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View Full Version : Craft fairs and selling events- where are they?!



HannahJewelleryDesigns
20-04-2010, 04:26 PM
Evening all!
I'm trying to sort out some craft fairs and selling shows for this year (and next if early booking is required!) but I never seem to find out about them until its too late. To all those who do this type of event- where do you find out about craft fairs in time to prepare enough stock and how do you know if the organiser is reputable if you havent done one before? :(|
Its my first proper foray into selling events and funds are a bit limited so I dont want to get stuck in one thats not right or badly marketed (I dont suppose anyone does though!). I just dont know where to look. :help:

Ta very much!

HannahJewelleryDesigns
20-04-2010, 04:27 PM
Oops cant spell- I want CRAFT fairs not CARFT fairs!!!! Sorry!

ps_bond
20-04-2010, 06:47 PM
What spelling? ;)

caroleallen
20-04-2010, 08:29 PM
The Craft and Design Magazine is a really good place to start. It used to be called Craftsman Magazine. Craft Fairs and Crafts Events in the UK (http://www.craftanddesign.net/events/)
In fact, I'd thoroughly recommend the magazine as it's a really interesting read and shows all the top end crafts and is a good source of inspiration.

stu_clouds
20-04-2010, 09:03 PM
Hannah,

are you looking for small village type craft fairs or big national shows? we stand at a lot of large agricultural shows & airshows. For two day events in a craft tent with an 8ft stall we pay from 300 upto 700 the smaller craft events are widely priced from 10-100. You best bet is to search online also look for the events book (unsure of exact name) its a book that gives details of all events in the UK for the year. We used it a couple of years ago and it has given us enough contacts for a long time. Sorry i cannot be of more help, i cant really give you details of each show i trade at, that would not be very good business practice.

Stu

HannahJewelleryDesigns
26-04-2010, 09:13 AM
:D Oh the spelling fairy has been!

Thanks Carole, I have been umming and ahhing as to whether a subscription to Craft and Design was really needed- now i can justify it!

I had been thinking about applying for 'Desire' probably in Richmond and wondered if anyone had done it before? Any good or bad experiences to share?
Ta very much :ta:

ps_bond
26-04-2010, 09:35 AM
Who're you calling a fairy? :D

I've not exhibited at Desire, but it's a target. Have you been along to one? Some very, very impressive work to be seen there.

caroleallen
26-04-2010, 05:28 PM
I did Desire the first year and it was reasonably good but not fantastic. I expect it's much better now. I'd consider doing it again. I'm doing Henley with Crafts in Focus for the second time in May and that's a very popular show. It's always difficult though to get in with the top shows if you're a jeweller. Even if you decide not to do it this year, it's a good idea to apply as you may get in next year.

HannahJewelleryDesigns
26-04-2010, 07:38 PM
Sorry Peter, that didnt come out quite right!! :">

I went to Desire in Richmond last year and was a bit blown away by the work on show, its definately a target for me too. But it was smaller than I had imagined and not very easy to find, but there seemed to be quite a lot of trade happening which must mean that Im just rubbish with directions if all the other customers found it ok!

I havent been to a Crafts in Focus event yet, but if its that good I will have a better look at them. I suppose with the sheer amount of jewellers applying for these events I will probably have to apply a few times before being accepted.

Thanks very much, really useful advice as always :Y:

caroleallen
26-04-2010, 08:12 PM
Your stuff is lovely Hannah and really different. You stand a very good chance.

jewellerybymia
29-04-2010, 08:07 PM
Hello :)

You can try the stallfinder website, there are some really good fairs listed there. I can't post the full link yet, but if you put stallfinder into google it will just come up. The other option is to look for other card makers, soap makers, jewellers etc in your area and check out events on their website. I know it's a bit cheeky, but normally works. ;)

Mia x

Somersetmaker
22-05-2010, 09:09 AM
A word of caution.
I've done Desire in both Richmond and Winchester and have exhibited at a number of shows run by Crafts in Focus and other major show organisers over the years.
Currently there are a huge number of jewellers on the show circuit and exhibitors in many other media seem to be falling away. Consequently many shows have inordinate numbers of jewellery exhibitors plus so many other makers are also making jewellery, so much so that the public are really aware of the imbalance.
Also there are some people who 'design' their jewellery (it is said) and get it made up in the Far East and sell it cheaply tho there is quite a movement amongst jewellers against this.
These shows are also very expensive and unless you are very lucky you'll also have to add accomodation / petrol etc to your costs. Add to this the high metal prices and you have quite an uphill struggle on your hands in a time of reduced spending by the public.

