Monday, September 10, 2012

My first craft show

I did it!  This weekend I participated in my very first craft show, the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitters Festival in Kitchener, Ontario.  I wasn't sure how I would like doing shows, but I'm pretty gregarious and really enjoyed the process of talking to people and trying to convince them that "you don't really need a shawl to wear a shawl pin.  It can be a brooch, or a scarf pin or" get the idea.  I sold about $900 worth of pins, a bit jewelry and a handful of buttons, so after a booth fee of $200 and $75 for liability insurance (required by the show), I ended up with over $600.  I think that's pretty good given the low cost of the items I'm selling.

There were a few glitches.  After all that work to build my own tables and make custom coverings for them, I wasn't allowed to use them.  The venue made me use their tables and their fire-resistant table drapes.  Apparently the fire marshal is quite strict.  And then my credit card reader that fits on my iPhone wouldn't read cards.  It had worked fine when I tested it at home.  Fortunately people were very nice about paying with cash and I don't think I lost any sales.

Next I will do the Woodstock Fleece Festival in October.


  1. Congratulations on your first show! I haven't done any yet, but I have been looking into it. I guess it pays to get and read over the paperwork for each show because you just never know what the exact rules will be.
    I hope this will encourage others to post about the shows they've had. I'm still pretty scared about doing my own.

  2. Thanks, Sandy. But I DID read all the paperwork and talk to the organizer on the phone so I knew about the insurance in advance (we had to provide proof that we had it), but NOWHERE did it say you couldn't use your own table covers and I've attended dozens of shows where people obviously provided their own. At least now I will know to ask specifically about that for the show I'm doing in October.

  3. Beautiful pieces and display! Like your shawl pin sign and wonderful that you had the electricity for your lamps. I think that illumination always seems to promote sales. Glad you came out making some good money. Bummer about both the iPhone card reader malfunction and the inability to be allowed to use your own table cover. That pesky insurance requirement appears to be more and more common, especially at higher end shows. All those expenses sure to make it harder to turn a profit, but it sounds like you did very well. KUDOS!

  4. Wow Cynthia, Your booth looks incredible! The tables and everything looks fantastic!


  5. Hi Cynthia,
    Congratulations on taking the big step into the world of shows. Your product and your booth look very nice. I think you will find that any show you do will require that your table coverings and drapes be fire resistant. This means even if you use your own,they have to be treated with a flame retardant. It is the Fire Marshall who requires and enforces this - not the show organizers. We have to have flame proof table covers and drapes at One of a Kind - and the Fire Marshall does check from time to time. Insurance is almost always required by the venue and the show.All part of moving from being an amateur crafter into being a professional artisan. Best of luck at your next show!