Art Marketing Q&A LIVE Tomorrow!

Hi friends! I just wanted to hop in real quick and let you know that I will have a live question and answer session with Renae Christine of Rich Mom Business tomorrow at 1pm ET. If you want to ask a question live you will want to join us on the Youtube Watch Page but you can also watch the stream or replay  in the player below.

YouTube Video Player!

I wish I knew how to change the old dorky photo of me on that thumbnail LOL! I encourage you watch the live Q&A if:

  1. You would like to earn enough from your hobby to pay for supplies.
  2. You would like to earn enough for holiday shopping or a vacation.
  3. You would to earn a full-time income from your handmade business.

Renae and I both make a living from our handmade endeavors.  We have different ways we do this and unique perspectives.  If you are thinking about doing a craft fair or opening an online shop please tune in! We will talk about everything from pricing, to sourcing materials to whether or not “custom” is a good idea. I hope to see you live! Happy Crafting!

artmarketinglive

 

Have you tried THIS to sell your art & crafts?

Hi Friends! I have exciting news! In a few days I will be setting up shop in a local Antiques mall! I have rented space there before to sell my cards, jewelry and paintings with varying degrees of success. This is the 3rd time I will be renting in this shop and I have been on the waiting list for 9 months hoping for a spot to come available. This might be a good solution for others trying to make some money off their art. I will chat about this and other options for selling your work in today’s Art Marketing Vlog:

Everytime I do an art marketing video people ask me about ETSY and what I think about it as a place to sell crafts. I have to admit that I have never tried it but my friend Renae Christine from RichMomBusiness.com has a free webinar all about succeeding on Etsy called Why Your Etsy Shop is Failing. In her Etsy tutorial she will teach you how to run a successful Etsy shop and increase views to your page and most importantly boost sales. Renae is the leader in teaching about etsy and she loves to help mom businesses succeed. You can sign up for her free webinar here.

If you want to see my other tips for selling, packaging and displaying art please check out my Art Marketing Playlist.

I will share another video of my shop when it is open, I hope to set it up on January 1st or 2nd (I’m paying rest so I don’t want to waste a day LOL!) so stay tuned! If you have any questions on renting space in shops, Co-Ops, consigning your work or craft fairs leave them in the comments. If you have questions about ETSY sign up for Renae’s free Etsy Webinar because I really can’t help you there. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

How to Price Your Art and Crafts! {It’s Craft Fair Season!}

Hi friends! The one topic I get asked the most about (often in private messages) is pricing crafts and artwork. I don’t think that there is any point being quite about this. If we charge fair prices for our wares we are all going to do better at craft fairs and on ETSY type stores. The rising tide lifts all boats. (BTW I just found out that ETSY now allows mass producing companies to sell there so color me unimpressed.) I am an artist living in a small town who only sells locally (well, I do sell to fans who email me about stuff they have seen me make on YouTube but I don’t list crafts and artwork in an online shop) and I still manage to get a fair price for my stuff and outsell other crafters and artists at fairs. Do you want to know how? Then watch the video!

OK, here are MY successful art/craft selling rules:

  1. The price of an item must account for materials and time.
  2. Price everything. If customers do not see a price they will assume that they can’t afford it OR that the price is subject to change OR the artist does not know what to charge.
  3. Do Not Discount. If something on my table is $5 it will be $5 later in the day, that is the price. However you can reward your best customers with a deal like buy 2 get one free, especially on items you can batch up quickly. Think, instead of selling 1 pair of earrings for $5 you sell 3 for $10 without putting an item on sale, win win!
  4. Evaluate after a show, not during. At the end of the day if something did not sell at all think about why: Price? Season? Crowd? If you suspect the price was too high lower it on the NEXT show. Customers do not like to see you changing the price during shows, it will make them wait until last-minute to buy. If you sell out of an item make more and price them higher if appropriate next time. I will often give an item a couple of shows to see if it was a bummer or just the wrong crowd. Don’t spaz out and start giving your stuff away if it is not moving as quickly as you like.
  5. Grab Bags! Move inventory without slashing prices. Say you got a little carried away and, I don’t know, made 45 birds nest pendants and after a year of peddling those suckers you only sold 5. They are taking up precious space on your table which could be used to showcase new stuff. My solution is the grab bag. I make a lot of things. My top seller s $5 beaded earrings that take 10 minutes to make, I always have a surplus but I like making them so I will go though and take any pairs whose packaging is starting to look shabby and odd ball items (you made a batch of something and now have 2 left and it seems weird to only have 2 of something on the table) and the aforementioned birds nest pendents and put them in grab bags. Price these cheap, like $5 even though they contain $20 worth of perfectly good product and you will sell them out and people will look for you first next show to make sure they get one. Be sure to drop your business card in there and leave the original prices on the grab bag items so customers will know what they cost when the reorder…and they will. Grab bags lead to more sales. It is almost like a free sample.  Great, now everyone know what’s in my grab bags this year LOL!
  6. Don’t spend money to make money the first time out. Use up what you have, be creative with your current supplies so you can make a profit. A mistake I see many beginners make is they run out and buy a lot of new supplies to make stuff for their first craft fair. Cardmakers go out and buy the newest paper and stamps, sewists get new printed fabric, jewelry makers go on a bead binge. Do not do this. The people buying your handmade cards or dolls do not know or care that the paper and fabric you are using is 5 years old use up what you have and reinvest in supplies for next time. That goes for displays too, be creative, recycle and borrow. Find items that you can use to store and transport your items and use as display. Think Low overhead=more profit.
  7. Be friendly, smile but do not stalk your customers. I like to bring watercolors and watercolor cards with me. Sometimes I will paint requests on the spot if it is slow. Ether way it keeps me from coming on too strong to the customers because I tend to be excited about what I do and I do not want to scare people away. Also I juggle at my booth…I’m not sure if that is helpful or not….

I hope this helped you. If you have any questions leave a comment and I will help. I am contemplating a new craft fair this year, it is November 1st, the day after Halloween, not sure I can pull it off but at least all of my stuff is packages and priced! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Ahhhh, I can relax now -or- Christmas craft fair done!

Hmm, I couldn’t quite decide on a title for tonight’s blog post. I love doing craft fairs and preparing for them but there is a span of about a week before it happens that I am a complete stressed out lunatic. When the power was out for 4 hours yesterday I could have had a psychotic break but instead I decided to sit in my living room with the wood stove on and knock out a few more watercolor cards (and film them as tutorials, hey my camera was freshly charged LOL, they are up on my YouTube channel) rather than throw a nutty. Cuz really, what would a tantrum have solved? I changed my craft fair booth up a bit going with an “L” shaped table and using all of my booth as “shoppable space” rather than hiding behind a table. I really like it more this way. I filmed a video showing how I set up and share tips for craft fair sellers:

What do you think? OK, you are probably wondering how the show went…

…it was S-L-O-W! But, that’s OK, the people who came were ready to shop (it’s 12 days till Christmas you know!) and I was prepared for the slowness by having my watercolors and blank cards so I could create custom cards on the spot. I also found that it drew people into my booth that might have been shy about coming over, what can I say I’m quite a spectacle to behold! LOL did I mention there was juggling?

craft3

So I thought that I would offer some  more tips for those of you selling (or wanting to sell) at craft fairs:

  1. If you make jewelry, clothes or knits wear them! I got a commission to make a wrap like I was wearing for a lady, she even paid me half up front! It may seem obvious what items will look like on but you will have more buyers if you wear it! “hmmm, this is a necklace but good heavens, what will I do with it?” I am not kidding.
  2. Demonstrate a product. I brought my watercolors, a waterbrush and blank cards along in case it was slow. I painted cards on demand and people who might have walked on by stopped to watch. I also juggled which caught the eye of another vendor who snuck over to grab a set of juggling balls for her grandson. She never would have seen them otherwise!
  3. Act like you are happy to be there! Nobody wants to buy from a sourpuss. Be friendly but not stalky. Let them know you are here to help or explain anything to them. Also get to know your neighbor because you can keep an eye on each other’s booths if you need to grab a cup of coffee or go pee..and you will need to go pee after all of that coffee!
  4. Price everything. People won’t ask. Just price it.
  5. Speaking of pricing charge a fair price, you work hard at your craft, it probably is not going to make you rich but you should at least earn minimum wage for your labor. Rather than discounting a $5 pair of earrings to $3 offer 3 pair for $10 or $5 each. That way your best customers get the best deal and no one feels ripped off.  I feel the same way about offering slashed prices at the end of the day (unless it is perishable) because how would you feel if you paid full price and then walked by a booth and they were selling it cheaper to someone else? Next time that person will wait til the end of the day to buy. My prices are the same at 9am as they are at closing. I saw people giving away their stuff at the end of the day! You need to value your work and charge for your time, you are worth it.
  6. Upcycle items for display. Buying fancy displays cut into your profits and if you are a first timer it will put you into the red. Use crates and suitcases that can be used as storage and display. Build tables from saw horses and hollow doors (nobody will know after you put on a table cloth!) and use boxes and baskets to make your table tidy! Old picture frames make great displays, you can staple wire mesh to the back or add foam core to make a pin board display. You can even glue clothespins to the backing board to clip cards and stuff up on! My standing display racks were throw-aways from a local store, keep those eyes peeled when you see a shop changing displays! They might give you the old one or sell it cheap!

