Selling Your Handmade Wares

Posted by in Needle&Thread

Last weekend, my friend Laura and I showed our stash (it’s G-rated, don’t worry) at a craft show at the local Intermediate High school that was a fundraiser for their softball team.

It was our second craft show, and between the two of us?  We broke even.

Which means, the space we rented for the show was $35 and Laura sold a (gorgeous crocheted) hat for $20. She paid $20 and I paid $15 for the booth (because that’s what she told me it cost, and then when I googled the show for the purposes of linking to it for this blog I saw that she didn’t make me pay as much as she did – because that’s the kind of friend she is).

I didn’t sell a blessed thing.  So…I have a $15 deficit, but together, we broke even.

We were both really excited for this show.  We showed our stuff at a very small craft show back in November and she actually sold more (it was christmas buying season), and I, again, didn’t sell anything. Well, I take that back.  Laura actually felt bad and commissioned 4 stockings from me. So.

…I made about $25 (stockings were $40, and we paid $15 for the space) and she broke even for that show.

But this craft show was MUCH bigger, and we had many more people walk past our tables.

So why didn’t we do well?

We are super new to this craft show thing. There was a huge range of craft vendors there – gorgeous hand-made items all the way to super cheesy cat beds or polyester-crocheted hand towels.  I think between the two of us, Laura’s crocheted items were on the top end of hand-made items, and mine were just under.  I didn’t hand-sew my quilts, and only parts of my materials were top-quality (I use a mix of vintage and modern fabrics). A lot of people walked past us carrying out “Americana lawn ornaments” like fence posts draped with American flags and barn stars painted with the stars and stripes.

Our demographic is farm people. We live in a small town an hour north of Pittsburgh, with lots and lots of farms dotting our county.

Do we need to show Americana crocheted hats (Laura) and stars-and-stripes trivets and handbags (me) when we have shows in our county?  Do we need to travel to craft shows closer to the big city to find buyers?  Does pricing have anything to do with making some money at craft shows? We are so new to this, so if anyone reading can help us out, we’d love some advice.

Here is Laura’s Crochet Etsy Shop. (BelleAme Crochet Co.)

Here is my Hand-sewn Etsy Shop. (SewSmithical)

Laura’s Crocheted Display

My table – stockings, blankets, bags