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I'm sorry but i need to rant...

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  • I'm sorry but i need to rant...

    OK so i turn up yesterday at Cambridge's Big Weekend and set up my pitch etc! I just want to say does it annoy anyone else when you're in an Arts and Crafts tent and theres people there who don't make there own things?! I had wholesale jewellery opposite, A didgereedoo man who bought them in,a aloe company, a silver lady who was also wholesale (as lovely as she was its just annoying) I spend all the time and effort and although people like my jewellery and i had a few sales and things it makes my skin boil! Does anyone else know what i'm talking about!? What ever happened to the Old Style Arts and Crafts Tent, i remember walking round with my parents!???

  • #2
    I am so sorry, I think this is happening more now as the organisers seem to be struggling to fill the tents with genuine makers. I would write to the organisers if they did not mention brought in goods and let them know what you think and how badly you did. Perhaps this is why they are getting less crafters.

    I know what it is like to travel, set up and spend hours selling nothing you have my full sympathy and you are entitled to a rant.

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    • #3
      non handmade craft!

      hi i agree I started doing a craft fair in lymington, it wasnt neccessary handmade but craft things, i had a stall with card making tools memory albums etc!
      but again there were body shop, aloe vera etc so i said something and its now called craft & gift fair!
      handmade should be handmade or handcraft even by somebody else but this brought in stuff looks so tacky and even not always cheap!!! so lets bring back traditional handmade/crafted items- now whose having a rant lol!
      good luck with the next one!
      Nicola
      http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nixs-j...t/128916745585
      Handmade sterling silver & swarovski jewellery.
      Scrapbooks/memory, Parties, recruits, workshops, craft fairs

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Flutterbyboo View Post
        OK so i turn up yesterday at Cambridge's Big Weekend and set up my pitch etc! I just want to say does it annoy anyone else when you're in an Arts and Crafts tent and theres people there who don't make there own things?! I had wholesale jewellery opposite, A didgereedoo man who bought them in,a aloe company, a silver lady who was also wholesale (as lovely as she was its just annoying) I spend all the time and effort and although people like my jewellery and i had a few sales and things it makes my skin boil! Does anyone else know what i'm talking about!? What ever happened to the Old Style Arts and Crafts Tent, i remember walking round with my parents!???
        I am sorry to hear that you have had a wasted day yesterday. It has happened to me too recently and I think that I did vent on here about it at the time! Do the organisers just not care as long as they fill the pitches?
        I think that they have already made their money and are only interested in that.
        Be very wary of selling at so called "Craft and Gift Fairs"
        The guy next to me at the last one of those decided to use my power points that I had paid extra for to light up his Aloe Vera bought in lip balms and rather than confront him, I just laughed it off!
        http://www.westofscotlandcraftfairs.com

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        • #5
          Gift fairs

          I can understand your frustration - imagine mine when I visit an event to find that it has stands containing aloe vera, usbourne books, bought in resin items, bric a brac, cheeses, factory made fudge and fair trade goods (these items are still bought in !). The last one I visited a few months ago even had a burger van in the same room!!! the smell of grease was awful. I will not be returning.
          I believe that some organisers are now finding it easier to put on an event and calling it craft, food and gift instead of total craft. The true craft workers are still out there but take effort to find.
          My advice is walk away from any event that contains the words FOOD and GIFT and that will take your booking over the internet with no questions asked!
          Liz

          Comment


          • #6
            I agree. I've been doing fairs locally for about 5 years and they've always been good and sometimes really good. For the past couple of years though there's more and more bought in stuff and my sales have dropped dramatically. There's one chap who has a huge stall of bought in silver and he sells some of it by the weight! He always has a crowd around his stall and usually takes well into four figures. The rest of us who make our own are really fed up. Trouble is, we have to do at least 4 shows to get into the Christmas show, which is usually well worth doing.

            The really good shows seem to all be in the south east and cost an arm and a leg. By the time I've taken out the cost of travelling and accommodation etc., the profit made sometimes isn't worth the bother.

            Thank God for the internet!
            Best wishes
            Carole

            www.caroleallenjewellery.co.uk

            Comment


            • #7
              There seem to be more and more fairs that let in the bought in stuff. I think every craft fair I have been to lately has had party plan or bought in goods. A lot of the time even the handmade only fairs will allow the fair-trade stalls. Whilst I support genuine fair trade I think sometimes the 'buy in' gang take advantage of the name and sell cheap 'ethnic' stuff and just call it fair trade.
              Even the 'craft tents' at the local agricultural shows have more bought in than genuine handmade now. One had Usborne books, party plan jewellery x2, imported magnetic jewellery, cheap ethnic stuff and even a man selling humidifiers.
              A farmers market is usually ok. Although it is worth checking it out first if possible. My monthly farmers market is only handmade stuff apart from a phoenix card seller that has been there from the start. Best of all the organiser will only let in one of each craft so I'm the only jewellery stall.

              Melanie

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              • #8
                I think it's all to down to lack of knowledge on the part of organisers.
                As crafts people we are able to see the difference and to appreciate what handmade means. To many organisers though, they are not crafters and their understanding is lacking. To start out with the idea of organising an event, they basicaly want to fill a hall with sellers. the ethos behind the sellers doesn't matter to them.
                I think that's why the farmers markets and crafter oganised events are so good.
                I sometimes think it's a pain in the rear to have to fill in forms and have inspections that the FM associaton demand, but as a result you have a great seeling basis.
                full time mum and very very part time crafter.

                Comment


                • #9
                  In my opinion the organisers are more concerned with making money than promoting handcrafted items. It can also be misleading to the public when they attend these events as it is confusing which items are actually handmade and which are "bought in" for the fair.

