Why You Should Start At Local Craft Shows

March 2013

Image Courtsey: Lehigh Valley, PA / Image Courtsey: Lehigh Valley, PA /

We walk before we run and we tend to be encouraged to do most things in life with "baby steps". This is a good analogy and should be used as a great illustration for business owners of all kinds. Unless you grew up going to arts and craft shows with a family member or friend who was a great success, you will not have the "know how", networking, and skills to achieve instant success.

As an example, a young woman enjoyed success making artisan scarves for friends while in college. She was so good at this venture that she was able to enjoy two very exciting summer vacations because of the income earned. This inspired her to consider making the scarves as a full time career. She was told about a major buying event in a nearby city. This was a professional level show in which buyers for many companies would attend and place orders with the vendors for their unique goods. This sort of show was a true "make or break" venture.

This girl was very savvy, however, and decided to go to the show to observe rather than to participate. This was a brilliant approach because she realized that she could not compete with these professional crafters at all. She took lots of notes, found a lot of inspiration, and developed some theories about how to market and make her products a success story.

She tested these things out at small local craft shows and found that some of her ideas were good, and others were not. Because the costs of participating in the small and local shows were so low, however, it did not harm her operating budget at all, and she got the valuable lessons from it.

Additionally, she began to network with other crafters and learned about some better resources for supplies and materials. She also found out that she should have been blogging, hosting a website, and doing some social media to establish a good reputation too.

After three seasons of small and local fairs, she was able to begin participating in the larger crafts fairs and festivals. She was not an expert at displaying her stuff, marketing it, and knowing what level of production she could meet. She discovered that she did not even want to head to the biggest shows and trade fairs any longer because she preferred the smaller sites with their generally friendlier atmospheres.

This should serve as a good example of the benefits of starting small, learning along the way, and applying the lessons to your own business success!


I am new to this type of thing.  I am trying to get my name out their with my home business being a Thirty-One Independent Consultant.  I Would love to do some local craft shows or other events.  Right now looking in the Baldwin/Mobile County Area in Alabama.
Thank You.

Christy Sumrall

By Christy Sumrall on June 10, 2013

Such a wonderful article!  I have had a website up since October 2012, but would like to try some of the smaller craft fairs in my area.  This article gave me some really great ideas to get started.  Thanks!

By CreativeClayArtist on July 2, 2013

I am also new to this and I dont know where to start I just started selling Lia Sophia and am trying to get my name out as well by doing events or craft shows. Im in Dow City Ia but willing to drive within an hr or 2 away. Thanks so much

By Shama Hartmann on September 9, 2013

I am also new at this business, I have a mobile beauti spa and trying to get my name out there as well by doing events and craft shows, I sell products for facials, pedicures, hand spas to name a few (your first facial spa is free).  I have no media knowledge so I can’t advertise on line.

I live in Gresham, OR

Rosie McCabe

By Rosie McCabe on October 6, 2013

I am also new to selling handmade jewelry & appreciated the tips from this article. I am doing craft shows that are local because I want to build up my home based business & want people to get to know me and my work,. I have been looking for craft fairs in and around Green Bay, Wi.

By Jan Ujvari on October 13, 2013

I am new with Origami Owl, which is jewelry the customer gets to make themselves by choosing lockets, charms, chains and many other adornments. I’m interested in local holiday fairs near Huntersville, NC, which is about 15 minutes north of Charlotte. Thank you,

Deborah Hillman/ Qctober 24, 2013

By debh14 on October 24, 2013

I would love information on how to find local craft shows to display and sell my Jewelry from.  I live in Jefferson Parish Louisiana.

By Angela Schultz on November 9, 2013

I’m new to this too.  I. Excited to be part of this.  I’m doing Pink Zebra which is a new company and I’m trying to get my name out there.  I’m from Ithaca Michigan

By Robinslosee on November 10, 2013

I started my sewing, crafting business about 2 years ago and am looking to find local craft shows to help get my name out there.  I have a small on-line presence.  Can you guide me in the right direction on where and how to find local contacts for shows.

By Leslie Cox on December 11, 2013

This information is very helpful. I started making Goats Milk Soaps just for my family, and it has quickly grown into Mama Sue’s Home Made Bath Products,with a dozen products, and I am adding new products all the time. I have only done 3 craft fairs, but all were successful, and would love to do many more.
Susan St.Clair
New Market, AL

By susanstclair on January 8, 2014

I am selling new jewelry, mostly sterling silver, with semi prescious stones.  I’d like to know how to contact to display and sell my ware at a Craft Show. I live in Bradenton, FL so any Craft Show within 30 miles would be great.

Thank you in advance for your input.

Diane S.

By diane on January 10, 2014

I am new to the scene. I operate a Mobile Photography business is there a huge market at Fairs & Festival for customer to receive their photographs onsite professionally taken in sizes ranging from 4x6, 5x7,8x10 & 11x14. All pictures are framed. Please respond back please just starting out

By Photos Now Unlimited on September 18, 2015

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