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How to sell your art at craft fairs

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Turn art into business

There is something truly magical about meeting potential buyers at a live event such as a craft fair, farmer’s market, convention or similar outlet. There’s an energy of hope in the air that comes with the start of the event. You set up your booth, and you hope that the people that walk through the doors like your stuff enough to buy the bits and bobs you worked painstakingly on for weeks, if not months. But, how do you sell your art at craft fairs?

There is so much that goes into setting yourself up for success. If you hope to sell your art at craft fairs, you can’t just show up and slap price stickers on your goods and walk away with a bag of cash.

With that in mind, I reached out to artisans who create and craft and asked them to spill their best tips for how to sell at craft fairs. I’m sharing what they told me below. But before we get to that — let’s explore why it can be beneficial to sell at one in the first place.

Why you should sell at craft fairs

One of the big reasons that people start researching how to sell at craft fairs is because they want to make some extra money. The benefits of selling your art at one include, but aren’t limited to:

  • New buyers that are likely looking to make a purchase. Most people that attend craft fairs are looking for a new prize to take home, or for that perfectly unique gift for someone.
  • Networking opportunities. When you’re at a craft fair you can connect with other artists, form friendships, and sometimes create partnerships, too.
  • New ideas. Every artist needs inspiration. Seeing other people’s work can give you new creative ideas for your own work.
  • Market research opportunities. Perhaps you’ve been playing with a new medium, or have tried a new style. What better way to test out your new ideas than to take them to a place where buyers will be?
  • Branding. You need to put yourself out there if you hope to become well known for your work. Meeting new crowds and promoting your art at craft fairs gives you the chance to spread the word about your brand. And yes, even artists can have a brand.

Related: A beginner’s guide to branding your business

How to sell at craft fairs

Now that we’ve covered the benefits of selling your crafted goods at a fair, here are six tips to learn how to sell at craft fairs

  • Do your research ahead of time.
  • Know your ideal customer, and look the part.
  • Go to the event before you’re a vendor if you can.
  • Bring multiple types of art.
  • Spend time and money on your booth.
  • Spread the word before you attend.

Let’s get started!

1. Do your research ahead of time

Person using laptop with graphs scattered nearby

Julie Bonner of Julie Originals says you should do a lot of research before signing up for any craft fairs, farmer’s markets, etc. The trick to how to sell at craft fairs she says is knowing things like:

  • The type of audience the event you will be selling at typically draws in
  • The average number of attendees you can expect
  • If they require vendors to have a social media presence to promote — when vendors don’t promote, it can hurt attendance
  • Whether or not you will have electricity — your fancy display with the lights won’t do much good if you can’t plug it in

2. Know your ideal customer, and look the part

For Stephanie Odell, owner of Calithien Jewellery, knowing her ideal customer and looking the part has been her key for how to sell at craft fairs. She makes whimsical fine jewelry, and she says that if your ideal customer won’t be at the event, you shouldn’t even bother showing up.

“For example, if you’re selling high-end goods and the other vendors are all selling mass-market products, you’re probably in the wrong market,” Stephanie says. “Along the same vein, your booth should be designed with your ideal customer in mind. Your color choices, display items, and the thought into the placement of your product will all reflect a certain subconscious feeling back to your prospective customers. A few little details can make a big difference in attracting those who are likely to purchase from you.”

3. Go to the event before you’re a vendor, if you can

Madison Osborne who also sells handmade jewelry says it’s a good idea to actually attend some farmer’s markets, and see what kind of people are vendors and attendees before you commit to being a vendor yourself.

This way you can make sure your art and handmade goods will fit in with what the buyers of that specific type of event.

She also says to mingle with your “would-be competition” to get the lay of the land. This tip is mostly helpful for farmer’s markets that happen weekly or monthly as opposed to annual or semi-annual craft shows.

4. Bring multiple types of art

Person making beaded art

Person making beaded art

Sabrina Hartel of iNNo Art Prints says her number one tip for how to sell at craft fairs is to bring a variety of products.

