Craft Show Tip: 7 Reasons You Should Be Planning for Craft Shows Now

Planning for Craft Shows

We’re coming to the end of January.  Do you know what craft shows you’re doing this year?

You may be thinking, “Wait a minute.  It’s January.  Isn’t it a little early to start planning?”

We just got through the holidays and spring seems a long way off, but yes, it is time to start figuring out what craft shows you want to apply to.

7 Reasons Why You Should Be Planning for Craft Shows Now:

1.  It’s great to know what shows you’ll be doing for the year so you can have an idea of the amount of products you’re going to need to produce to get ready for the shows.

Each show you’ll do you’ll sell your products and you’ll need more.  You’ll need to have an idea of how many things you’ll need to make per week to get ready for each show.

2.  Some craft shows have early deadlines to get in.  If you check now you can probably still get in (except for some that may have yearlong waiting lists or very early application deadlines.)  Make sure you’re sending in your application on time to make sure you get into the shows you want to do.

3.  The new Art and Craft Show Directories just came out for the year.  You can go through and pick out what shows you want to go for, see prices, what they require and find out how to apply.  I usually find mine at a craft supply store.

4.  If it’s a really popular show, you might need to get on a waiting list.  Better to take care of that now.  I know for the big craft show in my hometown if you apply in January or later they’ll look at your application for the following year.  (The show is in August.)   But if you keep waiting you’ll never get on that list.

5.  You can plan your schedule and then print it up to give out or post it on your website.  The sooner you know what shows you’re doing, the sooner you can tell people.

6.  Now is a great time to work on your booth design and work out any kinks and design what components you’d like to add.  Then you can start gathering/building those components now to get ready for Craft Show season.

7.  You can buy my Craft Show Tips eBook and read and study it so you’re prepared when craft show season hits.

I hope you’ll start thinking about getting ready for craft show season now.

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Jewelry Making Tip: Cutting Chain

Jewelry Making Tip:  Cutting Chain

This is a quick tip for cutting chain, especially if you have to cut several pieces of chain the same length.

Now, put this tip to use with some jewelry projects:

How to Make a Dangle Chain Necklace

Dangle Chain Necklace Tutorial

Chain and Wire Earrings

Earrings with Chain, Wire and Beads (video)

Bracelet with beads

Bracelet with Beads and Chain

Bunch Earrings on Chain

Bunch Earrings on Chain is a project from Wire Wrapping for Beginners (available as an eBook or physical print book)

WWFB Print Book Cover

ECT TV Episode 32: How to Make a Waterfall Necklace

Waterfall Necklace (ECT TV Episode 32)

Design Inspiration: Waterfalls

Design Inspiration:  Waterfalls

As I mentioned last week, the question I get most often is where do my design inspirations come from.  So often that I’ve started this regular feature here on my blog to hopefully inspire you as well.

I mention this often.  My biggest inspiration for jewelry making (and really everything in my life) comes from nature.  I love to spend time in nature.  I love trees and rivers and flowers.  But most of all I love waterfalls.

waterfall

In ECT TV Episode 32 I showed you how to make a Waterfall Necklace.  The inspiration for this necklace came from my trip to Niagara Falls, the largest waterfalls I have been to.  I’ve been to all shapes and sizes of waterfalls all over Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey and New York.  Sometimes they involve hiking down a long and difficult trail.  Sometimes they are right off the road.  Sometimes they have become big tourist attractions.  Sometimes they are still in all of their natural beauty.  Truly, I love them all.

Why do I love waterfalls so much?  They are simply gorgeous to behold.  I love the water falling from one level to another and the sound they make.  They are soothing and make me feel happy and content.  In fact, there is a scientific reason why I feel this way around waterfalls.  The negative ions created by the waterfall create positive feelings.

Niagara Falls

So of course, I want to have a memory of the positive feelings that I have when I visit a waterfall and what better way than to make a piece of jewelry.

Waterfall Necklace

This is my interpretation of a waterfall in necklace form.

I have chains cascading down in different lengths.  I’ve added blue and white beads to represent the colors in the waterfall.

You don’t have to do something so literal.  Perhaps you’ll simply use the colors or something to represent the water cascading.  Maybe it won’t be either of those things but instead you represent how you feel when you’re at a waterfall.

If you’re interested in making this necklace, check out ECT TV Episode 32.  I give you the general idea of how to make the necklace, but I highly encourage you to simply use it as inspiration and come up with your own personal representation of a waterfall to you.

