I loved going to the South Haven Art Fair this past weekend in Michigan. Here are some trends I picked up on!
- Using vintage suitcases or hatboxes to display small items in large quantities. I think this selling tactic really works. The bright colors and the urge to search through the suitcases to find something new is a huge draw. As I stood in this booth several others were waiting for me to move on so that they too could “scavenge” for the coolest item. I liked how this booth used the lid as a place to put information about the items. It was short, sweet, and to the point.
- This artist made custom glass beads and it looks like this custom display as well. If you have smaller items like this, it may be a good idea to display them securely so that an item doesn’t walk. I loved the way this looked and reminded me of a kids’ toy (you know, the one with the wooden beads and the twisty lines and you’d spend hours moving the beads from one side to the other). These glass beads glittered in the summer sun and this booth was very popular.
- This isn’t a super new idea, but I saw almost every booth using some sort of crate or box to display their pieces. Crates give your booth height and will draw your eye upward to look at more than just whatever is on the table.
- This earring tree was so cute! I see these types of pieces at Kohl’s and Target all the time. Just wait for a sale and stalk one of these note/card holders to get a good deal. I love that this booth used a cute note holder to hold the paper for their earrings. Very clever and did I mention cute?
- I loved seeing a good use of vertical space in what could have been a crowded area. This PVC pipe mug “tree” was an excellent way to display handmade mugs right at the front of the booth. This is helpful for the “lookers” that aren’t sure they want to make the full commitment of coming into your booth. This mug tree grabbed my attention and pulled me inside to look at the rest of the pottery. I could easily see this being used to display crochet hats and scarves and so much more!
- Offering the option to do a custom order was something that I hadn’t really noticed before, but I see a lot of potential with this technique. This particular booth made gorgeous macrame jewelry and she mentioned that she made little bracelets for two boys that brought her stones from Lake Michigan that day. I loved that. This sign shows that the artist cares more about what you want than making an instant sale. And that can make all of the difference.
- Showing items with a variety of purpose is a great idea that many people may forget about. Of course this vase is for flowers, but it just looks so much better WITH flowers in it. Behind this vase you can see a mini vase being used as a toothpick holder and another wall vase being used to hold scissors and a pencil. This photo shows just how versatile this person’s items were. Showing your customers that your product is versatile can be a huge selling point.
- Now this was something I had never seen before. This booth used the booth as more of a backdrop to their tables. There was hardly anything in their booth! You can see in the first picture how far out the tables were from the actual tent. Now if you attempt something like this, be sure to clear it with the people in charge of your fair. But as long as you are within the parameters of your assigned lot, I don’t see why you couldn’t try it! This booth was quite busy as well and used height to their advantage. It was very much a “Look at me!” move, and it definitely worked. (click on each picture to see it larger)
What trends have you been seeing at craft fairs lately?
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