“Just because it’s not your favorite piece of work, doesn’t mean that someone else won’t adore it,” Sabrina says.

Bring items at multiple price points too. This way you can appeal to every budget level of buyer.

Pria Maineri of 88kitty echoes this sentiment and added, bring multiple ways for your customers to pay, too. Be prepared to accept cash or credit — maybe even Venmo.

Editor’s note: Looking for a payment option for your craft business? Check out GoDaddy Payments! You can connect it to your online store or provide customers with a Virtual Terminal or Online Pay Links. Click here to learn more!

5. Spend time and money on your booth

How To Sell At Craft Fairs Sarah MakerHow To Sell At Craft Fairs Sarah Maker
Photo: Sarah Maker on Instagram

Sarah Stearns aka Sarah Maker says the key to making more sales “is to spend a little extra time and money to make your booth presentation beautiful and well-organized. An eye-catching booth will grab your customers’ attention from afar as they stroll down the aisles of the craft fair.”

The return on investment will be well worth it.

There’s nothing worse than an overly cluttered booth that leaves the customer lost as to what you’re selling. No one wants to sift through bins of stuff for sale — so make your art presentable like it’s the prized piece they should take home with them.

6. Spread the word before you attend

Rowell Concepcion, owner and milliner at Binata Millinery, says if you have an email list and/or following on social media, use it to your advantage. This is especially helpful if you already have loyal fans online. They might be willing to share your appearance news, and in the best cases they will also show up to support you.

Rowell says start spreading the word two to three weeks ahead of time. He suggests “one or two email blasts, at least two Instagram grid posts, and four Instagram stories prior to your selling dates.”

Conclusions and next steps

Hopefully, the wheels in your head are turning with ways you can improve your sales numbers for the next craft fair or farmer’s market you will participate in.

For your next steps, I would recommend the following:

  1. Get a website so you have a place to drive traffic to, announce events you will be at, and a place to sell your art for people who can’t attend in person.
  2. Start taking really good photos of your artwork.
  3. Keep honing in on your ideal customer.
  4. Continue perfecting your craft.

If you’re ready to take your art online, check out GoDaddy can help you build your Online Store.



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How to Start a Niche Foam Party Business: Kid’s Party

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Foam parties have become popular and are great fun. If you didn’t know what a foam party is, it is a party or event where participants have fun dancing amidst foam created by a machine. The machine creates bubbles of foams that envelop the place, creating a fun environment at the party. If you are a business person, then a foam party business is a great idea.

You can get a foam machine and use it to throw foam parties and make money from it – relatively affordably.

photo credit: Roaring Foam

Can you make money through foam parties?

Yes, you can make money if you have a foam machine. Parties are common, and party-goers get bored with the usual stuff. A foam party is an innovative way of partying. It allows participants to let go, dancing in joy amidst the foam. This kind of party would be popular, and you can make money by offering a different experience to participants.

Creating a niche market

When you want to make money from a business, you will find that there are many others with the same idea. You need to do something different so you can succeed. This is where finding a niche market helps. A niche market is a specific category to which you can cater. Kids Foam Party is such a niche market. While there are many businesses catering to foam parties in general, foam parties for kids is a niche idea. This is a business idea that can help you succeed and make money.

Planning your business

Now that you have found your niche, it is important to plan your business before you get started. The first thing is to be clear with what you are offering. You are offering a foam party, which is an event where there is a dance floor filled with suds. When this party is offered for kids, they will enjoy it the most. They would not only dance but play in the foam and have a great time in general.

Taking proper safety precautions like setting the depth of the foam and insisting on face coverings ensure there are no problems.

What do you need?

It is obvious that you need a foam machine if you plan to run foam parties. A foam machine is not too expensive. However, you need not buy one immediately. Since you are starting off with a new business, you can get a foam machine for rent. This is a cheaper option allowing you to rent a machine and use it whenever you need it. This will allow you to do a pilot run of your party business.

If the response is good and you start getting many events, then you can consider buying your own foam machine. This would work out better for you.

