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Does your 'image' fit your craft?

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  • Does your 'image' fit your craft?

    Had an interesting conversation with a friend and thought I raise the subject on here to see what others think. She crafts as a hobby (doesn't sell) but often comes to see me when I'm selling at craft fairs and has a wander around the other stalls. We started talking about what the person behind the stall looks like and whether that can be an indicator of what they're selling. If she likes what the person looks like (style, colours, etc) then she'll often stop and see what they've got on display. She reasons that as our personal taste influences our 'image', and that crafters use their personal taste in what they're making, then if she likes their image, she'll probably like what they've made. In some cases, there's a certain type of image that goes with certain crafts (the conversation started meandering a bit here!) but I got to wondering about how much the image we choose (and I don't just mean a nice smile!) impacts on whether customers actually stop and look at our items. I wondered what all you friendly people think?

    I've got a craft fair tomorrow and now I just don't know what to wear.... lol

    If beads were still currency, I'd be a millionaire!

  • #2
    Jane, I love your swirled bracelets. I always dress like an art student when I do craft fairs (bright eccentric clothes) to try and match my designs but that's pretty much what I usually wear anyway! I also wear a couple of my own ring designs, a bracelet and earrings to help promote them. Good luck tomorrow.


    • #3
      I definately think it matters. I always try to dress nicely and look neat and tidy. I think its highly likely people judge others on their appearance (rightly or wrongly) so I do think its also likely that your your products could be judged on how you look and behave.

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      • #4
        Thanks, Chicita. Loving your wire wrapping, I don't have the patience for that! The funny thing is I love to use lots of colours in the jewellery that I make but I tend to wear dark colours, usually black, most of the time -though I do think it's a perfect foil for whatever colour jewellery I'm wearing! Maybe I should re-think my look and go for something brighter? Or then maybe I'd clash with all the different colours I have on display? But now perhaps I should be thinking of myself as part of the display? Hmmmm......

        If beads were still currency, I'd be a millionaire!


        • #5
          What should a wood turner look like? I'm 6'5" tall, very long ash blond (OK grey) hair in a pony tail and I am slim build. I usually dress in jeans and a short sleeved shirt. Perhaps I should dress in a smock, trousers tied up with string and long leather boots.

          Seriously, I think the way you stand, approach people etc is far more important. I am put off by those crafters who sit in a chair behind their stall, don't move and seem to have little interest in whether you buy or not. I am attracted by those who approach, talk about their wares, (not try and sell directly) and explain them to me. I also like seeing crafters who are doing their craft where possible as well, gives added interest though I do accept that glass blowers, potters etc may find that difficult

          "Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art" ... Leonardo Da Vinci



          • #6
            Never judge a book by its cover, to do so is shallow, therefore I never judge what people look like or wear, what size they are, small or large, you could see a small dowdy crafter and he/she could be a font of useful knowledge. Never assume because someone is not in 'your ideal image' that they are not worthy of talking to or checking out what they make, at the end of the day you go into a shop, not because of what the staff are wearing but you like the display or they have something you want. This really follows on from my blog last Monday about the image of older people in our community and how they are ignored because they are old, I rest my case there.


            • #7
              I once went on a 2 day course looking at just this topic.

              We were shown pictures of 12 people and had to marry them up to their occupations, they then showed another set of photos and had to do the same again.
              What wasn't apparent at first was that they were the same people dressed differently.

              The women in a flowing skirt with a flower in her hair, I had put down as artistic - however on the next photo she had her hair up, smart suit, high heels and glasses I put as a senior executive.

              appearances do matter -

              dress for success, Is my motto:-)

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              • #8
                Perhaps I should dress in a smock, trousers tied up with string and long leather boots. It might be a good look!!!

                I do think there has to be a little bit of 'you' in there, after all whatever it is you are selling is your creation. And I think yes I am a bit guilty of looking at someone behind the stall and wondering if I want what has come from them! I dont think I mean to be, but I think there is a difference between being scruffy and dirty.

