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Craft Shows: aa042999

If you weave, eventually you will want to sell some of your work. A craft show is a good way to display your work and perhaps be recompensed for some of your endeavours. In deciding to take the next step of entering a craft show, one of the first things you will need to do, is choose which ones to enter. Perhaps your local guild has annual shows for members. Or your community may offer special craft shows during the Christmas or summer seasons.

Once you have selected a show to enter and have paid your admission fees, you will need to prepare all of your products and supplies. Allow yourself plenty of time to get ready, Not only will you have to weave and carefully finish your handwovens but you will have to take care of a lot of other details and paperwork. All of your handwoven articles will have to be properly labelled and priced. I have written previous articles about labelling your work, and pricing products.

When you receive confirmation of your booth, the organizers will let you know the booth size and if any tables or chairs will be provided. You will need this information to plan your display and shelving requirements. If tables are provided, it’s a good idea to have a few large tablecloths to cover the tables, as you don’t know what they will look like until you arrive.

A good looking display is important for selling your products. Purchase some shelving or have someone make some for you that is easily portable and can be adapted to fit a variety of floor layouts.
Ask the organizers if electrical power is available. You might want to have some special lighting to display your work. Make sure that you have plenty of brochures, price lists and business cards printed. Depending on the type of show that you are attending, many people don’t make actual purchases at your booth, but do take brochures and place orders at a later time. It would be disappointing to lose a potential customer because you have run out of promotional materials.

Check with your local government agencies to see if you need to register for provincial, federal or state tax licensing or if you require a business license to sell your work in a particular city. Keep accurate records. Take an inventory listing of all of your products as you are pricing them, so that you know exactly what stock you have on hand. Use a numbered coding system for each product, so that you can quickly write down the code on the invoice as it is sold. This will help you track what items sold. You can use this information for planning for future shows to determine which products were most popular.

Have plenty of invoice/sales books with you to record all the sales you are going to make. Take calculators, lots of pens, paper, scotch tape and other stationery supplies, as well as bags for packaging your customer sales. Your goods will need to be packaged in boxes that will be suitable for shipping and carrying to the booth. I use the large plastic tubs for many of my products as they are reusable and can be neatly stacked or packed away under tables. You might also have to purchase a car-top carrier, in order to fit all of your products.

Try to arrive at the show fairly early to set up your booth. Use this time before the actual show opens, to arrange an attractive display. Be prepared that you might have forgotten something and might have to take a quick trip to purchase additional supplies.

Hopefully, you will have brought along a friend that can help you at the show and allow you to take a few breaks as well. Bring along a water bottle with fresh water, to sip and refresh yourself during the quieter moments. Enjoy yourself and be proud of all your accomplishments and others will appreciate your work too. Good luck!

Craft Business Books

The Handmade Marketplace, 2nd Edition: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and Online

Grow Your Handmade Business: How to Envision, Develop, and Sustain a Successful Creative Business

Art Money & Success: A complete and easy-to-follow system for the artist who wasn’t born with a business mind. Learn how to find buyers, get paid … nicely, deal with copycats and sell more art.

Art Money & Success: A complete and easy-to-follow system for the artist who wasn’t born with a business mind. Learn how to find buyers, get paid … nicely, deal with copycats and sell more art.

Sewing to Sell – The Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Craft Business: Bonus – 16 Starter Projects • How to Sell Locally & Online

Handmade Adjustable Floor Rag Rug Twining Loom 48" x 27.5"

$100.00
End Date: Monday Dec-2-2019 4:30:45 PST
Buy It Now for only: $100.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Kromski Rigid Heddle Loom 24 Inch

$325.00
End Date: Tuesday Dec-17-2019 6:40:13 PST
Buy It Now for only: $325.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Antique Vintage Nilus Leclerc Loom Tension Box Warp Weaving Wood

$109.99
End Date: Saturday Dec-14-2019 5:45:28 PST
Buy It Now for only: $109.99
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Pricing Handwovens

Even though you may not be a weaver by profession at some point someone will ask if you are willing to sell your work. How much do you charge? How do you determine a reasonable price that will cover your costs and hopefully give you a bit of profit for your effort as well?

There are a number of points to consider:
supplies – the cost of your materials,
your time – both warping, weaving and finishing,
and the market price – what the customer is willing to pay.
Material cost:
There are a number of weave drafting software programs that will assist you in estimating your material costs. You enter the data: warp and weft cost per lb., sett, length and width of project, number of items, etc. and the total project cost is calculated for you.

Because so much of your time is spent warping the loom and materials lost to loom waste, it is more economical to make more than one item at a time. For this example, I will do the calculations for 3 mohair blanket throws.