Kid having fun in foam
photo credit: Roaring Foam

Planning and executing foam parties for kids

With these basic concepts in mind, it is time you start planning your parties. Since you have chosen the niche of foam parties for kids, you need to explore different options. You can have foam parties to celebrate birthdays. There can even be parties for no reason but just to allow kids to have fun. Explore different themes for foam parties and plan the events.

Here are a few considerations to keep in mind while planning and executing foam parties for kids:

  • You need to find a venue to host the foam party. The ideal location is outdoors, so the foam does not create a mess inside. When the weather does not permit, you need to find indoor venues with a fairly big hall to organize the event.
  • Apart from the machine, you need the foam solution to create foam. You need to have sufficient foam machine solution to last the entire party.
  • Safety is a very important issue in foam parties. This is all the more important when you are dealing with kids. You need to have a clear plan for ensuring safety in your foam party. Communicate the plan with your clients so they are assured of the safety arrangements.
  • If you are doing the party indoors, you need a tarp to cover the floor and walls. It is important to cover up all the electric and other outlets to avoid them being damaged.
  • Placing plastic furniture is better since it won’t get damaged due to bubbles.
  • Safety arrangements for the kids are very important. Wearing shoes is a must. You can insist on goggles or face coverings to prevent allergies from the suds. You need to take adequate precautions to prevent kids from skidding and falling during the party. There is always a risk of accidents at a foam party, and you need to do everything to prevent it.
  • Preferably, get a waiver from guests to protect against liabilities.

With all this planning, you are now ready to execute foam parties and make neat profits from them.

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What open source-based startups can learn from Confluent’s success story

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It’s common these days to launch an enterprise startup based on an open source project, often where one the founders was deeply involved in creating it. The beauty of this approach is that if the project begins to gain traction, you have the top of the sales funnel ready and waiting with potential customers when you move to commercialize your business.

In the past, this often meant providing help desk-style services for companies who appreciated what the open source software could do but wanted to have the so-called “throat to choke” if something went wrong. Another way that these companies have made money has been creating an on-prem version with certain enterprise features, particularly around scale or security, the kind of thing that large operations need as table stakes before using a particular product. Today, customers typically can install on-prem or in their cloud of choice.

“A key aspect of these kinds of technology-developer data products is they have to have a combination of bottom-up adoption and top-down SaaS, and you actually have to get both of those things working well to succeed.” Jay Kreps

In recent years, the model has shifted to building a SaaS product, where the startup builds a solution that handles all the back-end management and creates something that most companies can adopt without all of the fuss associated with installing yourself or trying to figure out how to use the raw open source.

One company that has flirted with these monetization approaches is Confluent, the streaming data company built on top of the open source Apache Kafka project. The founding team had helped build Kafka inside LinkedIn to move massive amounts of user data in real time. They open sourced the tool in 2011, and CEO and co-founder Jay Kreps helped launch the company in 2014.

It’s worth noting that Confluent raised $450 million as a private company with a final private valuation in April of $4.5 billion before going public in June. Today, it has a market cap of over $22 billion, not bad for less than six months as a public company.

Last month at TC Sessions: SaaS, I spoke to Kreps about how he built his open source business and the steps he took along the way to monetize his ideas. There’s certainly a lot of takeaways for open source-based startups launching today.

Going upmarket

Kreps said that when they launched the company in 2014, there were a bunch of enterprise-size companies already using the open source product, and they needed to figure out how to take the interest they had been seeing in Kafka and convert that into something that the fledgling startup could begin to make money on.

“There have been different paths for different companies in this space, and I think it’s actually very dependent on the type of product [as to] what makes sense. For us, one of the things we understood early on was that we would have to be wherever our customers had data,” Kreps said.

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5 Hobbies That Make Money and How To Get Started

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Money-making hobbies range from walking dogs to blogging to creating and selling homemade goods.

Read about these profitable hobbies, as well as what you can expect to make.

1. Driving

Enjoy cruising around town? Give others a ride and make money by becoming an Uber or Lyft driver. Uber drivers make an estimated $5 to $20 an hour, and Lyft drivers earn about $5 to $25 an hour, according to SideHusl.com, a review site for money-making platforms. Note that earnings depend in part on when, where and how often you drive.