                Would you buy a cake from someone who looked like they hadn't washed, or changed their clothes for a week? So yes I do make an effort, (though it doesn't make much difference at my age!) Even washing and ironing my stall covers/coths in between.


                • #9
                  I agree with Caroline and Bodrighy, I never judge on appearances and agree it is a very shallow way to be. In my business I've found people like me to be approachable, friendly and fun and make coming to my shop an enjoyable thing, no one seems to give a jot how I dress, so I dress how I feel, sometimes a dress and heels, but often jeans and a nice top and flipflops.


                  • #10
                    I wonder. should I sport steel grey permed hair, dark rimmed spectacles, long skirt and slippers? I knit, crochet and sew, all avidly often in my arm chair watching TV. I hope I don't. Not grey yet but do wear glasses. Never skirts as I live in trousers and rarely wear slippers, rather go bare foot or stockinged foot.
                    God helps them that help themselves.


                    • #11
                      Im doing an art market this sunday and Im desperately trying to work out what to wear.
                      Usually Im a jeans gal(sooo bored of wearing jeans but they are easy).

                      The venue is quite funky with realy cool people, I believe they are called youths.
                      Plus Ive just seen its going to be hot, so maybe a skirt, with a pinky purple combo top and some of my jewellery, colourful tights maybe, comfy shoes.
                      Oh its all gona be a rush in the morning.

                      Id love to look like these trendy youths of today but Im heading towards 40 and dont think I could manage it.

                      The worst thing is the one permanent stall thats at this market has a very beautiful and trendy young lady selling the very trendy wares, Il try not to sit near her so there are no comparisons.


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                      • #12
                        I think the trendy gear you suggested sounds great. Don't forget, inside your head you are still a teenager so why not outside too.
                        God helps them that help themselves.


                        • #13
                          Well, they say you should dress for the salary you want to get.

                          I think I would be lucky to scrap minimum wage on that basis. I just consider it a triumph if I do actually get dressed .Anything else is surely above and beyond the call of duty?

                          That said, I think if you are doing fairs, shows etc, it makes sense to treat yourself as part of the package. Because the overall image you present does press certain psychological buttons in the majority of people - rightly or wrongly. And if you are doing shows, it means usually are you wanting to make sales, so anything that helps is worth adopting.

                          So for that reason alone - if I were doing shows I would make an effort to look a bit arty-farty. Just in the same way I would don a smart suit if i were going into accountancy as a career.

                          That said, for someone to discount even looking a table in a fair because of how the vendor is dressed, well that speaks more about them as a person than anything else I think.

                          I think play the game if it gets you more sales - like a uniform if you will. But image really shouldn't be taken too seriously - it is the person inside that really counts isnt it.
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                          • #14
                            I am at a flower society event tomorrow (lucky for me, but I am guessing unusual, they have a craft stall section), now do I don my gardening gear (grass and soil spattered clothing and big boots), my flora frock (er, don't have one but.....) or do I go as me? Hopefully smart(ish), tidy and clean and for this one, as it is a loooooong even, wear my carpet slippers hidden by my table covering?? Decisions, decisions.

                            Not that I am saying it is the only thing to wear, but a BIG smile is possibly one of the nicest things I want to see on a stall-holders face. No, not one that makes me think the men in white coats should be arriving pretty soon, but a genuine 'I am pleased to see you and love what I do and really want to talk to you' smile.

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                            Last edited by JKS; 07-08-2010, 12:50 PM.
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                            • #15
                              I think what you are wearing does matter, as much as, clean, tidy, comfortable... and in your own style, what ever that maybe.

                              I think it'smore important to be friendly and wear a smile!

                              The amount of stall people i see... sat behind there stall, don't look up, look misreble... I don't want to look at their work.. let a lone buy it!

                              When customers are buying from a craft / handmade fayre... they want something personal, one off and special... and they are buying from you.... and really they are buying your style and personality in the item you have made... and for this reason you need to be friendly

                              So wear whatever makes you feel happy and confident on the day