Top 4 Fringe Benefits of Vending at a Craft Show
There are some benefits to participating in a craft fair that are obvious- providing things that people will enjoy, getting immediate feedback, and hopefully making a little money. But there are some unexpected fringe benefits as well. Alone, they might not be enough to motivate you to pull long hours making things, dealing with taxes and accounting, or waking up before dawn- but they sure are nice perks!

#4 First choice shopping before the doors even open.

I got these naked people earrings before the doors even opened at The Big Crafty.

A friend got this for me- Mystery Art from artist Keely Graber (above). She wrapped different pieces of art in opaque Kraft Paper, and for a fee you got to choose one blind from her suitcase.

#3 Trading with other artists and designers for cool stuff.

Traded for these bright crocheted and felted brooches from Happy Trees.

#2 Free promotional stuff from god-knows-who.

You never know what could be in the promotional bag that the craft fair organizers sometimes provide to vendors. It's usually something really interesting, or a strange new product that a local company is testing or promoting. At the Big Crafty we got this 45, an organic energy drink, and some coupons to local businesses. At Rock & Shop we got a neon green tote bag and tons of yummy snacks!

#1 Getting advice from more experienced artists and crafters.

Learned about the Atlanta craft scene and traded some hair clips with Yvonne of Four Footed Art, and now I have this hanging on my wall (above).

Chatted with booth neighbor, artist Paul Friedrich (Onion Head Monster) in Raleigh.

Trading secrets and experiences is by far my favorite perk, though mostly it's me asking the seasoned crafters/artists tons of questions. It's kind of like a mini business conference, but much more interesting. I get my fix of talking about this stuff, so there's the added bonus that I don't have to drive my friends and family as crazy talking about Stitch Machine and business 24 hours a day.

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