I recently conducted a very unscientific survey. That is, I went to a few craft shows in my area and made a special point to notice what was selling. I wasn’t vending, just wandering around seeing if anything struck my fancy with a mind to report back here with some observations.
Keep in mind that there is no reason to change what you are doing. The items that sell in your area may be different. You may have ZERO interest in making some of the items I noticed.
Jewelry - Jewelry always seems to sell no matter how many vendors at the show are selling similar things. It seems that folks are buying early for the holidays as I heard a couple of remarks about pieces being purchased for gifts. Jewelry with initials, words or phrases seem to be particularly popular. Everything from a necklace with a single typewriter key or metal initial to spoons stamped with words like “lucky” or “dream” and bracelets with lines of poetry stamped in them.
Food - especially artisan, gourmet or organic food items seem to be selling well. If you are a honey farm, organic herb grower, maker of fine jams or jellies you might find that sales are good this summer. Keep food safety in mind during hot weather and if you can set aside some product for customers to sample. Attractive gift baskets seem to be pretty popular too. Maybe you can get together with a couple of other food artisans you know and create baskets for the foodies at the craft shows.
Sewn items – sewn items made with vintage fabrics or quilts seem to be really popular right now. Small pillows, dolls, tote bags, aprons and the like made with faded, much loved fabrics and trims seem to make people feel nostalgic and comforted at the same time.
Personalized items – if it has your best friends’ new baby name on it and it doesn’t cost a small fortune it makes a perfect baby gift. Everything from jewelry to dog bowls to wall art. The good thing about this is that lots of things creative business owners make can be made to include some form of personalization. Names, wedding dates and birth dates are just a few of the ways to personalize items. If you can offer personalization be sure to place a few signs in your booth stating the fact.
Bath Products – People are not only fussy about what they are putting IN their bodies but also what they are putting ON their bodies. Body washes, shampoos, scrubs and lotions made with natural ingredients were hot sellers at a couple of the shows I visited. Again, if you can have some out for shoppers to try you may convince someone who is hesitant. Just be watchful as flowery scented items can attract stinging insects. If you notice the bees hanging around a little too much you may want to keep the cap on the items until someone asks about trying it.
Have you attended many craft shows so far this summer? What did you notice was selling?
By: Vicki O’Dell , The Creative Goddess