So look at the whole picture critically before you dive in.

Having said that, Good Luck Hannah!

caroleallen
22-05-2010, 10:39 AM
I'd second that, it's really difficult to get into shows with jewellery. I applied to several Crafts in Focus shows this year but only got into Henley. I did OK but several top end and established jewellers said that sales were well down this year. Most of my sales were between 25 and 80.

Somersetmaker
22-05-2010, 10:42 AM
And you had a really peachy spot this time! I had my lowest takings ever for Henley, Hatfield and Penshurst (tho it has to be said the weather wasn't helping <_< )

HannahJewelleryDesigns
25-05-2010, 12:13 PM
Hmm I will have to have a re-think about the Craft in Focus events then I think... Im still just about breaking even so I cant eally afford to do a show with a big fee and accommodation etc. Thanks for the words of warning Somersetmaker and Carole (you are always a font of knowledge!) I will keep them in mind though.
I think im going to have to broaden my price range and try for a few smaller shows to get some sales coming in then build up to the big ones. Stallfinder might be a good way to start that- thanks Mia:Y:

caroleallen
25-05-2010, 01:25 PM
You have to build up your profile though, and the better shows are the places to be seen. If sales aren't great, just think of it as PR. I get orders from all over the country which could only be because people have seen my work somewhere. I think your work is different enough Hannah to get noticed. People seen to love colour in their jewellery at the moment.

stu_clouds
25-05-2010, 01:49 PM
You have to build up your profile though, and the better shows are the places to be seen. If sales aren't great, just think of it as PR. I get orders from all over the country which could only be because people have seen my work somewhere. I think your work is different enough Hannah to get noticed. People seen to love colour in their jewellery at the moment.


Very good advice, with the current financial problems trade at shows has dropped off, but i now see them as big advertising and brand building exercises. Looking at the long term i am giving out cards to more or less every 'browser' and just connecting with them making sure they realise my jewellery is made in wales and not just bought in like most of my competition. Ok they may not all purchase but fingers crossed i get a few regulars on the website. i have done four big shows this season so far and picked up commissions and new internet customers already so although the show may only make a small profit there and they continue to pay into the future.

I started slowly building up my show calender 3 years ago doing 1 or 2 shows then upto 6 then this summer i am doing 16 shows.

Give them a try and good luck

Stu x

HannahJewelleryDesigns
25-05-2010, 05:53 PM
16 SHOWS?! holy cow :-O

Thats mad! I might try and apply for a few bigger shows and see how I get on- I'll worry about paying for it if I get picked!

Jewellery especially is so over saturated at the moment but I do try to stand out :dance:

caroleallen
25-05-2010, 07:29 PM
Blimey 16 shows! I've cut right back on shows this year. I've only got 2 now before October. It's a bit scary but I've found that internet sales and gallery sales have picked up considerably this year, so I'm not noticing a loss of income. I think all those years of doing anything and everything are finally paying off.

stu_clouds
25-05-2010, 10:10 PM
Blimey 16 shows! I've cut right back on shows this year. I've only got 2 now before October. It's a bit scary but I've found that internet sales and gallery sales have picked up considerably this year, so I'm not noticing a loss of income. I think all those years of doing anything and everything are finally paying off.

Im hoping our internet sales will rise once the new site goes live, i just see the shows as very big footfall events and alot of potential customers, really its just as cheap as paying for google adwords with the customers also able to pick up and check our quality. Im pleased you have had some serious success with your website and galleries.

Stu