In part 1 of this series, I wrote about my experiences creating products to sell at art & craft shows. I’ll let you in on a secret of mine: I’m not really sure about whether I will continue selling at these shows. I have to admit it. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. So much so in fact that its interfering with conducting other aspects of my business such as my stock work (creating more images), adding to my galleries here (desperately needed!), and research for an upcoming trip (running out of time).
I’ve been obsessing about the pros & cons, the what ifs and what if nots. I have been searching forums, asking questions on Etsy, and picking the brains of my fellow photographers on LinkedIn. Everything seems to come back to the same thing:
If you’re going to do it, you’ve got to make the investment to do it right.
Or “go big or go home” if you’ll pardon the cliché.
I showed you my table at the outdoor markets I’ve been doing. Here are some of the other ways I’ve displayed my work:
And then here are some of the booths I’ve seen at shows I’ve attended, either as a vendor or as an attendee.
I think you get the idea.
So I did a little research into what setting up like THAT would cost me.
I’ve already got
I don’t have:
Or the other option with this is something like Propanels.
So you can see that is a great idea, but costly.
There’s also the wire mesh panels.
That would be cool and lighter to carry, but still costly.
Travel expenses for art & craft shows can dig into your profit as well. Do you go to the big show in another state that’s got a good reputation? Do you realize that you’re going to have to get a hotel room and feed yourself (and whoever is helping you) while you’re there? You could easily justify this as a business expense but can your business afford it?
I’ll continue with this series as I make decisions about this. I’ll share my experiences about some other selling and marketing ideas out there such as:
The bottom line – it’s not sustainable if you don’t make any money