day 2: deciding to be in a craft show


For many years friends have told me that I should be selling the things I make in craft shows. I have thought about it a lot and always said, “I’m too busy,”  “I have so much going on,” “People won’t buy my things.”  For some reason, this is the year I said, “I am going to start my own business, sell my things on Etsy and maybe do a craft show.”

In July I meet with friends for a play-date, one of the mama’s, Jamie (who is an awesome friend and artist, her business is Renewable Jewels) said “I just sent in my application for the Davis Art Center Holiday Show.  You should do it Molly!”  I first thought, “I don’t have time,” and said, “Okay, I will send in my application.”  That evening I printed out the application, chatted with John about it and started to fill it out.

There are a few things you will need to send in applications for craft shows.  This is what the application I filled out required (they are all different, some more complicated, so I am told):

  1. Basic Information, name, address, business name, email website
  2. Description of your work
  3. Price range
  4. Photos, usually 5 to 6 showing the quality of your work

Number 1- easy; don’t think I need to explain

Number 2- Description of your work; this was a bit tricky for me; it’s hard for me to describe what I do.  After many revisions, major help from John, I came up with this:

“Using vintage fabrics and finds, I create children’s clothing and whimsical playthings.  Stitching from embroidered pillowcases, handkerchiefs, tablecloths, rick-rack and found fabrics, I design: dresses & skirts, crafting aprons & crayon portfolios, flower hairclips and jewelry”

Sounds good to me

Number 3- Price Range, this was simple, I guessed.  Pricing is tricky, we will chat more about it another day.

Number 4- Photos- Oye! Photos, why this brings me a bit of anxiety I do not know.  I set up a space in the living room, hung up my pieces and took pictures until they looked okay.  I need practice in this area.  I had a bunch of them printed and picked what I thought were the best.

Toss everything in an envelope and drop it in the mail, I was really nervous when the envelope left my hand.  What if I don’t get in?  At this point, I want to be in that show no matter what.  And about a month later, I got an email from the art center, “Congratulations!” were the first words of the email, I didn’t read the rest until after I called John and my mom.

Now there is the contract to fill out.  Simple, but with a few bumps, bumps because I don’t know the answers.

  • Do you need electrical outlets?
  • Do you need wall for display?
  • Do you have your own booth partitions? If so, how tall?

These questions stumped me.  I haven’t started planning out my booth space yet, I just found out I got into the show, my first show. I know I want my space to be shabby, vintage, cutesy, so I will thrift shutters or something like that for partitions, and will want to use wall space because I could lean things against a wall, and maybe I could get a super cute lamp to have in the space.  Therefore I said yes to all these questions.  More to come of the booth design, once I get to it.

The other question that stumped me was:  Resale Number?

Okay, turned out not to be too tricky here in California.  I just logged onto the CA Board of Equalization, answered many crazy questions such as

  • Will you be selling tires, used or new?
  • Will you be importing fuel?
  • Will you be importing foods?

“NO! I just want to sell the things I make for kiddos!” I got a bit giggly, but after a few hours I had my resale number. Woo Hoo!

This morning I was at the post office again, with completed contract and check for booth fees (this show the booth fees are low but they do ask for a percentage of your sales) shoved into an envelope.  This time, when the envelope left my hand, I was nervous again, but this time it’s because I have now committed to do this. Time to get super busy, I have less than eight weeks before the show to get “everything” done.  (What is everything?  Well that would be my goal inventory, more on that tomorrow).

3 thoughts on “day 2: deciding to be in a craft show

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