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New to the forum - a couple of questions of you don't mind :)

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  • New to the forum - a couple of questions of you don't mind :)

    Hi all, Just a quick note to introduce myself. I am Sue and have just started out with Supu Paints - I am paintings canvases for childrens bedrooms/nursery/play rooms. I have had a facebook page for a few weeks now and am doing really well with getting orders. I am starting to think longer term I'd like to get into selling my stuff at crafts fairs, but at the minute I need to concentrate on building my stock up (at the minute everything I do is to order, or gets sold pretty much straight away once I put it on my FB page.) So I guess I have a few questions for those who do craft fairs - especially for those who do paintings. How do you show your work? I have visions of having little plate stand type things to have the canvases stood up on a table, a few boxes with the paintings stood up in for people to flick through, and then a couple of photo albums to show all of my work I have done in the past, or maybe a large poster style print with pictures on there? Does anyone have any advice on how to do this? Also what would you say is a decent amount of stock? I'll be selling the paintings for anything from £15, depending on size and detail, but average £20.
    Thanks in advance for any replies and I'll look forward to getting to know you all on the forum
    Last edited by nattynetty; 29-11-2011, 08:56 AM. Reason: to increase font size

  • #2
    Hi Sue,

    I can't answer your questions about craft fairs as I don't do them, but just wanted to pop by and say hello and to the forum. Lots of lovely people here, with really helpful advice and fab crafts.

    Enjoy!
    Jo

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    • #3
      I've seen several people selling their painting or photographic skills.
      They have several examples on show - I assume you use ones you have done for your family to start with or produce some 'show pieces'. If you are in a school you can ask to be by the wall bars and hang your pictures up but these people had those retractable stands and easles. They also had hinged screens - either floor standing or balanced on the edges of a table. There's a problem here as tables that come with fairs are different sizes and heights. Either come with your own display stuff or be prepared to be flexible.
      Then they had a portfolio of their past work to inspire interested customers and a box of small pictures, prints or cards as impluse buys.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the welcome Jo!
        AnnieAnna - thanks for the suggestions. I guess I just had visions of having to stand all my paintings up on edge and then them being knocked over domino styley when someone looks at them!
        Yes I intend on having some show pieces, maybe 2 of each, and once I sell one (hopefully!) I can replace it with another stock one. I like the idea of doing prints or cards for quick sales, will have to look into the cost of that.

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        • #5
          While we are chatting - something else I've observed - doing open air fairs in the rain is a very, very bad idea for picture people. Gazebos leak, wind blows rain at you sideways. You need to be waterproof to be outside in England!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by AnnieAnna View Post
            While we are chatting - something else I've observed - doing open air fairs in the rain is a very, very bad idea for picture people. Gazebos leak, wind blows rain at you sideways. You need to be waterproof to be outside in England!
            Funny you should say that - I went to a craft fair in my town on Saturday and it was awful weather - I did think it would ruin any display or any paintings I would have! I think cosy indoors one are the way forward

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            • #7
              Hello Sue

              You mention you are just starting out, have you registered with the tax office as self employed? If not, do so now as you are now trading and legally must inform them. They are very friendly and helpful, plus you may get a tax refund at the end of the first year's trading.

              If you are so busy getting orders already, why do you want to go to craft fairs? They are a lot of effort in preparing stock, carting it there, setting up a stall, sitting arround all day, packing up at the end of the day and finally unloading and storing everything afterways. Most crafters would agree this can be a lot of hassle.

              My advice from your original post would be to find the baby/toddler shows rather than general craft shows. This is your target market and these shows are desgined for you. Craft fairs will certainly bring some other business in, but you may have to slightly alter what you do for a different market.

              With regards to display I would recommend using a digital photo album (make sure it will run on batteries as there may not be power available). The scrolling images would be ideal to show previous commissions. By all means have a display folder as this can be easier to use whilst talking with a customer.

              At the moment most craft fairs are Christmas orientated, but wait until the New Year and visit a number of local ones. You will soon find out if they are for you and you can also have a chat with other stall holders - they can be a mine of information. To check out local craft fairs do a search on google using "craft fairs" and your county, plus do a search on http://www.stallfinder.com/ under their event search.

              Best of luck in whatever you decide to do.

              Roger

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              • #8
                Hi Roger - thanks so much for the reply. I haven't registered myself yet no - I am barely making any money with this so is is really necessary? I'm not sure who it all works to be honest. I will look into it.
                I want to do a craft fair as I love hearing people's reactions to my work - it gives me a buzz. I am going to a local craft fair next week which is obviously a Christmas one, but I am going to see how it is set up and I heard they were doing an easter one so I may aim for that. I just figured that once my FB orders start to die down, I would like something else to focus on. I work better under pressure and if I have a date where I have to build up some stock then I will churn them out. I may hate the setting up and sitting there all day while people poke/manhandle/ignore my work but I'd like to try it.
                Thanks for the tips for the displaying of the work - I like the idea of a digital photo frame.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Supu Paints View Post
                  I haven't registered myself yet no - I am barely making any money with this so is is really necessary? I'm not sure who it all works to be honest. I will look into it.
                  You are trading, so yes you must register. If they find out you have been trading, even though you have not earnt anything, you could face a fine. As I said earlier all your costs of starting up are allowable against tax, so do it asap.

                  Roger

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by keystamp View Post
                    You are trading, so yes you must register. If they find out you have been trading, even though you have not earnt anything, you could face a fine. As I said earlier all your costs of starting up are allowable against tax, so do it asap.

                    Roger
                    All the info you need is on this thread
                    http://www.craftsforum.co.uk/showthr...craft-business
                    full time mum and very very part time crafter.

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