It’s that time a year again, and a lot of folks are busy with their crafts. Every year my mother-in-law Judy and her friends, dig through their totes of made and almost done craft projects, gather up all of their wares and head to the holiday bazaars. If you’ve ever been to one, you’ll know how much fun they are! A lot of time and work go into these fairs, and it’s all worth while when an item that they’ve made sells to a happy costumer. Judy spends most of the year knitting and crocheting hats, scarves, blankets, and other cozies. She is rarely ever seen with out her hooks and a bag of yarn. Her good friend Lynda sculpts Santa’s. She meticulously carves out each individual piece, but that’s only the beginning. She then makes a mold, fills the molds with a chalk type clay and fires them. Each Santa mold can produce up to 100 Santa’s, which then go through a 3 step painting process, where they are painted, antiqued, and glazed. No Santa is exactly alike, and each one is so special to her. She has even been called Mrs. Christmas on occasion, because when the holiday season arrives, she eats, sleeps, and breathes Santa. On the off season she keeps herself busy making gem stone necklaces which she sells on Etsy.
This year I decided to make their craft table come to life with gift bags, and personalized labels and hang tags that I ordered from evermine.com. As I sat with them taking photos for this blog I noticed how much of a response a little presentation really makes to the hordes of holiday shoppers. Everyone seemed to linger and look a little longer at their wares, and I know that the tags and bags made a big difference. Lynda’s Santa’s fit snugly in the bags with a little tissue paper and the labels had her email address printed on them.
If you’ve ever thought about selling your crafts at a bazaar here are a few tips that I gathered from the ladies there:
• First you’ll need to have a large stock pile of items to sell. Stick with just one or two things to make it simple, and store them in an air tight container in a dark dry area as you complete them. This will insure that your crafts stay free of mildew and their colors stay bright.
• Then you’ll want to find some bazaars in your community. Check your local paper, and do some online research. A good way to find the best ones is to ask other vendors where they will be selling next. They are usually held in school gyms and church’s, as well as convention and community centers. But other vendors can tell you where they have had the most success.
• Next you’ll need to decide on your prices. This is the most difficult part, as it can cost $15-$35 to rent a table, not to mention all the money you’ve spent creating your wares, and you want to make a profit. You’ll want to price each item keeping all the costs in mind as well as what your competitors are selling theirs for. Just remember it’s good to be flexible with your prices, holiday shoppers love to feel like they got a good bargain!
• The most important thing to remember is to have fun. Holiday bazaars are not just for selling and shopping. It’s a social event! It’s a great way to make new friends, and to meet your neighbors. Rub elbows with fellow crafters, and giggle with the little ones who cheeks are rosy and eyes are twinkling with Christmas cheer.
Lynda Lefever can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for special order Santa’s and her jewelery design can be seen here.