Crafts festivals: What to promote

Okay, we’re two posts into this sequence already: it’s time to speak about precise woodworking!

What must you make to promote on the market?

Right here’s the factor: it’s important to determine this one out for your self and it’s possible going to take a minute. However right here is a few steerage.

Set your self aside from the remaining

You need to make belongings you take pleasure in making and which can be in a roundabout way distinctive. This doesn’t imply it’s important to invent a brand new gadget utilizing solely upcycled scrap wooden and located gadgets from the native Goodwill. By no means. In actual fact, individuals will anticipate a woodworker at a market to have a minimum of a number of the following: reducing boards, bowls, chess boards (Thanks Queen’s Gambit), wine bottle stoppers, coasters, salt bowls, pepper grinders, and so on. Actually, you possibly can transcend this stuff, however a number of of those are an excellent begin.

The following trick is to make merchandise which can be distinctive and can work along with your market. It’s because a easy rectangular reducing board with rounded corners, and so on., might be cheaper to purchase at Ikea or perhaps a residence items retailer with larger high quality gadgets (no shade on Ikea…okay, a bit of). As an alternative, push your self creatively and to supply one thing distinctive that additionally demonstrates your individual voice. You might also wish to focus in your area people. In Washington, DC, our group exhibits its native delight with a reasonably easy flag (three stars, two bars). I’ve paid lease by making wood variations of this flag as coasters, wall hangings, ebook marks, and so on.

Customization is a good way to make your merchandise stand out and attraction to your native market. I take advantage of personalized branding irons to place stars and different icons on my items. My buddy and fellow DC woodworker Quinn makes use of a laser, however can be an professional in picture transfers (transferring a printed picture onto a chunk of wooden) and can be fairly good with a wooden burning pen. One among my favourite Instagram feeds for residence items is Chopd.woodshop; Nick creates some unbelievable patterns and designs in excessive finish, finish grain chopping boards.

The principle objective is to discover a method to differentiate your self from different woodworkers and attraction to your native base (or an web base). The way you do it’s as much as you, however I’ve had and seen others have success with these fundamental rules.

Godet Woodworking booth at a craft fair

What about furnishings?

A few of you, maybe many, would like to simply make and promote furnishings. I applaud that and it’s the core of my enterprise too. Right here’s the factor: promoting furnishings at a craft present or vacation market is a tough enterprise. Most individuals going to these exhibits are usually not trying to spend severe cash or make a significant funding. They’re on the lookout for one thing small, distinctive, or an excellent present. A bit of dopamine hit/retail remedy– not a home improve. Individually, making accomplished items, packing them, transferring them, setting them up…that’s a variety of work and now your superb furnishings is out within the climate. My expertise has been: persist with the small stuff at these exhibits. AND, carry a ebook of pictures, an ipad, or a poster, or no matter, that exhibits your greatest work. Deliver numerous enterprise playing cards and discuss to everybody. Possibly you get a fee out of the deal.

Should you actually wish to concentrate on furnishings at these exhibits, listed here are some ideas. There are speciality exhibits for promoting/displaying furnishings. Whereas I don’t have expertise with these, I requested fellow woodworkers for his or her insights. Mike Jury (Mjurywoodworks on IG) is an unbelievable craftsperson working lots within the shaker type. Mike says to search for “Superb Arts Festivals” particularly ones which can be juried to make sure you’re surrounded by high quality makers. “Furnishings isn’t an impulse purchase, so have gadgets you possibly can promote for $50-200 as effectively.” Should you’re going to go this route, these exhibits are a great way to get commissions, in accordance with Jury, as a result of individuals can meet you and get a way of pricing, and so on. Jury additionally suggests committing to doing the identical present for a number of years to actually see it repay.

Christina Boy is one in all my favourite furnishings designers and an unbelievable craftsperson who has been on the scene for some time. Christina agrees with Mike that doing the identical present for a number of iterations is an efficient observe. “Furnishings is one thing individuals want to consider and also you wish to be high of thoughts for when they’re prepared for that piece.  So if there was a variety of curiosity however not a variety of observe up, try this present once more and see in the event that they return.” Boy additionally largely sticks to furnishings at these exhibits (regardless of having a line of actually cool residence items). “A couple of years in the past I made a acutely aware resolution to not take a variety of smaller gadgets with me. This was a scary resolution because the small gadgets typically cowl charges and bills on the present, however I wasn’t getting a variety of observe up from these gross sales. Nonetheless, since reducing these out, I’ve been promoting extra furnishings. And as soon as prospects begin amassing your work, they’ll come again 12 months after 12 months.”

Play the lengthy recreation

Each Boy and Jury contemplate these exhibits an extended recreation. As Boy stated, “Typically you don’t know whether or not your present was an excellent one till weeks, months, or a 12 months later – you by no means know what sort of concepts you’ve triggered in individuals till they’ve had time to course of or when their recollections are triggered the next 12 months they see you on the present. so don’t get discouraged when your first present is a dud.”

Whether or not you’re making furnishings, homegoods, or steampunk telecommunications units, the primary factor is: it would take a number of tries to dial in your designs and processes. Begin small and study out of your experiences.

Beforehand on this sequence

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