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Thursday, January 15, 2009

To craft fair or not to craft fair?

So, I found out yesterday that there's this craft fair happening in May of this year in a town called Griffin, GA called Hatch Market. It's right up the handmade alley, ergo, my alley. Now the big thing is that I'm wondering if I should try to apply. The booth fee is inexpensive ($85), they give you a skirted table, chair and sign with your business, hometown and website on it. Now I'd need to get a credit card merchant account. I can do that for about $40/year so that's not too bad and the fees aren't that bad. Griffin is about 70 miles away from where I'm at. Not sure if I could potentially get ready in time as I haven't ever done a fair before and I'd need to buy some display stuff and make a ton of pieces. That and I'd have to sell about $300 worth of stuff to break even.


  1. Desiree,

    Go ahead and check out my Art Daily post on craft fairs... it's a good introduction to that world.

    I love craft fairs and always make well more than I paid in fees. Is it a multi-day event? If so, the $85 isn't bad... but if it's a single day event, I'd rethink it.

    What you should do first is tally up direct costs (fee, travel cost, food, drinks) related to your show. I don't count display or jewelry costs here, just the base amount it will cost you to get there.

    Then I look at costs I spread out over time -- things such as display shelving that can be reused, table cloths, etc. I look at the number of craft fairs I'd like to average per year and divide it out. IE: $200 in display shelves, spread over 8 craft fairs per year, for one year = $25 per craft fair.

    I never count product cost there, as you'll sell your product eventually.

    Then just take the direct costs and add it to the indirect costs, and you'll see how much you need to make just to cover those costs. If you'd like, factor in the cost of your time as well.

    I've noticed that craft fairs will make you more money the more you do them, because you're able to average out the costs of supplies over a few shows. Buying a $200 tent to do one show is a lot, buying a $200 tent and using it 10 times a year for five years isn't that bad. Are there other fairs there you can go to? Do you want to count the goodwill and exposure as positives (advertising!!!)?

    I hope I've helped you a little bit! Whatever you do decide, I hope it works out for you :) Take care,


  2. Hi Desiree,


    Am sure you can do it, if all plannings are made properly..


  3. If nothing else go to it, look around it and get ideas for your displays, and design of your booth. Unlike me who jumped in with her feet wet one year and looked like a big idiot. I still don't have want I want to make my displays, but I am working toward that now so I can go back in and look more professional. Even so I still did pretty good. Is this a big city? Or a really huge one nearby? Think May isn't too far off from people receive their taxes so it could turn out to be really good for you also.