videothumb_craftfair

craft4 craft1
I bet the question that you all are too polite to ask is how much did I sell? Well, we are friends so I’ll tell you:  about $220, I say about because my 3 kids were hitting me up for cash throughout the day hahaha! I not going to complain, it was good considering the low turnout for the show, with a strong turnout I reckon I would have tripled it but you just never know, factors like it being so close to Christmas, the frigid coldness today and a snowstorm on the horizon for tonight may have pushed people to go to town to hit the big stores rather than a leisurely craft fair shopping day. Still it beats staying home and making nothing! 😀 I had a hunch it would be slow and I’m glad I brought my watercolors. I had a fun day and so did the shoppers and the kids who came to see Santa and partake of the candy buffet and other activities. Go into a craft fair with a positive attitude and you will do well no matter how much you sell! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

WOYWW: Ask A Crafter {week 2}

***Don’t forget to leave a comment on yesterday’s post for a chance to win a rubber stamp from About Art Accents!***

Hello friends! I really feel like I have a whole bunch of new friends this week with all of the awesome questions that were posted on my blog and my YouTube channel after the first “Ask a Crafter” video blog. We’ll get to the video in a minute but first, since it is What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday, here is a picture of my workdesk today.

DCF 1.0

Not much happening, I bought a french knitter last week with a 50% off joann coupon because I wanted to try making some beaded jewelry on it. I’ll let you know how it goes;) I think I’ll use the gold crochet thread and some champagne colored “E” beads for my first go, wish me luck! I still have the shimmer watercolors out that I used on yesterday’s faux stained glass cards too. Well it is time for the weekly video blog, I have to warn you, it is long because I answered EVERY question that you asked! I sure hope you find the info useful. Next week, I’ll be more brief…I’ll try anyway! Maybe you could pretend it’s a podcast and just listen while you fold laundry or something LOL!

What do you think, long huh? Well, I’ll keep the written part of this post short and you can check out other crafty desks and join in all of the WOYWW fun! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

My First Spring Craft Fair Experience!

Howdy folks! Now gather ’round y’all and hear the tale of my latest crafty adventure: Selling crafts at the local Parent Teacher Group Spring Fair. I have been taking my kids to our school Spring Fair since they were toddlers. It is not a craft fair, it is  a carnival like fair with bounce houses, games, photo booth, hair salon and a huge silent auction. The proceed benefit the PTG which provide funding for field trips, technology and classroom supplies for the teachers… basically they pay for everything the school budget does not. Cost for a table was $15. There is always a big crowd and everyone has a great time!

craft4

I vaguely remembered they had vendors at this event (I was usually too busy chasing after my kids to notice LOL!) so this year when the form went out I was the first to sign up and I requested the spot in the breeze-way between the gym (where all of the games were) and the cafeteria where all of the food was sold and auction was being held. I knew most people would pass right by my booth several times during their visit and since I was the fist one to fill out my form and send my $15 payment I got the spot.

craft1

I was allowed to set up my booth the night before. They wanted to make sure it was not going to stick out too much and block traffic. Also if it was not going to work they were going to put me in the cafeteria and they would rather know that the night before and not the morning before the event. Tearing down a booth and moving would take time!

