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Thread: Craft Market

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Near Winchester, VA
    Posts
    58

    Craft Market

    I'm involved in our little town's Craft Market. The market is located in Berryville, Virginia (that little town outside of Winchester). It's the 2nd Saturday of the month from May through October, with a 2-day indoor holiday market in November. The general market is outdoors, and vendors are encouraged to bring a tent or awning. The area is on an asphalt parking lot, so you can't drive stakes. Most people use gallon milk jugs full of water or sand hung on the corners to stabilize the tent against wind. Spaces are 10x10 feet. Cost is $25 for a single day, or $120 for the full season (excluding the holiday market).

    I'd love to have some woodworkers participate! The market is a good place to showcase your wares, and it's a popular outing for the locals around here. Just about any kind of hand-made things would be good. I've had requests to sell some of my jewelry boxes, but I'm still too "new" to this to feel it's time to start selling my things! I don't have any pens ready to sell, either. I'd be happy to work with any woodworkers on a booth, too. Just let me know if you're interested. Feel free to PM or post here and I'll contact you.

    Thanks!!!
    -Sandy

    P.S. Vaughn...if I posted this in the wrong place, please forgive me and move it where it belongs!!
    I keep cuttin, but it just ain't gettin any longer!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,825
    Sandy, if you have stuff made, it's never too soon to offer for sale.
    BTW, many blacktop parking lot locations allow the driving of round stakes (like huge nails) into the surface. You just have to fill with blacktop sealer afterwards. Not expensive. But if the rules prohibit, you are prohibited. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Posts
    936
    One thing I will tell you and I MEAN this with all respect. DO NOT under price your work.

    If the market won't support it, you may be at the wrong place. Your work is unique and you should be paid for your talent as well as the materials. Point in fact; Ask a Plumber for a better price and they will ask you if you can do it yourself. You probably can't do plumbing and the plumber can't do what you do. Check prices of similar items and similar quality(remember............You ARE your own worst critic.)

    Best of luck.

    Bruce

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Cedar Park, TX
    Posts
    320
    I think most of us are guilty of what Bruce said to watch out for. The box may be small and use little in materials, but there is one heck of a lot of work that goes into each one. Your time is worth the money, so don't be shy about asking for what your time is worth.
    Jerry

    http://www.sawdustersplace.com

    "If politics wasn't built on careful deception it wouldn't need its own word and techniques. It would just be called honesty, education, and leadership."
    Bob "Phydeaux" Stewart one day on Woodnet

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,008
    I agree with Frank. Between now and May, you'd be surprised how many pens and other items you can make. I also suspect your jewelry boxes are better than you are giving yourself credit for. (If not, you still have a few months to improve them, too.) And $25 is a bargain price for a booth space. (I'm typically paying ten times that.)

    I also fully agree with what Bruce is saying. If you sell yourself short, you sell your craft, your art, and the art of others short, too.

    That said, I'm facing a dilemma...at the last two shows I participated in, my sales didn't quite cover my entry fees. (Let alone my business costs such as the canopy, tables, business license, etc.) I had a decent number of lookers, but once people turned the piece over and saw the price, they typically walked away. I still don't know if it was because consumer spending was tight before Christmas, or if my things are priced too high. After comparing my work to that being done by others in the area, I think my prices are on par with theirs. (I've even had some of them tell me the same thing.) Still, I can't help but wonder if my prices are higher than what the current market will bear. I don't see a lot of other turners selling any volume of bowls and hollow forms. Pens, bottle stoppers, and other smaller items are their bread and butter. I have some of those items too, but my emphasis is on bowls and other vessels.

    I'm doing a show in April in Brentwood, CA. This is the Beverly Hills/Rodeo Drive crowd. I have between now and then to add some pieces to my inventory, and I will be trying to do my biggest and best work yet. (I intend to leave some of my lesser earlier pieces at home.) I also have between now and then to decide if I'm going to drop my prices a bit, or hope that a more affluent crowd will be willing to pay my "normal" prices. One way or another, I need to move some stuff out to make room for more new pieces. Like I told LOML, whether I sell it or not, I'm gonna keep making turned items. I'd just rather not give them away to make room for more. And I don't want to cheapen my art, or that of other folks turning similar quality pieces. As I said, it's a dilemma.