                  Caroline
                  silver jewellery at The Silver Jewellery Workshop
                  bespoke handmade jewellery
                  Silver Jewellery blog
                  Handmade Jewellery Blog

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think it is getting harder for the big organisers to have "craft" fairs and to fill their venue have to take anyone and anything. I only organise a small event (24 stalls max) and for the next one I am struggling to find enough handcrafters to fill it (being holiday season). It is annoying when we (including me) take so much time and trouble to make our items when we are next to so many bought in items, but I do see it from the organisers point of view too.

                    As I am a non-profit making venture it is hard to fill a hall with all handcrafters especially when there are some (albeit a minority) of crafters who treat all organisers alike and have let me down at the last minute leaving me with stalls to fill or me making up the difference out of my own pocket!!!!!

                    Even when a fair is listed as handcrafted you will still get some bought in chancing their arm. I have had all sorts contacting me from an icecream van, burger van, numerous Usborne books, Avon, Virgin Vie, sweet sellers, drinks sellers to name but a few and in all honesty if the handcrafters are going to let me down I have two alternatives, cancel the event and let all the other paying crafters down (and the public who have already seen the advertising) or take on bought in items or all and sundry just to make ends meet (something which is totally against the ethos of a "Truly Crafted" fair)

                    I'm sorry to highjack your thread with a rant but I do see it from both sides of the coin. Unfortunately it seems that organisers are having to take everyone that applies just to meet outgoings.
                    Diane
                    Reach for the moon-if you miss-you'll still be amongst stars




                    Comment


                    • #11
                      All that stuff can be found at a bootsale why dont they get lost and leave arts and crafts fairs for artists and crafters!!
                      Puts me off setting up a stall actually i thought it would be the best way of selling.
                      http://www.justgiving.com/renata-harris (1/2 marathons for World Society for the Protection of Animals)
                      http://flashsparkle.blogspot.com Vegan cookery

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It is annoying, from both sides of the fence.

                        As a crafter I have learnt the hard way to ask lots of questions of the organisers to make sure that the fair is a genuine craft fair. I also do some 'craft & gift' fairs, but I know what I'm letting my self in for, as they are advertised as such. In my experience, any organiser who doesn't ask you to 'prove your worth' in some way won't be vetting any stalls, therefore you could end up with a good or bad mix of exhibitors.

                        As an organiser, it is very difficult to find a lot of crafters, not everyone advertises, or has a website, or uses sites like stallfinder etc, so I've had to become a bit inventive to find crafters. Admittedly, we are allowing a restricted number of Fairtrade stalls at a large event I'm organising in November, but we have been upfront about that to all exhibitors, and anyone applying for a Fairtrade stall must provide proof of the Fairtrade status of the goods they are selling. We will also be asking those exhibitors to display on their stall information about the source of their goods too - that way the public can see that they are not the maker of the items. The handcrafted and Fairtrade stalls will also be clearly differentiated too.

                        I don't mind seeing food at a craft fair, if it is made by the stallholder - to me food making does count as a craft (a mystery in fact - I can't cook very well!), but I wouldn't want to see bought in food anymore than would want to see bought in 'crafts' either.

                        That's my rant over!!

                        Claire
                        Website; www.midshiresmakers.co.uk
                        Facebook Pages: www.facebook.com/weedoncraftmarket
                        www.facebook.com/craftshoppingexperience

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Rant away! I would be fuming too....
                          I've not done a craft fair yet, but I find it so annoying to go to a 'craft' fair as a customer only to find mostly 'bought in' items!!

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                          • #14
                            Don't blame you for ranting ~ unfortunately the postion you were in has become all too common nowadays. I've been bitten too many times and now given up the "craft and gift" fairs.
                            Kym
                            I'm hoping for world peace but I'd also like something shiny as well...

                            www.kymbigwood.com
                            kymbigwood.blogspot.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Flutterbyboo View Post
                              OK so i turn up yesterday at Cambridge's Big Weekend and set up my pitch etc! I just want to say does it annoy anyone else when you're in an Arts and Crafts tent and theres people there who don't make there own things?!
                              That's gotta be so annoying for you!!! Was it well attended? We live in Newmarket (and hubby works in Cambridge) and didn't know anything about it otherwise we'd have tried to pop along.

                              Originally posted by Moonbeam Angel View Post

                              Even when a fair is listed as handcrafted you will still get some bought in chancing their arm. I have had all sorts contacting me from an icecream van, burger van, numerous Usborne books, Avon, Virgin Vie, sweet sellers, drinks sellers to name but a few and in all honesty if the handcrafters are going to let me down I have two alternatives, cancel the event and let all the other paying crafters down
                              TBH if you're really struggling to fill the spaces I'd be inclined to let the ice cream van have a pitch outside....at a premium! They'll not actually be part of the inside fair, won't tread on any other crafter's toes (like wholesale jewellery or pheonix cards), might attract more people in (who can resist an ice cream van if it's a hot day?) and if you charge them 2 or 3 times the table rate (either because the van takes up more square foot or because they've got a 'prime' outside spot ) it might mean you don't end up out of pocket or having to cancel...a kind of compremise I guess.

                              Originally posted by ladyluckjewellery View Post

                              I don't mind seeing food at a craft fair, if it is made by the stallholder - to me food making does count as a craft (a mystery in fact - I can't cook very well!), but I wouldn't want to see bought in food anymore than would want to see bought in 'crafts' either.
                              I'm with you on that one, as long as it's handmade by the stall holder I love the food stalls
                              Visit Natty Netty for a huge selection of Iris Folding supplies

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