  • Mohair cost per lb: $ 40.00
  • Yards per lb: 2240 y.p.p.
  • Sett: 6 e.p.i
  • P.P.I: 6 p.p.i.
  • Project width: 45 in.
  • Total length including loom waste: 12 yd.
  • Loom waste: 27 in.
  • Number of finished items: 3

For pricing purposes, in the material cost per lb. I have used the average Retail cost of the yarn. Even though I may be fortunate and have found material on sale or am able to purchase a large quantity at wholesale prices, for pricing products, it is wise to use the highest price I might have to pay for materials. Why? If I get a repeat order and have run out of the material I got on sale, and have to reorder at a higher price, I may not be able to meet the order.

Warp Cost:

  • Width x e.p.i. = 45 x 6 = 270 ends
  • No ends x Total length = 270 x 12 yds = 3240 yd.
  • Total yds/y.p.p. = 3240/2240 = 1.45 lb.
  • Total lb. x Cost per lb. = 1.45 x $ 40 = $ 58.00

Weft Cost:

  • Project width x p.p.i = 45 x 6 = 270 in.
  • Total length x 36 = 12 x 36 = 432 in.
  • Total length – loom waste = 432 – 27 = 405
  • (270 x 405)/36 = 109350 in./36 = 3038 yds.
  • Total yds/ ypp = 3038/2240 = 1.36 lb.
  • Total lb. x Cost per lb. = 1.36 x $40 = $ 55.00
  • Warp cost + Weft Cost = $ 58 + $ 55 = $ 113.00
  • Material Cost per Item:
    Total Cost/ No. of Items = $ 113/3 = $ 38.00

For your accounting records, you will have to recalculate this to obtain the actual cost of this project using the price you paid for your materials. The difference between the 2 “costs” is your profit on materials.
Labour cost:
Now that you know your material cost, you have to determine what your labour is worth. Is weaving your passion and you would happily work for free? Or do you want to make an income? When you calculate this, please remember that there are weavers who do this for a living. If you are willing to work for free, then others have to compete with lower prices and you may be doing them a disservice. Also, if you are successful and have to hire others, what will you have to pay someone else to weave for you? For illustration purposes, I will use a labour cost of $ 10.00 per hour.

Warping time:
Estimate how long it takes you to warp a loom and add this to your calculation.
Weaving time:
What is your average time to weave a certaing length of fabric? Time yourself over several projects. If you have put on a blanket warp as in this example, record your start and finish times as you are working on the project. Using these records will help you to determine what your average weaving speed is and also identify if your speed is improving. For this calculation, I will use an estimate of 1 ft. per hour.

Finishing:
It is important to not forget that it takes time to finish your projects. How long does it take to wash, full, brush and finish the ends of your blankets?

  • Warp time: 5 hr. x $ 10 = $ 50.00
  • Weave time: 10 yd = 30 ft.
  • 30 hr. x $ 10 = $ 300.00

3 blankets x 2 hr./blanket = 6 hr.
6 hr. x $ 10 = $ 60.00
Total Cost:

  • Material: $ 115.00
  • Warp time: $ 50.00
  • Weaving time: $ 300.00
  • Finishing: $ 60.00
  • Total: $ 525.00
  • Total Price per Blanket: $ 525/3 = $ 175.00

So now you have determined that you should charge at least $ 175.00 for your blankets. The other important factor to consider is what price your market will bear. Will your customers be willing to pay $ 175 for your blankets? Are you able to charge more because your blankets are of exceptional quality? Do you have a ready supply of materials that you can obtain at a very low cost and are able to drop your selling price?

If you sell wholesale to retail stores or on consignment, the stores will also mark-up your products, so the final selling price will almost double. If you are able to sell a larger quantity, will the increased sales make up your profit margin so that you are able to drop your wholesale prices?

There are a lot of factors to consider when pricing. If you have questions or comments, join us in the forum for an ongoing discussion on pricing and marketing of our products.

Craft Business Information

Product Labelling

Attending a Craft Show

Craft Business Books

The Handmade Marketplace, 2nd Edition: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and Online

Grow Your Handmade Business: How to Envision, Develop, and Sustain a Successful Creative Business

Art Money & Success: A complete and easy-to-follow system for the artist who wasn’t born with a business mind. Learn how to find buyers, get paid … nicely, deal with copycats and sell more art.

Art Money & Success: A complete and easy-to-follow system for the artist who wasn’t born with a business mind. Learn how to find buyers, get paid … nicely, deal with copycats and sell more art.

Sewing to Sell – The Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Craft Business: Bonus – 16 Starter Projects • How to Sell Locally & Online

Handmade Adjustable Floor Rag Rug Twining Loom 48" x 27.5"

$100.00
End Date: Monday Dec-2-2019 4:30:45 PST
Buy It Now for only: $100.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Kromski Rigid Heddle Loom 24 Inch

$325.00
End Date: Tuesday Dec-17-2019 6:40:13 PST
Buy It Now for only: $325.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Antique Vintage Nilus Leclerc Loom Tension Box Warp Weaving Wood

$109.99
End Date: Saturday Dec-14-2019 5:45:28 PST
Buy It Now for only: $109.99
Buy It Now | Add to watch list