By Linda Murdock
The end of one season and the beginning of another is the perfect time to reassess your crafting sales and find more craft marketing tips for next year. Even if you do only one or two craft shows a year or sell only online, pay close attention to what items have sold and what have not. Ask yourself what you could or should have done differently. Whatever craft you make, whether needlework or metalwork, you should take pride in knowing that no two creations are identical. The styles may be the same, but the medium that you choose or the little extras that you add to each piece should change to suit the variety of customers that come to your shows or website.
These little personal touches are one of the reasons people come to craft shows. They truly are looking for one-of-a-kind items. As an example, you might crochet a little bowler-style hat that not only sells well, but is also fun to make. You begin working in the round with an ever-expanding flat circle that grows in radius depending on the hat size you want to make. So if you stop at 88 single crochets on top, you repeat that same number of stitches in whatever number of rounds that give you the desired "height" of your hat. If you want a sharp crease between the top and side, then do a back loops only round in the transition. That allows you to add a round of stitches in a contrasting color and/or in a different kind of stitch in the front loops.
Instead, you might choose to pick up a second color, without doing back loops only, as you transition from the top of the hat to the sides for as many rounds as you like. Don't worry if the transitional yarn is thicker, since it adds a little more dimension to the hat. From this you can see the variety that could be done, whether stripes, top and bottom contrasting colors, a band of contrasting color, etc. A simple flower on a pillbox style of hat adds fun, but is not too childlike to be appealing to women. Whereas a large carnation-like flower and pink colored yarn is much more child-like and appeals to a woman buying for her child or grandchild. Putting a flower or some fun buttons or a little pompom on the top of a hat, makes it more likely to sell. Likewise, using copper instead of stainless steel makes metalwork appear totally different.
The strength of your artistic nature is fortified when you have taken the extra step to be more creative, beyond what a pattern might dictate. It is in those small touches or major changes in color, texture or finish that allow you to express your true craft and creativity. So, a shrewd craft marketing tip is this: If you want to stand out, add or change a little design element to each of your creations to make people know that they have something truly unique. Vary your price accordingly. Major changes can mean increased costs to the buyer and more profits for you. Minor changes can add a greater range of prices for customers at various economic levels and result in more pieces sold. Either way it is a win-win situation for you.
Copyright 2016 by Linda K Murdock. Linda Murdock owns her own business, has written 4 books and blogs about Colorado and its crafty people. To find more tips on craft show preparation and success, read her articles at http://lindakmurdock.com/
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