Fairs & Festivals

Beware of the CRAFT FAIR headings!!

One of the biggest bug bares of craft workers is when a craft fair is advertised promoting the hand made goods inside when the reality is that half of the stalls 'buy in' there items from overseas. 

You tend to find these fairs listed as 'craft & gift fairs' which is fine as long as the visitor understands that this means that the items for sale may not always be individually handcrafted by the stall holder and therefore may not be regarded as locally made. 

Until I started selling pottery at craft fairs I always assumed that the things I found in such fairs were hand made locally.  Of course I now realize that this is not always the case, and generally the price tag will indicate this!

Having goods bought in from overseas not only has a detrimental effect on the prices of the 'real' handmade articles but is also continuing to condone the slave labour in other countries never mind what may well be child labour!

In my experience many craft workers are very aware of what would be regarded as a 'reasonable price' for their goods and try to remain in-keeping with what customers would be prepared to spend.  After all we want to sell our craft and not have the same things hanging around our stalls indefinitely!

Ok, I will now step down from my 'hand made' orange box!! But just one more tale!

I was approached a few years ago at a fair and asked if I sold any of my pottery at wholesale prices.  I said I did but as I try to keep my prices as low as possible, with very little 'mark up' the prices would not be reduced that much.  The enquirer explained that they ran a fair trade policy in their shop and felt that although they would love to stock my mugs unless I could reduce the price to what would have been less than I could make them for they would not be able to justify their 300% mark up!!!
Needless to say we didn't do any business!  I appreciate that shops have high overheads and have to apply good sized percentages but if you deal in fair trade goods, surely you are being insulting asking a craftworker to tear out their own pocket linings to line yours with??