craft5

I planned to push my table against the wall so I could lean my two large display boards against the wall. I put a rack at each end of the table, one for cards and one for packages barrettes and pendents. I had one more rack I could have brought but I didn’t want to press my luck! 😛

craft2

What worked…and what did not…

People did not have time to stop and browse, almost all of the women were chasing after their kids or volunteering. There is not much in my booth for men (who probably were not thinking about mother’s day yet LOL!) A couple of people asked to shop early because they would be working all day (yes please!) and I had a fair amount of children shopping, they really liked the bright bottle cap jewelry my daughters made! Next year (yes, I am totally doing this fair again) I will have some more kid-themed products to appeal to the children at a lower price point that kids can afford. My Enchanted Bubble Wands were my top seller at $5 each, also were my $5 earrings, I made a batch of summer lampwork glass earrings that went over great. Never underestimate novelty! As I was setting up my earring display board and was thinking that if I made my earring cards half the size I could get twice as much on the board but I think that would be a mistake because the stamped ATC frames showcase the earrings better that small traditional cards would. The large shopping bag caddies also sold pretty well when people knew what the heck they were LOL! People were worried about pulling out the bags and messing up my display, “don’t worry about that, pull them out and have a look!” I said. It is important to be OK with people rifling through your wares, don’t worry about it. Remember who needs who more in this relationship. If people are afraid to touch anything you won’t sell anything!

craft3

That said your display should look nice, nice but approachable. Smile and talk about your work. Price everything. Tell people what a product is if it is not obvious, a lot of people won’t ask because they don’t wan to look foolish. Engage your customers but don’t be pushy, you don’t want people to sprint by your table because they are afraid you will snare them LOL!

craft7

Bottom Line: I set a goal of $300 in sales for this 3 hour fair. I knew this goal was high because people do not come to the carnival to shop but the crowd is huge here so I figured people in need of mother’s day cards and gifts as well as goodies for themselves would make up for that. I sold about 40 items. I’m glad I brought a variety of things because sales were all over the place, there were a lot of things I sold only 1 of like a matted watercolor, a set of juggling balls, a bird’s nest pendent…if I decided to leave anything home who knows how I would have done? Cards sold well, mostly mother’s day seed packet cards but other random ones did too. You just never know. I came in at a little over half of my goal but more importantly the knowledge of what to do next time so I am more profitable. I am not discouraged at all, anytime you attempt vending at a fair you gather data, pay attention to the shopping habits of a particular crowd. I had nothing breakable on my table so it was approachable for all (heck I could have taken out my displays with my juggling balls at any moment LOL!) no worries of ruining anything.

craft6

I’m thinking with all of the inventory I currently have I might rent a stall at an antiques mall. I have done it a couple of times before and it was quite profitable and a place to keep merchandise when not at shows. I feel like I am really getting the hang of setting up/tearing down a show (thanks Kath for helping mt tear down LOL!) and honestly, I just have a ball! I hope I have helped anyone thinking about selling their crafts.  I want to share what worked for me and what did not to hopefully help others. Making stuff is awesome fun & selling it is pretty cool too! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

WOYWW: Talkin’ ’bout beads!

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday folks! I have to report that the Easter Bunny was very good to me this year (imagine that, 36 years old and the Easter Bunny still leaves a basket for me at my parents house, I must have been really good this year…no wait, that CAN”T be it LOL!) I got a basket full of beads and 2 more Ultimate Stackers to start filling! With new beads comes sorting and that is what I have been up to:

DCF 1.0

I also have to send out a lovely hug and thank you to Ginny who saw my WOYWW post last week about my new-to-me sewing machine that did not come with any accessories and low and behold she had spare parts for that model and she sent them to me, for free! She is such a  sweetie and a talented artist as well. Thanks so much Ginny!

DCF 1.0

So as I was sorting (and beading) I got tot thinking about my upcoming craft fair and remembered all of the questions people had about selling at craft fairs last winter so I decided to answer them in a video blog…I’m thinking about doing a video blog every week and talk about random crafty stuff, what do you think?

I held some of my current projects up to the camera but it is hard to see in a video so here are some photos of this weeks projects so far, basic stringing but it great for showcasing unique beads!

DCF 1.0 DCF 1.0 DCF 1.0 DCF 1.0 DCF 1.0 DCF 1.0 DCF 1.0

Well that’s it for me, I still have all of those boxes of beads to put away LOL! I get so distracted by them…I’ll just make a few little pretties before I pack them all up, famous last words right? They will probably still be on my desk next week! If you want to see more crafty desks hop over to Julia’s blog for more WOYWW fun and til next time happy crafting!

%d bloggers like this: