Pixie Portal

Delve into Wendy's World of Knitting, Illustrator, Cats, and Pixie Magic.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

12 things you never wanted to know about knitting and craft fairs

I've been pondering with the idea of knitting a bunch of purses and taking them to a craft fair and selling them. It would be a way to fund my knitting habit. And I get a kick out of the idea that my one of my knitted purses would be out in the world on the arm of a complete stranger. So I did some research and this is what I discovered:

1. Most craft festivals are hosted by area chambers of commerce.

2. Chamber of Commerce websites are some of the worst in the world. Their web pages are too busy, they have horrible navigation and you can't find what you are looking for. Awful! Awful!

3. Vendor information for crafts fairs is virtually non-existent. One must repeatedly call the Chambers and wait on hold and get hung up upon and call again just to get simple information like how much a booth costs. And just forget finding that information online. (PS... I could go into a huge rant here about how spoiled I am by the internet. I don't want to call someone for heaven's sake! I want to read about it online! Don't they know about anti-social, internet lovers like me?!)

4. Chambers of Commerce are inefficient. There are 200+ vendors at these shows. Which means they have to (poorly!) answer 200+ phone calls from vendors. For heavens sake! Put this info on the Internet! OK... enough picking on the Chambers.

5. One must plan a year in advance to apply to become a craft fair vendor. No kidding! I checked out craft fairs that will be held from June through December. All of them had a January - March application process. It's April so I've missed the boat for the rest of 2006.

6. Craft fairs are "juried". Which means that as part of your application you have to submit several pieces of your work. A jury will judge if it's too ugly for their fair. Also, if there are 20 knitters who want a spot and the fair has places for 10, the jury picks which 10 get to go. Does anyone remember The Gong Show on tv? It would be freakin' horrible to have your knitting rejected.

7. Farmer's markets only sell food, candles, wreaths and wine. No knitting sold there.

8. Portland's Saturday Market... Rocks!!
Their information is all online. They accept Guest Vendors. It only takes 7 days to get your stuff approved. The booths are cheap- $36 on Saturdays, $20 on Sundays. Saturday Market is established and well visited. Yea for Saturday Market!!

9. Knitting is a slow craft. It takes around 14 days to knit a purse. Therefore you could knit two purses per month. It would take 5 months to create an inventory of 10 purses. 10 months to create a 20 purse inventory.

10. Yarn can be expensive. It costs around $50 to buy purse yarn.

11. Knitting doesn't pay. The most you could probably sell a hand-knit purse for is $85. This is a $35 profit. This means that you only earn around 60 CENTS for every hour you knit. Or to look at it another way, you could spend 5 months knitting 10 purses and if you were able to sell them, you would make $350... for five months worth of work. Yikes!

12. If you decide to knit bags for resale, do it for the love of the craft.

I haven't decided if this is something I want to pursue. But I thought I would share this knowledge with you-- How Wendy spent five hours on Tuesday!

And now, after such a serious post.... a cat picture to make you smile.


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