This week I wanted to talk about my Art Fairs where I sell my Recycled Glass Art. I started doing art fairs in 2004. Started at the Artisan & Farmers Market in Elkhart Lake. I found right away that I love to craft art and enjoy sharing it with the world. Since 2004 I have learned many things to do at art fairs and many many things not to do.
Here is a list of a few Do's and Don't if you are thinking about joining the many artist that travel from town to town selling their art.
- Respect your neighbor - stay in your area and never have your items in fridge in their space.
- As for how much items to bring to sell....I have learned over the years...you can NEVER be totally prepared for all customers....so please do not try. After many years...I bring what I can and always explain to the customers where I will be next. If the customer really wants a item..the customer will be willing to go out of their way for the item. When I have a customer like that...I always add something free to the order.
- Have money change - take CREDIT - I use SquareUp - A excellent charging system! I love it! No annual or monthly fees and only 2.75% charge per transaction. There are many companies that offer charging service. My favorite is SquareUp
- Outside fairs: Be prepared for any type of weather. WIND: needs weights to hold down your tent and also have a system to hold down your signs. Make sure your display is wind ready. Rain....have sides for your tent and be prepared to down size your selling space. In nice weather you can enjoy the whole area your are given, but in rain you need to be about a foot inside the tent.
- Be careful when accepting SPECIAL ORDERS.....as a artist your opinion and the person requesting the special order may not be the same. Be careful that you can meet their expectations and always ask for a $$$ down-payment. When a customer gives you a down payment you know they are serious about the order. Numerous times I have taken special orders with no down payment and they change their minds.
- Always bring your confirmation and fair information with you to the fair.
- BE prepared to rearrange your booth at every fair. No two fairs are the same. Being prepared will save you much grief and reduce your stress.
- Make sure your items are marked. People expect to check prices.
- DO NOT OVER EXTEND yourself. I have done this and so have many of my friends. Set a do-able schedule and stick to it. This is so important....I personally took almost 6 months off from doing fairs..because I was totally burnt out
- DO NOT judge yourself or your art by the customer you have at your booth. Art is the opinion of the person that designs it. You are a artist...stay true to yourself.
- Be on time for the fairs....never set-up late. This causes much drama for the artist that already are set up and were timely.
- Never promise a customer something you can not deliver.
I am sure with this holiday season just starting...I will be adding more and more things to this list. I will be making this topic a post once time a month during November, December and a wrap up in January. This is a great time of year to work on a What to DO and What Not to DO LIst for Art Fairs. The holidays seem to bring out the crazy things!
Here are a couple pics from my fair yesterday: