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Are Craft Fairs making a comeback - your thoughts please.

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  • Are Craft Fairs making a comeback - your thoughts please.

    I just wondered how well people do at craft fairs these days. It seems like 150 years ago when I lived in Birmingham in the 1980's they were very very popular. Then Antique and Collectors fairs seemed to take over.

    Are Craft Fairs making a comeback?
    www.austrianspicecraft.co.uk

    http://austrianspice.wordpress.com/

  • #2
    I know what you mean, fairs around here have got more like markets with bought in goods, third party selling, Usbourne books and Phoneix trading to name two. It is hard though for organisers as I think what has happened is that crafters have not done well so do not book stalls, to keep the event going they have had to allow other sorts of stallholders, then crafters when they do want a stall find that they have to compete with cheap bought in and a public that do not understand what handcrafted means. Jill (JKS) and I have started our own handmade events, no mixed media stalls, no bought in etc and the first one is in May, so will let you know how we get on.

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    • #3
      I quite agree with you - the public don't really appreciate handcrafted goods - expect cheap stuff from China!
      www.austrianspicecraft.co.uk

      http://austrianspice.wordpress.com/

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      • #4
        I wish there were more in my area.
        But as you say some people don't appreciate the work that goes into handmade items and either expect something for nothing or cheap tat.
        Hope fairs do make a comeback though.
        Michelle

        http://www.michellescraftycards.blogspot.com

        http://www.folksy.com/shops/CShellDesigns

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        • #5
          Alternatives to tired old craft events
          Garden shows. They're the thing:



          Here we are, dressed appropriately. This is not compulsory, however!





          Last edited by grenville allen; 28-02-2011, 08:39 AM. Reason: literal
          .Grenville Allen.
          -------f i n e a r t i s t-----
          www.grenvilleallen.com
          Twitter~Facebook~Blog

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          • #6
            I feel that Craft Fairs are dying a slow painful death. I only started doing CF's in 2008 and did my last one this past December but I don't plan on doing any this year. I LOVE doing them from the point of view of meeting like minded sellers/ crafters and chatting to the public who are interested in the crafts and the work behind them but, sadly so many people just don't appreciate the time, effort, skill and material costs and want to pay next to nothing for a quality product. It's very demoralising.
            I have always carefully chosen the Fairs I've booked too and with the exception of one or two have always only attended ones for HANDMADE by the seller or the sellers representative ones only.
            I have visited a couple of CF's this year as a shopper and spoken to some familiar faces and they have all said they're not not selling. There is ALWAYS a reason though; "it's too early in the day/ month /year" "it's because there is another event on up the road" "we've only just had Christmas" "They haven't started their Christmas shopping" " everyone is on holiday" "there's a football match on telly"etc, etc, etc.
            I quietly laugh to myself now because 9/10 stall holders have given themselves a reason as to why they are not selling based on nothing. (BTW, I have always taken at LEAST three times my table fee so this is not me being negative because my stuff doesn't sell)
            I don't plan to be so foolish at spending my hard earned cash this year and will stick to selling on line and by picking up customers by word of mouth....it's cheaper and a lot less hassle.
            ~ Rachael
            My etsy Shop Blog

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            • #7
              Originally posted by grenville allen View Post
              Garden shows. They're the thing:



              Here we are, dressed appropriately. This is not compulsory, however!







              Did you spray tan your legs? Not seen many garden shows round here except Losley and that is very pricey.

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              • #8
                Not a good time to ask me about fairs of any sort - I had one of my worst days ever yesterday! February is definitely a no-no for me in future - I made more sales online than at fairs this month (fortunately!)

                I do think there is a place for fairs but it is always essential to think carefully about your market and who your products are aimed at so that you can be selective about what you book. Some people will do better at smaller fairs, some at larger ones and some at a mixture of the two.

                I found that I needed to try pretty much everything to get a real feel for where is best and (February results notwithstanding) I have managed to hone it down to a mix of fair types (for me, not necessarily for everyone else!)
                Ali x

                Etsy Shop: aliscraftstudio.etsy.com
                Facebook: AlisCraftStudio
                Follow me on Twitter:
                @AlisCraftStudio

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                • #9
                  Garden shows in the spring. Which is officially tomorrow.

                  Originally posted by Caroleecrafts View Post
                  Did you spray tan your legs? Not seen many garden shows round here except Losley and that is very pricey.


                  The sun always shines on the righteous, apparently. Here are those well-honed legs again. The red wine I'm drinking is also good for them. On the other hand, Loseley is v fattening as well as overpriced.

                  PS Like me new motor?