    Enough of my issues...I think you should consider giving your local show a try. And thanks for extending the invitation out to other members here who are in your area.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Cedar Park, TX
    Posts
    320
    For the Beverly Hills/Rodeo Drive folks, you might want to raise your prices significantly. Some of them folks are price snobs. They often know little or nothing about the art they are buying and base their decisions on price. If it is reasonably priced they assume it is not worth having, but if it is outrageously expensive they presume that it is worthy of their ownership. They like to brag about how much they paid for something instead of the great deal they got.

    Jerry

    http://www.sawdustersplace.com

    "If politics wasn't built on careful deception it wouldn't need its own word and techniques. It would just be called honesty, education, and leadership."
    Bob "Phydeaux" Stewart one day on Woodnet

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,008
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Palmer View Post
    For the Beverly Hills/Rodeo Drive folks, you might want to raise your prices significantly. Some of them folks are price snobs. They often know little or nothing about the art they are buying and base their decisions on price. If it is reasonably priced they assume it is not worth having, but if it is outrageously expensive they presume that it is worthy of their ownership. They like to brag about how much they paid for something instead of the great deal they got.

    That's a very true and valid point Jerry, and another part of the internal debate I'm having with myself. Since I've not done this particular show before, I'm still a bit in the dark about how the crowd will best be separated from their money.

    I'm considering the idea of having a separate table of my best pieces (the "Museum Collection" or some other hoity-toity name) and have them priced at the upper end of the scale. The other tables could have lesser pieces at lower prices.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Near Winchester, VA
    Posts
    58
    Pricing items is probably the hardest part!! Learning the methods and building skills is fun. The craft market here gets a wide variety of customers. The local farmers that are not easily parted from their money...ever...for any reason! Then there's the "townies" that go from low-income housing to the moderate-upper income folks. Then there's the richies that have, it seems, more money than sense for the most part.

    I think I'll try again to make some chalk boards and maybe some candlesticks.
    I keep cuttin, but it just ain't gettin any longer!!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    2,323
    Hi Sandy ,
    I have a friend that sold hat bands and feathers for cowboy hats to help put him through college. He had some high end retail establishments that carried his display. He displayed one band and feather for $250.00 which never sold, but he attributes that piece and that price for the sales of the others at $20.00 and $35.00 that helped him get through school.

    I lived in Winchester and Cross Junction for several years.
    Now have a client named Berry who bought a second home/ranch in Bellville, and for the life of me, I always refer to that ranch as being in Berryville. (I think they are amused and flattered, I am always just confused! ) Good luck and don't sell yourself too cheap.
    Shaz
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Fort Washington, PA
    Posts
    180
    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy Masquith View Post
    Pricing items is probably the hardest part!! Learning the methods and building skills is fun. The craft market here gets a wide variety of customers. The local farmers that are not easily parted from their money...ever...for any reason! Then there's the "townies" that go from low-income housing to the moderate-upper income folks. Then there's the richies that have, it seems, more money than sense for the most part.

    I think I'll try again to make some chalk boards and maybe some candlesticks.
    Sandy if I wasn't 4 hours north of you I'd love to participate in you Craft Fair. I too found pricing was difficult... hard to find that sweet spot for a particular item. If it's a low end show with low table fees (just a notch above a flea market) then I price things on the low side, and still go home with some profit since table costs etc lower. Higher end shows where you pay $500 a table, I need to inflate my prices to make a profit, but then I find people are expecting to pay higher prices at those shows. As was expressed by others, don't undersell youself. Set a goal. I set my lowest prices so that I still make at least $20/hour shop time. If it takes me an hour per for a run of something, the lowest price for that item will be $20. Adjust as volume dictates. Example, I designed a small cracker holder few years ago... took the first batch of 18 to a two day show and sold every one first couple hours. Note to self... next show bring 100 and charge a buck more. It has been my biggest selling item since, accounting for about a third of all sales.

    Build it Break it Fix it ...repeat

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