business cards.


View William's profile


9949 posts in 2864 days

#3 posted 05-16-2011 02:31 PM

Have you been to this craft show before, just to check the lay of the land?
If so, can you kind of guesswhat sells and what doesn’t? I wouldn’t carry many of an item that you don’t think would sell unless it is real small and easy to throw in a box without taking up much room.
Is it possible to take items in various price ranges? I learned the hard way. Scrolling is one of those things that some see as a nice novelty but will only buy the cheapest item possible only to tell people later about you wonderfully unique work. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Even though they may not buy a huge profit maker from you, this is the people that will get that free advertising out for you when they tell others.
There’s the customer on the other end of the scale. Even if they’ve never seen scroll work, they still see it as a fine art that warrants a big price tag. It’s good to have one, maybe two, hugely expensive, nice item for them to gaze at. Anything less and they see you as an amateur who doesn’t warrant their business.
Customers come in all the typical scenerios. It helps to learn how to deal with them all. There’s the high end people like I mentioned before. Don’t budge a bit on the price with them. To do so may shoot a sale in the foot.
There’s the browser. No matter how interested they are, they’re only browsing. Unless you’re willing to practically give them something, they aren’t buyers. They’re browsers.
There’s the bargain hunter buyers. These are the one’s that won’t buy unless they get a bargain. I think you get more of these than any other category. If your price is set higher than you will take to start with, then that leaves you wiggle room to allow them to “talk you down”. They walk away happy with their “bargain”. You stay at your booth happy from selling them their “non-bargain” that was the price you had to have anyway. I find this higher price than actually wanted sort of helps take care of the bargain hunter and the high end buyer.
The worst of them all though at shows is the thief non-buyer. This is the kid, or old man or woman in some cases. It’s like some disease take over when they go in a place like this. What is a kid going to do with a tiny wooden knick-nack that will fit in his pocket that would normally catch the attention of someone of the opposite sex much older than himself? Not a thing, accept brag to his buddies later about his “five finger discount”. Oh, and keep your eye open. The thief non-buyers sometimes come in in packs. There is a reason for this. They have their buddies keep you busy with questions that make no sense while one of the others steals from you.
Can you break your photos of currently absent items into several books? One book doesn’t do much good when that little sweet old lady has it tied up for forty five minutes pouring over every single photo and oohing and ahhing over everything even though her fixed income may actually prevent her from buying anything. If she become a nuisance, and you’re doing real well so far in the day, you can kill two birds with one stone by giving her some little trinket she can have. It makes her happy and it gets her out of your way. Ok, three stones sometimes. She will tell her other friends, that may have larger incomes, about the sweet person that gave her the trinket and how nice that nice person’s other stuff is.
You mentioned a lot of cards. That is smart. Do you have a website? Do you have enough to give people extras? Some have friends that didn’t make it to the show but make like going to your website and seeing your work anyway.
Is there going to be electricity available? People seeing the time that goes into scroll work SELLS. Some may be surprised at the number of people who see finished scroll work, think there’s nothing to it, and therefore never think the price is worth it. If they actually see you, even for a tiny bit, working on an extremely delicate piece, it convinces them that, NO, they can’t one day just but a scroll saw and turn out their own as easy as sneezing. It also aids wives in convincing husbands that, even if they do say they don’t need to buy this item because they can make it themselves, that they never will and need to buy it for them.


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