This post might not be what you want to hear, but I need to get it off my chest. It’s that time of the year when indie craft shows are in full swing and holiday shopping is creeping up, and there are some things that can make these shows a bit challenging for us small businesses. This advice really applies to all times of year. Here are my top things to keep in mind when shopping these pop up shows.
There is a difference between a handmade items and vintage/antique. Now a days shows can be combined with both types of vendors, so it’s good to know that what flies at one type of vendor will crash and burn at another. When entering a booth that is obviously a handmade product and the artist is there to sell their blood sweat and tears please DO NOT try and haggle. If we have some sort of show special we will either have it posted or tell you when you enter. A lot of people have no problem telling you how expensive your pieces are.
Let me explain…
How much do you think you are worth being paid at your job? How would you feel if someone asked you to take less because they just don’t know how to value what you do? We are not out to pull one over on you we are trying to make a living which quite frankly (pun intended) takes a lot of skill not only in designing, creating, manufacturing and selling but also running a business and sitting in a 10x10 booth for hours on end. In my opinion vintage and antique booths have a different set of rules but you will have to ask them.
2. WE CAN HEAR YOU:
It is amazing how many people will talk about you/ your product as if you are not sitting right there. Keep in mind that if you do not like something that it just might not be your style/taste/cup of tea, but that person right in front of you created those pieces. It has been long enough now that I take it with a grain of salt but back in the day those comments would could sting for days.
3. BLOCKING THE BOOTH
If you and your friends want to have a long conversion about life and the pursuit of happiness think about finding the lounge area instead of standing in the booth or blocking the entrance. We are too nice to ask you to move, but we do try to do it with our super power telepathy.
4. YOU KNOW WHAT YOU SHOULD DO…
It is cool to ask if the artist does custom work, a lot us us do and will love to talk to you about it, but refrain from telling us what we should have done instead of the current pieces. It is a process to come up with the designs we have, many revisions and testing. If you think that you could design it better then great go for it but if you don’t see it the way you think it should be then there is probably a reason. This really comes down to the way you say things.
5. ASK US HOW ITS MADE:
Let’s end this list on a positive note. We love to tell you how we do what we do, so ask. Don’t be afraid to say hi, we are already sitting back there balancing on the seesaw of engaging and not bothering you. My favorite people are the ones you are interested the process. They may just be asking and not even buy anything, but it makes us artist feel special.
So there, I have said it. I just really want to make the point that a lot of hard work goes into being a craftsman/business woman and sometimes that is lost on the patrons. We would be nothing without you and we keep that in mind we create something new. Continue to support small business and spread the word when you find someone you love. Here are a few of our favorites.
Julie is one of the originals, starting bazaars before bazaars were even cool, a real force of nature. Her line of clothing is versatile and made for all body types. Personally she has been a great resource for questions on business and how to hustle.
Get your furry friend in on your handmade lifestyle with a collar made in Texas. Kady’s golden retriever served as inspiration for the business after she found that Dixie didn’t fit in any doggy Halloween costumes but still wanted her to wear something festive. She offers holiday themed collars as well as a vast array of everyday styles.
Melinda created Read Between the Lines as a way to “speak to the feelings you have about events and the people involved, rather than focusing on the events themselves”. Her products are quirky, sassy, and perfect for everyone.
All images politely stolen from Folksie, Lemmon Glaze, Dixie Goods and Read Between the Lines.