To become an Uber or Lyft driver, you must be the minimum age to drive in your area. You must also meet specific requirements related to your driver’s license, insurance and vehicle. Learn about these exact requirements in our guide to becoming an Uber or Lyft driver.

If you enjoy driving but don’t want people in your car, look into becoming a full-service Instacart shopper, which involves shopping for and delivering groceries. Uber Eats and Amazon Flex also offer opportunities to deliver food and other products to homes. Each of these gigs has its own set of requirements, though, so do your research before signing up.

2. Caring for dogs

If your favorite hobbies involve belly rubs, smooches and long walks in the neighborhood, try Wag or Rover. These apps enable you to walk, dog-sit or board pups overnight for money.

Rover and Wag work in similar ways. They both require you to be at least 18 years old, pass a background check and meet other requirements. For both, you create a profile, set your own rates, and use the app to choose which gigs to take. (See our Rover vs. Wag comparison for more specific sign-up and payment information, as well as how the apps vary in the services they allow.)

On both apps, the amount you earn depends on what you charge, how much you receive in tips, and which types of services you provide. As you would guess, boarding typically pays more than walking a dog, for example. But both companies take a bite from your earnings. Rover charges a 20% service fee per booking, and Wag takes 40%.

3. Blogging

If you have a blog that gets decent traffic, try making money from it. Blogging for money can take a few forms. One way is to host ads on your blog through a service like Google AdSense, which is free. Here’s the gist, according to Google: If your website is approved, then you choose where on it you would like ads to appear. Then advertisers bid to place ads where you designated, with the winner’s ads appearing in that spot. (People make money on YouTube through the same service.)

You earn some money when a reader clicks on one of these ads — but determining exactly how much you’ll make is tricky. Explore our guide to Google AdSense to learn more about it.

You could also try writing sponsored content, meaning companies pay you to write about their products. Or, become an affiliate through the Amazon Associates program. That involves linking to an Amazon product from your content and earning a commission when one of your readers clicks through and buys that item. Learn more about how to make money on Amazon through your blog.

4. Posting to social media

Love posting to social media and building a following? On Instagram and TikTok, many users earn money through sponsored photos and videos. Say you regularly post about your at-home exercise regimen. You may agree to post about a retailer’s resistance bands or sweatpants in exchange for cash or free products. (Sponsorships and affiliate marketing are also ways to make money from podcasts, in case that’s one of your hobbies.)

Sponsors may reach out to you to set up this kind of arrangement; you could contact them; or, in some cases, you may consider working through a third-party agency.

The type of content you post, as well as your number of followers and their engagement, will likely impact sponsorship opportunities. Learn more about how to make money on Instagram or on TikTok.

5. Selling your wares

There’s a marketplace for just about everything. So if you’re skilled in a hobby, consider trying to profit from it. For example, if you create jewelry or have an eye for thrifting quality clothes, try selling those items at a local flea market or yard sale, or on a neighborhood website such as Nextdoor or Facebook Marketplace.

Or look into an online market that could attract a wider range of buyers. Consider Etsy for crafts or Poshmark if you want to sell clothes online.

These websites charge fees that will cut into your profits. This guide to selling stuff online will help you think through the math and determine if your hobby can become a viable business.

What to consider before making money from your hobbies

Before taking any of the routes listed above, keep in mind that this work will likely affect your taxes. See our guide to self-employment taxes, which includes expenses you can deduct, and how to avoid penalties.

And as you aim to profit from your hobbies, consider whether you will continue to enjoy them through this new business lens. Let’s say knitting helps you relax. Will it continue to do so if you’re pricing, promoting and shipping your homemade wares through an online marketplace? And that blogging hobby: Will writing still be fun or cathartic if you’re occasionally throwing in a sponsored post?

It may be hard to answer these questions until you give the money-making approach a shot. But it’s worth reflecting on the potential trade-offs as you think about turning your hobby into a job.

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