As the weather warms up and the dogwoods flower, vendor tents begin to pop up at markets and festivals in Knoxville and throughout the Southeast.
In our markets and craft fairs list, there are two markets listed in March and 14 in April. There are even more in May. The list has been greatly expanded this year to include lots of selling opportunities within an easy drive of Knoxville. The list includes the dates of the markets and the cities in which they are located, along with links, of course, to their vendor applications.
But be warned: lots of the markets have early registration deadlines, so don't delay in signing up for those that interest you!
At two Make. Learn. Grow. sessions last year, craft fair vets discussed their strategies for getting accepted and successful selling. We’ve put together some of their best tips, along with links to the blogs written about their workshops for even more good advice.
Determine which fairs and markets match your market by looking at their websites and social media; their photos and vendors lists will offer some idea.
Make sure your photography positions you for the markets your work belongs in. Craft fairs want to emphasize quality. Your photos need to show more than products lying on a table. Show your work in different ways: a tight product shot, a person enjoying it, perhaps a finished piece pictured with the parts that are used to create it.
Craft show organizers often look at applications and then go to the applicant’s social media. Are you posting regularly and engaging with people? Organizers want to be confident you’ll promote the upcoming show.
The description of work should explain how it is created, the materials incorporated, the features that set it apart, its functions. Details matter. Highlight anything you do that’s interesting and intentional; for instance, if you use leather tassels, why you do and where the leather comes from – is it repurposed because you want your work to be sustainable?
Create a craft fair app folder on your desktop or in Google Drive that includes:
- Product shot
- Lifestyle product shot
- Process shot
- Document with pre-written:
- Artist statement
- Description of work
- Excel sheet of craft fair names, application due dates, and any contextual info.
This is information that can be copied + pasted into applications so they don’t take forever to complete.
Be sure your booth space is clean and welcoming. Have enough merchandise on hand to keep it fully stocked. Make it memorable with props like plants, rugs, books or bottles. And find a place to stash your supplies, snacks, whatever, so your booth remains neat and clean.
Brightly colored products or backgrounds will catch your customers’ attention.
Put your best-sellers at eye level. If they happen to be your highest-priced items, even better! Put items that people need to examine at a height that they can reach without having to ask to get it for them. Items that don’t move (sell) quickly should be displayed above or below eye level.
There CAN be too much of a good thing. Carefully choose what you display rather than crowding your space with too much product.
Want more? See the rest of their tips in this blog.