Katy has been knitting and crocheting for 10 years and selling her items at local craft shows in Colorado for 3 years.
Craft shows are great places to sell your handmade goods. They provide a marketplace to bring what you create to paying customers. But running a successful, profitable craft booth doesn't happen without planning and work.
Here's some tips that will set you up for success at every craft show:
- Choose the Right Venue for Selling
- Best Items to Sell at Shows
- Make Your Display Stand Out
- Pricing Handmade Crafts
- Alternatives to Craft Shows
Let's look at each of these tips in detail so you can learn how to sell your homemade knit and crochet items!
Can You Make Money Selling Knit and Crochet Items?
You will find many vendors selling crochet or knit accessories and other items at shows. This is because it works to make money!
Here's how they do it: find the hot knit and crochet items that sell, make an amazing display booth and price your items correctly. That's all there is to it!
Read on to learn what to expect when selling at a local craft show and how to make craft shows a part of your overall business plan.
Choose the Right Venue for Selling Crafts
Not all craft fairs are created equal!
The event you choose to attend will have a huge impact on your success and your bottom line. Learn about the different types of events out there.
Free Admission Craft Fairs
Craft fairs that have a free admission for vendors are usually held at local public schools, churches and community centers. These are common around the holidays.
You do not have to budget for an event fee. But the trade-off is the show will probably be small, which translates to fewer customers.
This will be a good fit for someone just starting out with not a lot of merchandise looking to build their brand and get craft show experience without the risk of losing a booth fee.
Events With Vendor Fees
Most homemade craft events will charge a booth fee for vendors. These range widely in attendance and quality.
In general, the higher the fee for vending the more people will attend the event and the more customers will walk past your booth.
A good handmade fair or farmer's market will spend some of the collected fees on marketing for the event, bringing in more paying customers to the show. If you're considering an event with a vendor fee, check out what they do to advertise.
Are Juried Craft Events Better for You?
Many craft events are juried, whether they charge a booth fee or not. Sometimes there is an additional fee for your items to be judged by the jury panel before acceptance into the show.
If you have high quality, unique products then jury shows will help your sales because they tend to attract customers that are looking for high price items.
Best Items to Sell at Shows
It's important that the knit or crochet items that you sell at your booth are products that customers want. Regardless of the venue you pick and the effort you put in to make an amazing display sales won't happen unless you have a quality product.
Best Selling Crochet Products for Fairs
Wearable accessories like hats and scarves are all over the winter and holiday markets.
Crocheted toys or small stuffed animals for kids sell well for Christmas-time.
What to Knit for Craft Shows
Knit scarves, hats and gloves are never hard to find at craft fairs. Knit lace projects will sell very well. The ones that sell the best are made out of quality or unique fiber or made into novelty themes.
Make sure all your finished items have clean edges and the loose yarn ends are invisible.
Make Your Craft Show Booth Stand Out
Hand knit and crochet items are already in many storefronts in craft fairs. Many sellers will tell you that the market is too saturated to try to sell your hats or scarves at a local show.
It is true that there are many sellers of handmade knit and crochet accessories out there but a new handmade business can still be successful with the right approach.
Unique Handmade Crafts
Your products will need to be unique in order to sell inventory. This might be a unique design or unique materials. Something beyond the traditional hat or scarf that will make a buyer seek you out specifically.
Creative Booth Display
The booth display you put up to sell your items at a craft show is your store front to customers walking by. This needs to stand out from the crowd and immediately inform the customer why they should stop and take a look.
Adding in some details to your display will help it look more intentional and polished. Think about how you'll display each item. For example, when I started displaying my wool hats on these standing displays people picked up so much more!
Pricing Your Handmade Crafts
Pricing your handmade crafts to sell is a difficult but important part of attending a craft show as a vendor. Handmade crafts have a value that is less straight forward to price than retail goods. Before we get to the actual formula to determine how to price knit or crochet items we need to understand your customer.
What options are available to the customer you are trying to attract? A hand knit hat is a common example. Someone looking for a winter hat can always go to a retail giant like Walmart and buy a cheap acrylic one for $10. This is not meant to be discouraging this is meant to remind you that you are not competing with Walmart and you are not trying to appeal to the person who wants a generic hat from a retail store. Thus, prices for your handmade items should not be influenced by retail prices. This is a race to the bottom with crafters not getting the money they deserve from their efforts.
Instead, the price of your items should be based on:
- Time it takes to create the item
- The cost of raw materials
- The cost of selling (includes marketing, booth fees, etc)
Total up these three elements to determine the price of your item.
Alternatives to Craft Shows
Crafts shows take a lot of set up, time commitment and sometimes expensive booth fees. Often the results can be hit or miss so a handmade business needs to be large enough to weather the ups and downs.
Other alternative market places exist that might be a better fit for your handmade business or allow you to add additional income streams that will benefit from the marketing you accomplish at craft fairs.
1. Selling on Etsy
Setting up a store on Etsy and selling your handmade items there allows a handmade business to keep operating in between craft shows. If you still attend craft shows, hand out your business cards and let passerbys know you are selling on Etsy. Then they can find you online later when they are ready to buy.
2. Handmade Product Website
Selling your products directly on your website is another aleternative to selling only at craft shows. Like the Etsy business model, you can still use craft shows to drive traffic to your site.
3. Wholesale for Profit
You can offer your goods to retail stores at a wholesale price. This means they will do the selling for you and you get paid immediately. Some items work much better than others for selling via wholesale so you will have to consider product volume before choosing this route.
4. A Handmade Partnership
Partnering with an established retail store or another local maker can open up more opportunities for selling. Consider sharing booth fees or website space to increase your product's visibility. A good partnership will be benefit to both parties.
Successful Craft Shows
You put a lot of effort (and money!) into preparing for a show. Make it successful by following these tips:
- Choose the right craft event for your product, taking into account the booth fee that will be charged
- Create a display that is unique and draws customers in
- Determine pricing that is fair to both you and your customer
- Use craft shows as a supplement to other income streams and online selling venues for your handmade business
© 2018 Katy Medium