                  Grenville Allen
                  ____f i n e__ a r t i s t__
                  www.grenvilleallen.com
                  .Grenville Allen.
                  -------f i n e a r t i s t-----
                  www.grenvilleallen.com
                  Twitter~Facebook~Blog

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There's a lot of events about that call themselves 'craft fairs' but when you break it down, they're not - by no way, shape or form can Usborne Books, flipping Phoenix Trading and Virgin Vie be called crafts. At one 'craft' fair I did last year, we even had 'Body Shop at Home'! Never come across that one before. How long before we get Avon?

                    The thing is, I don't think customers give much thought at all to whether an item is handmade, it's just a case of whether they like an item and whether the price is right. You do get a few who like the handmade aspect, or the one-of-a-kind aspect, but the majority are more bothered about the look of something and the cost. And to be honest, I don't blame them! My whole pricing structure is based around my own requirements as a customer. If I visit a craft fair [or 'craft' fair ] I am more likely to buy three things at £5 rather than one at £15, and that's why my items are priced that way. And so far it has held true for me. I would love to spend £35, say, on an item at a fair, but these days I can't afford it.

                    The whole bought-in issue has become very frustrating though, so much so that a friend and I are looking at organising our own fair, if we can get the venue we want. Everything would have to be hand-made by the stallholder and we will limit the number of each tyoe of craft, to give everyone a fair chance. We've spent so many fairs moaning about what is wrong that we know what not to do!
                    Heather
                    Pretty Things Handmade Jewellery

                    Website - www.prettythingsjewellery.co.uk


                    Destash bead and papercrafting shop - http://www.misi.co.uk/handmade/BlackCatBeads.html

                    New blog - www.prettythingsandwitterings.blogspot.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Behaving badly

                      [QUOTE=Pretty things]There's a lot of events about that call themselves 'craft fairs' but when you break it down, they're not - by no way, shape or form can Usborne Books, flipping Phoenix Trading and Virgin Vie be called crafts. At one 'craft' fair I did last year, we even had 'Body Shop at Home'! Never come across that one before. How long before we get Avon? [/QUOTE=Pretty things]
                      The trick is to educate prospective customers as they're walking round. Just say sotto voce "That's all bought-in over there. Tch, tch, tch. Disgusting. Grrr. Avoid it like the plague!" And shudder and huff and behave as if you've trodden in something nasty. If you don't get summarily removed by the organiser you'll have helped your fellow craftspeople.


                      Last edited by grenville allen; 28-02-2011, 12:41 PM. Reason: too many sigs
                      .Grenville Allen.
                      -------f i n e a r t i s t-----
                      www.grenvilleallen.com
                      Twitter~Facebook~Blog

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        *snigger* ..... I'm going to try that. It'll be all your fault if I get chucked out!
                        Heather
                        Pretty Things Handmade Jewellery

                        Website - www.prettythingsjewellery.co.uk


                        Destash bead and papercrafting shop - http://www.misi.co.uk/handmade/BlackCatBeads.html

                        New blog - www.prettythingsandwitterings.blogspot.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by grenville allen View Post


                          The sun always shines on the righteous, apparently. Here are those well-honed legs again. The red wine I'm drinking is also good for them. On the other hand, Loseley is v fattening as well as overpriced.

                          PS Like me new motor?




                          Grenville Allen
                          ____f i n e__ a r t i s t__
                          www.grenvilleallen.com
                          No more please cannot cope my age is delicate. Love the wheels

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I wonder if there's a craft fair near Leeds? Would be great if they made a comeback!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Pretty things View Post
                              There's a lot of events about that call themselves 'craft fairs' but when you break it down, they're not - by no way, shape or form can Usborne Books, flipping Phoenix Trading and Virgin Vie be called crafts. At one 'craft' fair I did last year, we even had 'Body Shop at Home'! Never come across that one before. How long before we get Avon?

                              The thing is, I don't think customers give much thought at all to whether an item is handmade, it's just a case of whether they like an item and whether the price is right. You do get a few who like the handmade aspect, or the one-of-a-kind aspect, but the majority are more bothered about the look of something and the cost. And to be honest, I don't blame them! My whole pricing structure is based around my own requirements as a customer. If I visit a craft fair [or 'craft' fair ] I am more likely to buy three things at £5 rather than one at £15, and that's why my items are priced that way. And so far it has held true for me. I would love to spend £35, say, on an item at a fair, but these days I can't afford it.

                              The whole bought-in issue has become very frustrating though, so much so that a friend and I are looking at organising our own fair, if we can get the venue we want. Everything would have to be hand-made by the stallholder and we will limit the number of each tyoe of craft, to give everyone a fair chance. We've spent so many fairs moaning about what is wrong that we know what not to do!
                              At our huge annual Festival of art and crafts event here in Jersey I saw a stall selling Food Processors!!???!!! AT £300 too!!! Really not what you expect when you go to a festival of art and crafts :S
                              Sarah x

                              ~ The Lilac Dragonfly- Handmade Jewellery ~

                              ~ Facebook Page ~




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