Friday, April 17, 2009

Craft Show Season has begun!

Tomorrow is my first show of the season. It is in Keene, NH - a show I do twice a year, lately with mixed results. It's funny that I continue to attend given the mixed results, but I've gotten to know many of the artists situated near me, and it is familiar and comfortable. I must admit, not the best reason for going. I always come out ahead and I like feeling apart of a community.

I have mixed feelings about most craft fairs I attend, especially in the last year - many are a mixture of quality artisan crafts and (for lack of a better word) crap - buy and sell items that are usually priced so low that I can't compete when it's jewelry. There is a lot of mass produced sterling silver jewelry out there. I complain and the promoters say that they were told it was all handmade by the vendor. Hah! 50 rings in various sizes with the same gemstone is one example of pieces made elsewhere. I am sure many of you who do shows have experienced situations similar to this.

One of the things that keeps me up the night before I do a show is wondering if I remembered everything? I am not a big list maker, even though I know keeping a list would be helpful, but do I do it, nope. I guess I like the challenge better. So I thought I would try and list what I currently bring to shows. Once the season is really up and running, I leave almost all of this in my van and only need to replenish things that have been used, which makes it much easier.

I bring:




4 tables


busts for necklace, bracelets

earring stands

credit card machine


earring backs

business cards

receipt books

earring cards

business card holders


gift bags

tissue paper

bed risers

pine boxes to display things on


anti-bacterial lotion

clip board

inventory list of jewelry

price tags

sterling silver "S" clasps in different sizes

gift certificates

signs - for earrings price; that I accept visa mastercard amex discover, sterling silver, etc.



sign up sheet for mailing list

2 chairs


hand truck

paper towels

I'm probably missing some stuff - but that's most of it.

I am going with my daughter who will stay here tonight so we can leave early. I always seem to need to be early, even though I no longer need two hours to set up like I used to. I used to put lots of wondrous little things on the tables - like rocks framed in iron from Haiti, clay goddess plaques, and wooden pieces - that used to add to the funkiness of the table but I don't bring them any more. I realize that it added time to the set up and distracted from the jewelry. I now focus on the jewelry and try not to put out too much because when I do it's difficult to take it all in.

I suspect I am not alone in this constant battle to perfect the best setup. Would love to hear what others do.


  1. As I read this, you are at your craft show. I hope you are doing well. Your setup is wonderful.

  2. thanks - it turned out to be a good show - hopefully a sign of the season to come!

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  4. I hope the NH crowd was kind to you, Terry !I think the set up and your treasures looked magical !
    I was away in Montreal for the weekend but please let me know if you head back up NH way - maybe I could be a groupie !;-)
    Happy Tuesday !

  5. I'd love to meet you Kim - will definitely let you know!

  6. Hi Terry,
    I see that we will both be at Eastworks next month. I'll come over and do a friendly crit of your booth, and you can do the same for me! Don't forget lunch, snacks, sunscreen on your list. I see you have a purple and a white tent. Which do you like better?
    Dawn ~~ SleyTheDent

  7. I love the purple canopy but it is so difficult to put up that I got the white one, which is an EZ Up and much easier for me. Even with the EZ Up I need two people to put it up.

    Thanks for the additions to my list - I will add them. I have a two day fair in New Jersey in May which is going to be physically tough - will need to be sure to take everything I will need.

    Looking forward to meeting you Dawn - do find me.