I’ve been doing craft shows for about 6 years now with my crafting BFF, Marisela.  She and I started out as total rookies, but we’ve learned a ton.  We both started our Etsy stores before we entered the craft show game and while there are a few similarities there are TONS of differences!

I wanted to share all these things because when I first started there wasn’t a ton of info out there.  Some, yes.  But not THESE goodies.  And friend- I want you to be the Belle of the Ball!  Whether you’re just starting to enter craft shows, are starting a pop up shoppe, or are wanting to see your sales boost at your shows- these will help you get there.

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1.Your display is everything.  EVERYTHING.  Maybe even more important than your products themselves.  

Yeah, yeah, yeah- that sounds terrible, I know.  As an artist, of course you want to put your time and energy into designing your projects.  But I have seen so many incredibly talented artists, sitting in their booths with their products on a table… and no one even stops to look at all their hard work.  However- if you want to WOW people with those very same products, here are some things to think on.

  • If you had a store front, what “feel” would you want?  There’s a reason why Starbucks is a huge hit- the atmosphere there is FANTASTIC.  Comfy, stylish chairs, fun music, the aesthetic is YASSS.  As a pop up shoppe you want people to feel your aesthetic the moment they see and walk into your booth.  What does that mean, logistically?  Decide on your vibe: rustic, modern, vintage, industrial, cottage chic, etc.  Look around on Pinterest if you need help.
  • Once you’ve nailed down your vibe, start looking for display pieces to match.  I buy tons of used items from garage sales/thrift stores and make them into what I want.  You will need to spend the same amount of time/money on your display items as you do on creating your product.  This is a non negotiable.  You want your store’s aesthetic to breathe who you are.  This attracts the right buyers to your booth/pop up before they ever even see your products.
  • Don’t forget the details:  Packaging, clear pricing, product descriptions.  All of it should be well thought through and executed- don’t skimp out here.
  • Think vertically.  Make sure that you have your products at multiple levels.  Don’t ever just leave your products on a table.  Think shelving, hanging, high and low.  We love to hang bunting through our booth- it raises your eye line and looks so fun that it just draws people in.

2. Be Friendly.

This should be a given, right?  But oh friend- it is not.  So many artists around us make the fatal mistake of quietly sitting, head down, only talking to shoppers if they are spoken first.  No!  Friend! No!  I know it is such a scary thing to put yourself out there but you HAVE TO be brave and outgoing!  You can do it!  So many times people were about to walk past our booth without looking at our product, but because we said “Hi!” with a smile, they came in and often made a purchase!  But make sure that your kindness doesn’t fade if they don’t buy.  Be kind and thankful- no matter what.

3. Be Cautious About Custom Orders.

I was originally so desperate for business that I thought “custom” was the way to go.  But there are some tricky, unforeseen circumstances that can arise when you do so.  If you decide to go for custom orders, make sure your boundaries are clear and that the agreed upon final product is understood completely by both parties.

4. Get a Square Reader.

You could also use PayPal or Etsy readers but I just really love Square the most.  It has the easiest to use interface, is fast and easy to set up and I personally think it trumps the others.  The simple reader is free and costs a small fee every time it is used but FRIEND- you NEED it!!  People just don’t carry cash around like they used to.  Having a card reader is a MUST.

5.  Offer Multiple Price Points.

If you have a super fun booth everyone is going to want a piece of the pie, but not everyone will come ready to drop serious cash.  By offering multiple price points/items, you increase your chance of more sales by appealing to a wider audience.  However, don’t take this so far that you underprice your work.

I hope these few tips help in your venture!  What other tips are you looking for for your upcoming show?  Tell me!  I want to know!

xoxo Erica

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