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Thread: Craft Fairs

  1. #1
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    Hi all

    Are you finding craft fairs quiet, the last 5 we have done have been very quiet very little footfall, speaking to other crafters and they have noticed it just wonder if it was a national thing

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    davesmeg's Avatar
    davesmeg is offline Senior Member 100+ crafts club
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    We have had a few quiet ones this year where all the crafters at the event have taken little or no sales. There have been a few where there has been a great deal of footfall and some crafters have had excellent sales while others have done badly. You can't account for everyone.
    As the saying goes "You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you canít please all of the people all of the time."

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    bodrighy's Avatar
    bodrighy is offline Senior Member Try and catch up with this one.. What a crafter!!!
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    There is a general downturn in sales of luxury goods which most crafts can be classified as. Been that way since the Brexit decision. Don't expect it to improve for a year or two at least. You need to try and assess what sort of thing is likely to sell. If you only do shows tht rely on casual viewers then you need to have a lot of lower end priced (not lower quality) items for the casual buyer.

    Pete
    "Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art" ... Leonardo Da Vinci
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    Caroleecrafts is offline Senior Member Try and catch up with this one.. What a crafter!!!
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    I agree with Pete. Things are quieter, I am only doing small events but having items for under £5 and only doing leading up to December.

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    I have found that community events like village fairs work best for me and even then, only the Christmas ones. Depends what you're selling of course. Most of my items are under a fiver, though on average customers pay just over a fiver for each transaction.
    Carol
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    I'm glad I'm not the only one and clearly it's not confined to my area This year has been absolutely terrible to the extent that I am giving up at the end of the year. I've been crafting for five years and am still a lot of money down and I really can't afford to lose any more. Pitch prices have got a bit silly and even if I sell all my existing stock (which seems very unlikely) and use up all my yarn and toy stuffing, I shall be minus a lot I can't even set fire to the toys as they don't burn (CE regs and all that!!)

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    bodrighy's Avatar
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    Cost of shows isn't cheap especially if you do the bigger ones. A £1000 outlay is common. You really need to target the right audience for what you make, have top quality, original items and a really good display. There are so many people who are hobby crafts people willing to sell for simply the cost of materials, making things that are similar to many other crafters and often not the best quality I'm afraid that you really need to be committed to what you are doing in every way. Sounds critical I know but true just the same and as I am not familiar with the work many on this site do I am not getting at anyone but we all need to continually look at what we are making, being critical of it and then making sure that we are aiming at the right potential customers and sell our work for a price that reflects the materials, time taken, overheads and our experience.

    Pete
    "Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art" ... Leonardo Da Vinci
    My Craft Shop: Facebook


  8. #8
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    MornieG Jewellery is offline Senior Member Try and catch up with this one.. What a crafter!!!
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    I have more or less given up making jewellery, me and a million others. I couldn't and don't want to compete with the £1.99 earrings on cheap findings with cheap imported beads from china. Everyone appears to be down this year with little hope of it getting better in the forseeble. Takings are down but costs are up. Events are more expensive, accommodation is up, food is up if you stay away from home.

    This is the earliest we have started doing events this year and in the past only the odd one or two that we know works for us untill October. Doing higher end events people in general have more disposable income but it's always a risk. We have products from £3.50 to £250 so try to have something for everyone....... providing they like wood. Our Bread and Butter items are from £15 to £20 but you still have to sell a heck of a lot to cover costs of £2k for a top multiday event.

    We had intended to do the most expensive event yet this Christmas but couldn't justify the possibility of not covering our costs. It has always had rave reviews but couldn't afford to lose up to £2,500.

    I can probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of crafters who make a full living from their craft and I greatly admire the ones that do. We have to supplement with a part time job, demos and tuition. One renowned international turner supplements her income making packing cases.

    Christmas run up seems to be the best time to have any chance of making money for anyone that sells luxury, that is non essential not necessarily expensive, goods. people are definitely starting earlier buying gifts to spread the load. We find little profit in trading after the first week in December unless you have last minute items like gift tags, stocking fillers etc. We debated about taking Christmas items for our first October event last year as it was billed as an Autumn Fair, we did and we were glad we had in the end.

    So not not just you but you need to research carefully the events you do relative to your craft.

    Mo.XX
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  9. #9
    wood-u-like is offline Senior Member 100+ crafts club
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    The problem craft fairs face is that many of the top flight craft makers who would have been out there on the circuit maybe doing 100 days a year don't need to leave there workshops and studios these days as they will be inundated with work. I have not done a show for many years as I simply have enough work coming in to not need to go out. With so many galleries, gift shops and hardware shops closing down the peopel are finding they can go straight to there local craft workshops and have what they want made to order. They concept of the craft fair may have had its day as we see a trend to the open studio movement, craft open days and integrating crafts with other things such as flea markets, vintage recycling type shows, finge events and informal ad hoc gatherings such as we saw with rave culture in the 90s.

  10. #10
    bodrighy's Avatar
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    Inundated with work? Can't say I know many top flight crafters that would claim that. There are some who make a full living out of their craft but that would include doing demonstrations, tuition etc. The worst thing that has happenned to crafting IMHO is the surge of 2nd rate crafting on TV promoting the idea that anyone can 'make' things cheaply , that knocking up a lampshade out of old plastic bottles is craft. If they could start having shows like the bake off etc but based on real crafts maybe then we would see a genuine acceptance and acknowledgement of the skills anf experience needed to be involved in real, traditional crafters.
    Ok, i'll get off my hobby horse lol

    Pete
    "Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art" ... Leonardo Da Vinci
    My Craft Shop: Facebook


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