Arts & Crafts Show Business
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Good, wise, clever thoughts

There's no business like
Arts & Crafts
Show Business

Turn your craft hobby into a business

Do you have a craft you love so much that your house is over flowing with your beautiful work?  Share your talent with the world.  Sell your creations at shows. 

     To get started find a show (or several) that sounds interesting.  Send a SASE (self-address -stamped number ten or standard business envelope) to the contact address and request an application and information on the event.

     After receiving their packet and reading the information and decide if you are interested in that show.  If you are, follow their instructions precisely.  If there is a deadline but if it has passed, call them anyway. Some deadlines are set in cement while others are more flexible.  Most promoters will ask for slides and/or photos of your work and one of your display set up. Always send what they specify. 

     If they ask for slides and the jury committee opens your envelope with photos, you could be immediately juried out. When they are set up to view slides in the dark, the committee will not stop and turn on the light in order to pass around your photos. If they ask for photos, they may not be equipped to view slides.

     Space fees can range from five dollars to several hundred dollars.  A few events require a jury/processing/application fee be paid to view your slides or photos. If you do not get in, you will get back your space fee, but you will not get back your jury/processing/application fee which can between $5 and $50.  If you are not experienced, you may want to avoid these shows until you are more knowledgeable.   

     Potential customers fuss over beautiful work, but they buy the most unexpected things. Learn what it is you make that people will actually pay money for.  This is a trial and error process.  Don't make too many of any one item at first. Working hard is good, but working smart is better.

     Most events require you to furnish your own tables, stands, etc.  Remember you will be carrying them out at the end of the day and you will be tired.  Make them sturdy but light.  Canopies are usually option but may be required at a few shows.  Pop-up tents are handy but extra precautions need to be made in order to keep them from turning into a kite and flying away in the wind.  All canopies will need some kind of anchoring method.  Even a light breeze can cause one to shift and damage merchandise. 

     Prepare for wind, rain, hunger and thirst.  Also, take your pills if you need them.  Take change.  Secure your money to your person or your display.   Thieves do work the shows so beware.  Don't allow yourself to be distracted.  Beware of large purchases with checks.  If you must take a check, ask for a drivers license and write the number down on the check.  Look at the photo on the license and make sure it is the person standing before you.  Look at the check number.   Most bad checks have a check number under 200.  Use your common sense at all times.  

     Some shows will be great, most will be good. A few will be bad. However, even the bad shows can be worthwhile. You have time to talk to other exhibitors and learn from them, and you can't do this at busy shows.  Most fellow exhibitors will be very willing to share information and experiences.

      One very important thing, check into the state tax requirements before doing your first show.   Some states will issue you a temporary tax certificate and others require you to apply for a permanent one.  Most of the information you will need is just plain, common sense.  Every thing else you can learn as you go.  Advice and information is there for the asking.

     This is a wonderful business. You get paid to do something you really enjoy doing while traveling and meeting the most interesting people.  But be warned - this is an addictive business. Once you get involved, you will never want to quit.