Tackling a Craft Show
Key craft show tips and a must-have checklist
If you are just starting to sell your jewelry, a craft show can be a great first step. You'll get an idea of what sells and at what price. You'll be able to see what the competition is offering and network a bit, and you'll probably get more honest feedback that you would from a home show at a friend's place. There seems to be more and more jewelry sold at craft shows lately, so it's important to try to stand out. Using unusual, vintage, personalized, or handmade components is always a good idea.
Even a one-day local craft show is a commitment of time and money to set up an attractive table or booth. You'll notice that the show "pros" have usually invested a lot of time and money into their booths, but if you're just dipping a toe in, you can put together an inviting, professional space without going broke.
Maximize the results of all your hard work and creativity by being organized and prepared. The checklist below assumes that it's an indoor show and that a table and chair is provided by the venue. If not, a table and chair are the first items needed - after you inventory, of course.
Note: Your inventory should be enough to supply a well-stocked (but not cluttered) booth, with back-up items to fill in as jewelry is sold.
Things you need
Optional items are in italics.
* Bags, tissue paper, gift boxes
* Basic information on gemstones and birthstones
* Booth buddy, for bathroom and food breaks
* booth first-aid kit: scissors, Scotch tape, lint brush, spray cleaner, paper towels, stapler, duct tape
* Business cards, card holder
* Business license
* Busy work: something to amuse, not completely absorb
* Camera to record your finished display
* Cash (a range of denominations for making change)
* Comfy shoes
* Credit card signage
* Credit card slips, credit-card imprinter, or a credit card smart-phone app
* earring backs (consider just having them in a bowl instead of on the earrings, so customers can remove the earrings from the display)
* Extra price tags
* Guest book or mailing list to collect e-mail addresses for future show announcements
* Hand truck or dolly if you have a lot of large display or storage pieces
* Human first-aid kit: pain reliever, antacids, Band-Aids, hand sanitizer, tissues
* Inventory list
* Jewelry first aid kit: common findings and tools to make adjustments
* Light and extension cord
* Notebook for ideas, notes, commissions, etc.
* Polishing cloth
* Phone charger
* receipt book
* Rolling suitcase to carry everything
* Show paperwork
* Small bowl of candy
* Small holiday table decorations (if appropriate)
* Snacks (eat lightly throughout the day, as opposed to wolfing down a Big Mac in front of customers)
* Sweater (dress in layers so you can adjust to the room temperature)
* Table banner
* table cloth, display items (neck forms, trays with rice, boxes to create different levels, earring tree, etc.)
* Table skirt
* Tape measure
* Trash bag
Taking the show on the road? Scope out the nearest stores for emergency supplies and print out directions (or bring a GPS) so you don't get lost.