Strange Folk, my first craft show of the season, is now less than a month away. I'm sure there are some of you who are in the same boat. For those of you doing shows for the first time I thought I would share my own to do list. Most of these are things I've already completed so if they are already off my list I will explain what I've done. I think every to do list should have things on it that are easily checked off to start the momentum. I'm not sure why I chose the above shot to depict this post. I was just looking for something I've never used before and it jumped out at me on this chilly morning. The Indigo Girls scarf is still for sale in my Etsy shop.
- The first step is obviously finding the craft shows you would like to apply to. I talked about how to find craft shows in your area and how I pick my shows out in this post. I have now applied to 4 shows and received word that I'm into 2 of them. The other 2 don't release their juried list until September. There is one more that I am going to apply to in December whose application just came out this week. I'm still thinking about doing a small local show but haven't picked one out yet. These shows are less likely to be juried so I'm not as worried about applying late.
- The next big step is getting your display materials and doing a rough draft of your display. I recently posted here with my rough draft. It's important to set your display up ahead of time to better see the big picture. It will help you to see if there are any display pieces that stick out or don't go with the rest of your display as I discovered with my hand pieces. You may want to paint some of your items to help get a more cohesive look. Be sure to do this plenty ahead of time so that they have time to get fully dry.
- Make or order a banner. It's really important to have something that says who you are and sets the tone for your display. I talked here about my new banner and where I got it. If you have artistic abilities you can make one like my sister in law, the Gray Eyed Scorpio described in this post.
- Get your table covering. This is one I'm still working on. Last year I used a striped brown and tan tablecloth and I have a green tablecloth but I don't think I'm going to use either. I'm looking for something more earthy and natural, possibly burlap or bamboo to go with the feel of my booth this year. You don't want to get too crazy with your table covering as it shouldn't distract from your items. Do find something long or put a sheet under your table cloth that goes to the floor to hide your clutter under the table.
- Figure out how you are going to accept credit cards. I think that it's vital to have a method of accepting plastic. You are missing out on so many sales if you just take cash and checks. I use Propay and it's super easy and very reasonable. I just renewed my membership and it was around $30 for a year which is so worth it. I use a knuckle buster that I got from Mr. Imprinter on Ebay. I actually just bought a new one since the one I had last year was super tough for me to get a good imprint on. I'm much happier with this hand held model that came in a kit with an imprinter plate and 100 sales slips, everything you need to get started for around $25.
- Stock up on business cards. I recently bought 1000 cards from Vista Print with one of their many coupons for around $15. I have heard that some people had bad experiences with them but I've put in 3 different orders and never had a problem. You have to be careful to opt out of all of their silly promotions and you will get spam e-mails from them but I'm okay with that for such a good price on a business necessity. I've also been thinking about ordering some postcards to use as follow up with some of my return customers.
- Organize and tag your inventory. This is one that I definitely have not completed yet. I do have my inventory separated into different tubs by type but that is the extent of my organization. I think that I'm going to continue to use my business cards as price tags this year. Last year I hand wrote on the back of the cards the price, fiber content, and washing instructions, very tedious process indeed. This year I'm going to do labels to stick on the back with this information. I have 3 days off before Strange Folk and this is my main priority for those days.