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Want to make more jewelry inspired by nature?

Try the Nature Jewelry eWorkshop for just $24!  This is an online workshop that you do at your own pace that’s based on week 1 of my bigger Rediscover Your Creativity & Make Jewelry eCourse.

Click here to find out more.

Nature Jewelry Workshop

Craft Show Tips: Newsletters

Craft Show Tips:  Newsletters

Having a newsletter or email updates is important for any business whether you’re doing craft shows or not.  You need a way to keep in touch with your customers so they remember you and all the cool stuff you make.

But today we’re focusing on how newsletters can help you get and keep customers at craft shows.

What’s a newsletter?

First let me clarify what I mean by a newsletter.  I don’t mean those flyers you used to get in the mail, although that is a newsletter.  What I mean is simply email updates.  Someone gives you their email address and says it’s okay for you to email them.  Then you send them updates.

The email updates you send do not have to be big newsletters full of different articles and information.  In fact, it’s probably better if they’re not that because then you can send them a focused email that’s just about one thing.

So for example, say you have a craft show coming up in a week.  You can send out an email specifically about that craft show.  You can show your subscribers some new things you’ll have at the craft show that they may be interested in purchasing.  You can give them some information about how to get to the show and where your booth will be.  But the entire email is just about that one show.

You can, of course, choose how often you’ll send out newsletters.  You want to send them enough that people don’t forget about you, but not so much that they’re annoyed by you.  Most importantly, you should send them exactly how often you say.  So if you’re doing a monthly newsletter, make sure you send it monthly.  If you’re doing a weekly newsletter, send it weekly.  Once every two weeks might be perfect.  Just make sure to be consistent.

To comply with laws, you need to use an email newsletter provider, such as Mailchimp (what I use) or others.  Do not send mass emails through your email account.  It’s not allowed and it’s considered spam.  The email newsletter provider takes care of making sure you do all that legal stuff that needs to be done like having a unsubscribe button.

6 Tips for Using Newsletters at Craft Shows

1.  If it is your first craft show you probably don’t have any customers besides your friends or family yet.  Interested folks will come into your booth.  They may buy that day or they may not for a number of reasons.  (I touched on this a little last week.)

If you have a newsletter, you can ask them to sign up on a form with their name and email address.  Then you can add them to your newsletter list and send them reminders of upcoming craft shows and what you sell so they remember you and come find you at your next show.

Some people will just sign up automatically when they see it.  You can nicely ask other people who seem interested to sign up.  If they’re looking a lot and don’t purchase you can ask them to sign up or you can mention it as you’re ringing up the order of people who do purchase.

2.  Let your customers know when and where your next craft show will be.  I mentioned this above, but you can tell them about the show, if there’s something unique about it, special entertainment, where it is, the hours, where your booth will be in the show (if you know), how to get there if it’s not easy and what else they can expect.

Is it a festival with special music or entertainment?  Will there be children’s activities?  Is it for a special cause?  Is it a beautiful location?

3.  Show your customers your new stuff.  If you have new products send them photos of them to entice them to come to your next craft show.  Even if you don’t have anything new, you can send photos that will remind them of what you sell and why it’s so great and how it works.

4.  You might want to give your schedule for the next month or so of craft shows so they can mark their calendars.

5.  If there’s something interesting or unique about a craft show you’re doing, give them a “survival guide” or a “must see guide.”  Maybe something like this blog post I did for a huge craft show in my hometown.  Maybe a list of things they “must see” in the town you’re doing the craft show in.  Be creative and brainstorm some ideas.

6.  You could offer a discount coupon for a percentage off your booth in your newsletter to entice them to come to the craft show.  I would only give that coupon to people who are actually on your newsletter.  You could make up a cute coupon they could print and bring or a secret phrase they could say to get the discount.

(I don’t typically recommend discounts.  However, since these are people who have already signed up for your newsletter you can reward them for their loyalty.)

I hope I have convinced you to create a newsletter!  To actually collect the names and emails I simply created a form with a table with a spot for their name and for their email address.

And speaking of newsletters, you can sign up for my Craft Show Tips newsletter here.  (You get a packing list for your craft show for signing up!)

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Craft Show Tips 4.0

Are you ready for craft shows?  Preparation is key to being successful!

Get prepared with my Craft Show Tips eBook.  Click here for more information and to purchase and receive it instantly.