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  • I've Done It Now

    I can't believe I did this. And without the wife's permission. There is a new 'craft mall' in our area (only 25 booths). They have no one doing any kind of wood working. I showed the owner some of my pieces and she said she'd love for me to rent the LAST booth. And oh my, I did it. I've got a contract for 3 months.

    So if anyone has any helpful hints on selling their work/displaying/what to make to sell... I would appreciate your help! I know pricing is going to be a hard thing to figure as well.

  • #2
    Well good for you. I used to do the mall thing in fact I was in three of them at the same time. Talk about a rush. I will not discourage you and just offer some experience things to look for. You may do well in Ohio who knows. First you need to know all the legal aspects of doing malls or any craft shows. Being I do not know your status in this area I would suggest you get a book called "selling your work." If I find out the author and where you can get it I will get back to you. I do not know the tax rules in Ohio but it is something you have to be aware of. If this is a consignment thing then they will take care of collecting the taxes and probably charge a rent and a commission.


    As far as the product goes. You want to have seasonal things and things for occasions. Such as Father's day, Mother's day, Easter, graduations, Weddings in June (big thing around here), Thanksgiving and of course the granddaddy of all Christmas where you will either make it or break it. If you do not do good at that time think about getting out. Not worth it. Of course you can always use the store for advertising and promoting your self and your work if you have a web site to go along with it. My past experiences were I had to supply the shelving so I scrolled some nice brackets for the shelves and covered them with a felt with a plexiglass top. You want to have your pricing displayed and easily read with no discrepencys.
    Have your business card diplayed so you can get orders and leave word with the owner you are and will take orders. Helps in sales for sure. Just keep a neat and well stocked area and you will do well. Look around at others displays and see if you can pick up pointers.

    Good Luck.
    John T.

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    • #3
      Project's

      As a suggestion, people will like to watch you cut any project it the mall will allow you to operate your saw. A suggestion and fairly easy project is teh Easter Plate...I made one for my daugther and there is a picture of it in my gallery area on this message board.

      Simple fret coasters are easy and shouldn't be to expensive to make and/or sell...

      Good Luck

      Jim
      Jim Paskett
      RBI HAWK 220

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      • #4
        No advice... just my best wishes for a successful venture.

        Gill
        There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
        (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)

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        • #5
          Grizz,

          A quick note about cutting stuff at the mall. If the shop owner allows it and the mall allows it, cool. Let the people watch. Even answer questions the men ask. You will get the "Gee, I can do that at home" comment from the husband to the wife. If you do over hear it, say "Great! Good for you." then ask, "how long have you been scrolling?" Most likely he was just saying that to keep his wife from spending his hard earned buck. (ouch! I'm going to hear from the women here on that one.) If he is serious, you may have found a scroller friend.

          My past experience has shown that 99% of the people looking really close at your work and think they can do it easier, faster, cheaper, at home, never follow through. Some, come back and buy from you once they realize there is SOME skill involved in doing what you do. Or they may find out that to do their "one" piece costs more than just buying it from you.

          To sell the idea of using the saw there, to the shop, the shop owner has to know WIIFM (What's In It For Me). Remember those husbands? They will watch you cut while the wife goes off and "browses" the rest of the store. More store time means more sales for all the crafters. I did craft shows where I cut kids names from 3/4" basswood. At first the booths around me would complain to the promoter about potential noise, and dust getting on their own work. The promoters that knew me, would tell them in advance they could move or they would move me if it was a problem after they set up. I would also reassure them that there would be no dust going their way and the saw was very quiet. By the end of the weekend show, I made new friends. See, I made the traffic stop, or at least slow down. It equaled more sales for them. When I took a special order, the shopper had to come back by their booth to pick up the order. It's a win-win for all involved.

          Best of luck!
          DaddyCakes

          Comment


          • #6
            I almost forgot,

            I was doing those craft shows in southwest Ohio. And, Don't forget about those taxes. Back in the late 80's early 90's the tax man would come to the craft shows and make sure you were collecting sales tax.

            Have fun!
            DaddyCakes

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            • #7
              Grizz

              The book I refered to and others like it can be found at www.wildwooddesigns.com They can be of some value to you. Good luck with your new venture. Let us know how it is going.
              John T.

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              • #8
                Thanks Everyone

                Some good sound solid advice. I really appreciate you all's input. Any more idea's. Please let me know!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Way to go! Hopefully you'll find yourself with the so called dreaded problem of keeping your inventory up We don't have any craft malls around here so I've never done them, but I've been in some artist coops and sell through consignment gift stores.

                  The invaluable advice I've gotten over the years come from other artists/crafters in the area that have been in the business for a long time. Even after my selling stuff for around 8-9 years, there's still loads of things to learn. Most of them are very out going and eagar to talk about trends in the year, throughout the year, bad experiences, good experiences etc. Try striking up conversations with those you feel know the ropes. Some times just the littlest tips help, like tagging and little extra display features. I seen some with a small brief biography displayed by their work, I need to do that someday.

                  The only thing at the moment that comes to mind that I don't think has been mentioned is try to have a big variety of price ranges. And just variety in general. Over time you'll find out which pieces are moving the most and you can make more along those lines.

                  I'm sure I don't have to tell you to check up on your inventory at the store often. When I first started, I was obsessed about seeing if anything sold. Probably drove the store owners nuts. I have a couple owners who call if they made some big sales to let me know I need to bring more things in, but that's not always the case. In one coop I was in the people working were suppose to restock your shelves, some were good, some let your shelves sit half empty. Not sure what your craft mall's policy is. Will they let you keep extra inventory there?

                  Be prepared for the bigger events that go on in the area. Up here in the summer, it's Memorial weekend, fourth of July, labor day and any of those small town festivals that bring extra shoppers out.

                  Good Luck and have fun.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It's funny--Our contributers Judy and Dave Peterson, put together an article on how to best display your work based on their experiences selling at craft shows--both juried and non juried. And most of what they said has already been said here! But the article will be in the upcoming issue of SSW, which mails out to subscribers the end of the month!

                    Bob
                    www.GrobetUSA.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BobD
                      It's funny--Our contributers Judy and Dave Peterson, put together an article on how to best display your work based on their experiences selling at craft shows--both juried and non juried. And most of what they said has already been said here! But the article will be in the upcoming issue of SSW, which mails out to subscribers the end of the month!

                      Bob
                      Thanks Bob,

                      Its nice to know that those of us that contribute here are sharing useful advice in the threads.
                      I promoted one craft show for a few years in southwest Ohio called the Appalachian Fling. It was sponsored by the Clermont County Convention and Visitors' Bureau. So, I guess I've been on both sides of the fence.

                      DaddyCakes

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Good Luck Grizz;
                        I know how you feel. so many things to consider. I go to a lot of art festivals here in NC. I have learned that what might not sell today will sell out tomorrow. the only advice i can give is to learn the people that go there. Keep your display neat and organized. I get a lot of people calling me to make them things I did not have at the show. Again Good luck
                        Keith
                        Keep on scrolling

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                        • #13
                          elwood,

                          How do you find out where the arts festivals are in NC?
                          Redballjets

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Suggestions...

                            1. Get a contract! be sure to know what happens when items get broken, stolen, etc.

                            2. Keep an inventory of what you take in and what sells.

                            3. Replace items that don't sell with new items. You can take the old items back after awhile because it will be "new" again.

                            4. Have a variety of price ranges.

                            5. Get a good picture of yourself working on the saw and post it with a little biography.

                            6. Personalize if at possible! Even with Christmas ornaments I found the ones with the year scrolled into them sold better than the others.

                            7. Have fun and good luck!!

                            T
                            Theresa

                            http://WoodNGoods.weebly.com

                            http://woodngoods.blogspot.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by redballjets
                              elwood,

                              How do you find out where the arts festivals are in NC?
                              You can do an internet search using "craft shows NC" or "arts festivals NC"
                              or, try this site: http://www.craftlister.com/

                              T
                              Theresa

                              http://WoodNGoods.weebly.com

                              http://woodngoods.blogspot.com

                              Comment

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