Miss Willow's woven pot holders, The Big Crafty, Summer 2010
Now is the time to apply to spring craft fairs if you plan to sell outdoors in March/April/May. Summer applications are also just around the corner. I'm planning to scale back on craft fairs this year in order to focus on my online shop, but I have learned a lot about applying to craft fairs over the last few years.
Here are my Top Tips:
1. Cater your application to the feel of the particular craft fair you are applying for. For example, if I were applying to a more conservative fair I would emphasize my simple snap button clips and pinwheels. If it were a more edgy/indie type of festival I would include photos of my sculpted satin hair clips and custom work. Be truthful, but remember: Just like you, your biz is a multi-faceted animal and can be presented in more than one way.
2. Show your personality and professionalism. But be sure to adhere to the application guidelines. Only include the number of images they ask for, and avoid trying to be clever by sending collages or split photos. Sending more than asked for will annoy the jury. It's nice to include a photo of you making one of your items if they ask for several photos. Make sure your application will stand out from the crowd by sending crisp photos and concise, interesting descriptions. Put your very best foot forward.
3. Be sure to do your research and assess if the event is really worth your time. Who will the audience be? How much will you spend in gas to get there? How much does it cost to apply? How much time will you have to make things between now and then? Make your best assessment. If you feel good about it or are on the fence, you might give it a try. But if you have a bad feeling, you may want to skip it, no matter how cool it sounds. Craft fairs can be fun places to make money and and meet new and existing customers, but they can also be a way to lose money if you're not careful.