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Arts & Crafts Fairs are Done—What Now?

The busiest time of the year for any artist, crafter, or retialer is the fourth quarter of the year. The fourth quarter is the end of the year and ends with Christmas. Everyone wants to make sales; it is the time of year when you can sell your art, craft or product. Generally artists and crafters sell more in the fourth quarter than any other quarter.

For me the fourth quarter begins in September. Around February or March I start looking for events, or watching my email for notices of returning craft events that I do every year. Arts and Crafts Fairs and Harvest Festivals fill quickly in general but fourth quarter events fill even more quickly; so if you receive a notice in April or May for an event in the fourth quarter, you want to put your application in quickly.

From personal experience, I know you can be locked out of an event because it filled quickly. It happened to me this year. It was my first time applying for a specific event. The application wanted photos of my set up. It took me a couple of days to find the pictures required. I sent in my application only to find out that the event was full; the event organizer said the event filled up within the first day. The organizer did tell me that they would give me a spot if someone cancelled. About a month before the event, I received an email telling me there was a spot if I wanted it. I took the spot, paid the fee and was able to attend. That rarely happens, especially with big events (this is one of the biggest for the fourth quarter).

Set up at local Harvest Festival
Set up — outside event

Word of advice; take pictures of your set ups both indoor and outdoor; have them readily available on all your devices so you can send in your application as soon as you receive the email. Do not worry if the event you have photos for is outdoors and the event you want is indoors. Organizers want to see your set up, but more importantly they want to see your product and that what you list in your application is what you sell. A number of arts and crafts fairs do not allow secondary sellers, i.e., those who sell products for a company. They want hand crafts and art.

December is here and you have attended your last arts and crafts fair, what's next? This is that moment of let down after you go, go and go. Now what do you do?

Self-care should be the first thing you do after you celebrate Christmas with your family and friends. Take time without worrying about what you are going to be crafting; read a book; catch up with friends; have a salon day. Take care of you. Take a few weeks off. This will make you ready for the coming year. I like to use January as a time to catch-up on personal art projects I have started but put aside during the fourth quarter. I have lunch with friends; catch-up on some reading. This year I will be doing pretty much the same. In February I will be readying myself for the next arts and crafts season, which right now will start in March. I usually do not do many arts and crafts shows until the fourth quarter, but this is one I did in the fall and was asked to repeat in the spring. I will do so as it helps support student activities at a school.

During January and February, I look at my small business. Last year I changed my entire business model in July (a little late). Part of that change resulted in my leaving Etsy, obtaining my own domain and creating a new website and online store. I also changed what I would be selling at the arts and crafts fairs and harvest festivals.

This year I anticipate that I will not make many changes to my business model other than to add products that I will sell at arts and crafts festivals and in my store.

I will be looking more closely at my art goals this year. Last year I was able to exhibit my work at several juried exhibits and to have a few of my paintings win awards. This year I will look at more exhibitions of my work as well as continuing my art education. I will also continue develop website and store; learning more about SEOs. I will also be preparing for my spring event and perhaps looking into some street fairs.

This time of the year is a good time to check your business model, the products that sold well and did not sell last year. Perhaps you will develop a website or online store. To all, a happy holiday season.

Until my next blog....


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