Monday, May 19, 2008

Capturing the Craft Show Market

Finding the right product to sell at a craft show is extremely
important in finding success on the craft show circuit. You may
already have an excellent craft product or line of products you
are creating or even selling, or you may be looking for a craft
to produce in order to enter the business. In either case,
market research is going to help you find a craft show product
that you can produce at a low enough cost to net a profit - and
one that you will enjoy making. If you don’t spend time looking
into what everyone else has at their craft show booth, you might
repeat what others have, or create a product no one really wants.

What exactly is a craft? The dictionary definition of "craft" is
to make by hand, therefore, theoretically anything handmade is a
craft. Although that's true, a craft typically falls into a
category of items that are normally sold under the umbrella of
arts and crafts that are either decorative or useful or both—and
that consumers generally purchase for ornamental or practical
use. The endless creativity of new craft show items is nothing
short of remarkable. The product you choose will likely be one
you enjoy producing or have a natural affinity for. It might be
a skill passed down from generation to generation in your
family, but you can also learn it on your own. You may decide
to take classes or apprentice to a master to learn a new skill
for producing a craft show item. Yet in order to make your craft
business a success, you should consider doing a little bit of
homework about what craft show item to make, ahead of time.

Market research

What sells? Wouldn't you like to have the answer to that
question before putting all your resources into creating a
product? How can you get the answer? Market research. Any large
company that manufactures products utilizes market research
before developing new products. You can use the Internet as well
as common sense. You can ask friends, visit craft shows,
galleries, retail stores, eBay and other websites to see what is
selling and what isn't. Ask other artisans and craft show booth
owners. Study trends by reading consumer magazines, trade
journals, the fashion section of the newspaper or even watching

Product ideas also come from everyday life—find a niche and fill
it – and you will most certainly find success in craft shows.
But, you need to make sure you stay on the cutting edge.
Children, animals and nature can provide inspiration as well.
Jot ideas for craft show items in your notebook or computer
whenever you come up with something you think would be a hot
seller. Compile a list of possible items and compare it to what
you might enjoy producing. Then ask yourself if the craft show
item is practical, decorative, unique, can be priced right (for
profit), has a personal touch, is of excellent quality and
offers exceptional value.

You might also want to check out the competition in any category
you select. How can you put a spin on your product to make it
distinct and stand out from the others? If you're a crafter,
you're probably highly creative, so use your creativity to come
up with something imaginative. Without plunging into it full on,
see if you can make a few samples and solicit feedback from
friends or store owners. Do a small craft show and gauge
customer response. If all systems seem to be saying "go" then go
for it!

Find a craft you enjoy making, that you can construct
efficiently and cost effectively, and one you can sell, and you
have the craft show market cornered. But, you probably aren’t
going to land the perfect product without some groundwork done
beforehand. If you want to find the utmost in craft show
success, then take the time to deliver a product that you have
researched, and watch craft collectors flock to your booth!

About the Author

Natalie Goyette shows you how to make your craft show business
profitable in her best selling ebook: Craft Show Success Secrets. Visit her


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