Friday, May 21, 2010

Getting ready for a craft show- part 2.

Checklist for Craft shows

Here are some items that we take to the shows with us. It's nice to keep a list handy from year to year and you can add to it. It is usually so busy by the time the shows come around that you may forget something. I like to keep a little plastic tote with a lot of these items in it and then I just pack it with my cash register.

fabric for covering tables
broom /dust pan
bags- we have regular sized bags and then we take garbage bags in case it's raining out and they buy larger    items.
tissue to wrap fragile items
xtra price tags-for mark downs or items you missed
cash register/ register tape/ batteries or electric cords
Change- always take lots of extra change. Every year we write down how much we took and if we ran low on anything, then we know to adjust it the following year.
tax number to display- I use an old picture frame
business cards/holder
wire, tools, and nails for fixing broken items
hot glue gun
paint/brushes- for touch ups
paper towels
wet wipes/ antibacterial soap
hand lotion
snacks in case you can't leave your booth
sponge- I keep a damp one in a plastic soap dish so that I can dampen my fingers while handling money to keep dollar bills from sticking together

These are the basics. We also take items for decorating our booth. We get a lot of people asking if they can just buy our decorations!! In the fall we just use grapevine and some fabric pumpkins that my mom makes and at Christmas we use grapevine, clear lights and pip berrys. We don't like to put too much up because you want your crafts to be the main focus.

When we set up our booth we put all the fall items together and the winter/Christmas items together. I got a great display that holds 9 baskets and we put our ornaments and bowl fillers in it. Make sure to keep your booth looking neat. Anytime we get a few quiet minutes we go around the booth and fill any empty hooks and move things around. It's funny when we move something that hasn't sold all day, it always seems to sell as soon as it's in a new place.

You might want to print out this checklist and keep it with your supplies, and add to it after each show.
Good luck at your shows!

If you have any questions about craft shows, please leave a comment and I will try to answer all the questions.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Getting ready for a craft show

Hi, I have had a lot of questions about getting ready for craft shows. I have been doing them for about 7 or 8 years now and I learn something new every year!
Seriously though there is a lot to keep in mind when you decide to do a craft show. I will go over everything from the shows, how to make your display, items you won't want to forget to take, and a lot more.

This is a picture of our show we do in October.  It's our inside show and we have 2 booths.

Right now we do only 2 shows a year. One of them is a 2 day show in September and the other is a 5 day (2 weekends) show in October. I have found that the fall shows are the best for me. You need to decide which will work better with the products that you sell. For instance, if you do florals, you may do well at the Spring shows. The best thing I did was to go to the shows that I was interested in and talk to some of the vendors. I would go to the shows with my parents, since we do the shows together, and look at displays. You will want to keep in mind the items you sell when looking at the displays to decide what is the best way to showcase your items. Every year we think that we have the booth exactly as we want it but we still change our booth every year! My dad laughs when my mom and I start a sentence with "we were thinking"!! He knows we have big ideas to change the booth around again! You will also want to look at where the vendors need to park and how far you will need to carry your items to the booth. It will help to know these things so that you can plan ahead. We bought a wagon to load our things on. You will want to decide if you would be able to do an outside show or if you need to be inside. Some shows have both inside and outside booths available. Sometimes the outside booths are priced a little cheaper. Just keep in mind the weather. If you make homemade chocolates, you may not want an outside booth in the middle of summer! One of our shows is outside and we have been lucky most years as far as the weather. We did set up the year when we had the horrible floods in 2004. We were lucky and didn't lose any merchandise although others were not as lucky. Sometimes the shows will offer to let you have an electric outlet. So if you need lights, or power for your register, make sure you ask about that. I bought a battery powered cash register because we do the one show outside and there are no electric hook ups there.

We have double booths at both shows. We needed to get tents for the show that is outside. We were able to find ours at Sam's Club. I can't remember the exact price but it was roughly around $100. They are both 10x10 tents and they do have the sides with them. We have both a velcro one and one that zips. I like the one that zips, it just seems easier to me. They are both EZ UP tents. Now our first time trying to put it up... I did not believe it was the right name for the tent!! Luckily my dad, mom and I get along great and we just laughed at each other! After we realized what we were doing, it did go up pretty easy. We get quicker every year! Our walls were made by my dad. He used pegboard and framed each panel. Yes, they are heavy but they work the best with our crafts. Some people use grid wire, wood, I have even seen chicken wire. Our other show is inside so we don't need the tents for it. Keep in mind that you want to design your booth so that your customers are able to move easily through your booth, so they can see everything. Our one show is so busy that the aisles are really packed with people and sometimes the flow of people just push people right past our booth. We opened our booth up so the customers can come into our booth and take their time to look at our crafts. We also put our cash register at one end of the booth. We get very busy and will have a line of people at the register. We designed our booth so that when this happens, our most popular items are not blocked by the line. My mom makes yardstakes and they sell so well, we had to figure out a way for her to refill them during our busy hours. Since I run the register and my mom wraps and bags the sales, it's hard to get away to refill our booth. She would try to get around the line and get through the crowd. It was really difficult to do it quickly so we asked my dad to add a "secret" door! We place the yardstakes right beside the door and then she just walks behind the booth, opens the door and refills the yardstakes without any problems. A lot of what we have learned has been through trial and error. You of course want to make sure you have lots of inventory for your shows. Even though we do just the 2 shows a year, we work all year long making crafts so we won't run out. Sometimes we still do! You will also want to keep in mind where you might want to keep your extra inventory. My mom and dad bought a trailer to keep their items in and we also put items behind our booth. Although some shows you must stay within your space. 

My best advice is to visit craft shows you would like to attend, and ask questions! 

My next entry will cover the items that you will want to make sure you take with you to the shows.

Have a great day!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Taco Salad Recipe

Printable Recipe
Hi, I decided to do something different today.  Instead of posting one of my latest crafts, I thought I would share one of my most popular recipes.  Cooking Thursday is hosted by Sandra at Diary of a SAHM! Stop by and visit for some yummy recipes!    I just added this recipe to the blog.
I had originally got the recipe from my Aunt, and now whenever we have a get together, this is what I bring.  I never have left overs!!  I hope you like it, and let me know if you like the recipe posts.  I can add them in every so often.  I know I like to try different recipes.
I hope you enjoy!

Taco Salad
1 head iceberg lettuce
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 lbs ground beef
1 package taco seasoning
2 tomatoes
1 onion
1 bag  Doritos any flavor, we like the Nacho cheese flavor
1 (16 ounce) bottle Catalina dressing

1.  Brown ground beef and taco seasoning.
2.  Drain and let cool.
3.  Chop lettuce, tomatoes, and onions.
4.  Put into a large container.
5.  Add cheese and crushed Doritos.
6..Add cooled ground beef.
7.  Pour Catalina dressing over all of it 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Blog giveaway

Good morning! 
I wanted to let you all in on a giveaway!  It's from Marie's Country Woodcrafts.  Marie does amazing paintings and this one is on a wooden spoon.  She also finds some of the cutest items to paint.  Check out her blog and sign up at /

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