Monday, November 17, 2008

Detroit Urban Craft Fair!!


DUCF was awesome. Awesome!

DUCF 2008 from Dan Nixon on Vimeo.

I had such a great time, and the venue was amazing!
It was held in the Filmore Theater in down town Detroit, and the theater was beautiful. Really.

I was not only impressed with the venue, but also how well the whole thing was organized. Big kudos to everyone who put everything together.

There were so many really cool vendors as well. I have been hearing a lot of craft fairs are allowing people to sell manufactured goods, and things like AVON. But the DUCF was all handmade and all of it was really well made. I was so glad to be a part of it :)

I am actually sad that I won't be able to do it next year.

So I thought I would share some tips on craft fairs for those of you who might be thinking of doing one, or have an upcoming one in the schedule.

This is mostly for people who are selling art...things might be a little different for those of you who sell other items.

I can't stress that enough. Sometimes people don't have money at that time, but really like your things. Sometimes people will see something, but the person they want to buy it for is with them. Sometimes people want to contact you for a future show, or art fair, or interview, whatever. Sometimes people will just take one to take one and never visit your website again, but regardless bring them!
I bring about 200 and never run out.

Bring some bags.
I buy my bags at You have to buy them in quantities of 1,000...which is a lot.
But they are really good things to have. I got the plain brown ones, then screen printed one of my typewriters on it. I always ask if they would like a bag, and most of the time people say yes. It just makes their life a little easier.

Bring change!
I bring $200.00 in ones, fives, and tens. I price my items much like I price my Etsy items. Everything ends in a 5 or 0. It makes doing the math a lot easier. If you have a lot of items that end in 1, 2, 3, etc. Bring lots of ones.

Go to the thrift store and look for cool linens and items to place your prints in. I found these little plastic baskets for .99 each. I also found a pretty light blue table cloth for 3.00.

Make sure to have different "levels" to your table. Give it some height.
If you look closely at the picture you'll notice I have two small white "walls" that I hung my paintings on. I gessoed two unfinished panels and hinged them together. I think for the next fair I do I am going to go out and get some bigger pieces of plywood and do something similar. I just don't have a lot of money to spend on any more craft fair items...

Throught out the day be sure to straighten and move some of your items around. Switch it up a little bit!

Bring a sketchbook, or something small to work on while you're there. Hopefully you'll be too busy to sit down and do anything, but even when there are people at your table it's nice to have something to do while they are shopping. You don't want to be staring at them, making them feel unfortable :)

Generally just smile, say hello, and be friendly. Don't be too overbearing, but let them know you're friendly.

Have fun!!
I always have a lot of fun while I am there. Before and after can be stressful, but once I am there I always have a really good time.

That's all I got!


K. Trinks said...

you are so cute, miss maule. i showed your pic to my coworker and she said your setup looks very anthropologie mixed with cartoon. either way, i thought that would pump you up.

january...portland,'s gonna happen!

tri said...

Congrats! Looks like a great fair to have been part of. The tips are great too. Although Justin and his partners aren't there yet, it's great to read tips on how to sell at places such as this because one day... :D

Diana said...

Great tips! I like the idea of adding "height" to a table.

justagirl said...

wow it looks like such a beautiful venue. And thanks for the tips really good things to keep in mind. I am like you I always have a 5 or 0 at the end of my price... and only odd numbers (not fond of those silly even ones).

Your table looked really good all set up and I love the little baskets... v. cute.

Michele Maule said...

Let me know when Justin and his partner decide to do one. I'd be more than happy to help!

cheryl oz said...

I really liked your set up... and thought you were very friendly! :0)

o'reilly ink said...

Thanks for the tips! I have one next month and I can really use your advice. :)

Megan Chapman said...

Wow! Your table looks so impressive. I would want to drop a ton of money there because it is all so inviting.
Terrific tips too!

Congratulations on being awesome!

Jenni Horne said...

Yeah on the show! Your work is so inviting. I know you did amazing!

Michelle Brunner said...

Great tips! Thanks:) I have not done shows in awhile but was thinking of starting up this summer. Lovely set up!

ching said...

wow! great setup. you are awesome!

And, thank you so much for the tips! :)

happy :)

Art Kitten said...

Great post, Michele. These are great photos and great advice. Thank you for being such a great help.

Creative Debs said...

Wow thats brilliant! Congrats :)
Thanks for all the tips.

kristinknits said...

The DUCF was great! We bought one of the Detroit Michigan water towers from you. We are so excited to frame it and hang it in our home. : ) So, thanks!