The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #105488   Message #2171500
Posted By: Liz the Squeak
15-Oct-07 - 09:31 AM
Thread Name: BS: Craft stalls at festivals
Subject: RE: BS: Craft stalls at festivals
I took a craft stall once.

They made me put it back.

A friend told me once that it was totally worth it for 1 out of 3 festivals she worked, but you could never tell which one it was going to be. What went like hot cakes at one festival was lead balloon territory at another the following week.

She started out making Fimo (plastic modelling media that hardens in the oven) jewellery, dolls house food, badges, that sort of thing, way back in the 1980's. She worked many of the major southern festivals including Sidmouth and Towersey but never made enough to retire on. Costs back then were reasonable, now she sometimes barely makes enough to cover the charge because although her prices have gone up, the charges have gone up by more.

Also, working the festivals had a major drawback in that all the events she wanted to see, were on whilst the craft tent was open so she didn't get to do anything but trade or sleep. She found it a lot easier to do this at festivals where she had no interest in the performances.

The problem I've had with taking stalls at smaller events (school fetes and such), is that what I make on the day, ultimately isn't worth the time and effort spent in handmaking stuff (cards and labels in various media including embroidery), particularly as what I do sell, the profits go to various charities. The amount of stock needed to make a good showing far outweighs the monies raised. I'm trying a more upmarket venue this year - hopefully that will bring in a bit more.

Choose your product and your venue carefully, that's all I can say. Don't make the mistake of thinking your hobby can bring you income unless you are prepared to make your hobby your job, and live on short rations for a while. It may be your hobby now, and your favourite way of relaxing, but once it becomes your breadwinner and eating depends on making and selling, then it soon becomes a chore.