July 2009

In This Edition:


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Surveys and sunshine

After my recent trip to Bloemfontein and Jo'burg, I can say with conviction that we Capetonians have it really easy in winter. I had no idea what "cold" was until I stepped outside on our first morning in Jo'burg and felt the icy air going right through my bones. I had a super time, and met some fantastic people (including Priscilla, a warm, hospitable crafter in Bloemfontein who invited us into her home and fed us the best milk tart I've ever tasted!), but I was rather happy to arrive back in warm, sunny Cape Town at the end of it all. ;-)

Feedback on our poll

In the last edition of the Craft Gazette we asked readers based in Cape Town to take a short poll about a possible new craft market in the northern suburbs. We had an amazing response, and the results are looking very promising. Thanks to all of you who took the time to give us your thoughts; as soon as plans have been finalised we will contact you with the details (and publish them here and on the website, of course!). If you're a crafter or supplier based in Cape Town, and haven't yet taken the poll, there's still time - just click here and answer a few simple questions.


How to have a profitable craft show booth

by Natalie Goyette

In the hustle and bustle of getting ready for a craft show, invariably the one area that usually sees the least amount of effort is the craft show booth. Come on, admit it: you haven't really given much thought to how you are going to arrange your crafts and design the booth so that it is easy and appealing for customers to come in.

But, when we equate traffic with potential profit at a craft show, it is very easy to see that an increase in traffic will most likely come to a booth that has appeal to it. And once you get the buyers in, your booth needs to make them want to buy.

Here are 5 things you need to do to your craft show booth:

Clean it

Many people are turned off by clutter and disorganization. In fact, they would probably take one look at a dirty and disorganized craft show booth and form an opinion on the craft itself. It probably won't be a good one, either.

Access to crafts

Humans are sensory beings; if you have potpourri, it needs to be sniffed. If you have a pot holder, people need to be able to touch it and inspect it. Appealing to more than just the sense of sight is a great way to help make a sale. Encourage craft show goers to handle your crafts with care!

Good flow

Create a pattern for people to enter and exit the craft show booth - a path that takes them by all of the major items and provides space for congregation among popular crafts in your booth. The flow should be easy and free, and of course it should end up with them passing by the till, where hopefully they have made a purchase.

Price and merchandise

This is a two-part tip: first, you need to make sure that the price is available for the customers to see. It should be on a tag that is on the craft, or it should be on a sign around or above the crafts. Never make people guess - and often (unless they MUST have the item) they won't ask. They'll just walk by. Second - when laying out the merchandise, tease the people walking through. Show a crocheted hat on top of a "head", or get those fake birds to demonstrate how they eat from your wooden birdfeeder. Merchandising is all about putting a product in its natural environment and when people can imagine it there they have an easier time imagining the craft in their home.

Make check-out easy

If you have to have two tills working, automated debit card and credit card machines, then you should do it. If sales are being turned away because people are waiting to pay, then you are losing money. If you expect a lot of business at a craft show, make sure you are prepared to handle the glut of sales you can make. There is nothing worse than watching person after person pick up your craft, see the lineup for the till, and then put the craft back down and walk out of the booth.

Craft show booth creation is time and energy well spent. You can increase your profit by making your booth more appealing, more convenient, and even more efficient for a buyer. You don't want customers to walk away and get their craft from the next booth just because it is cleaner and the crafts are easier to access. Think of the customers first, and you can't possibly go wrong!

Article source: EzineArticles.com

Natalie Goyette shows you how to make your craft show business profitable in her best selling ebook Craft Show Success Secrets. Visit her site Craft Shows.


Win with Red Balloon

Answer a simple question based on last month's Craft Gazette, and you could win two sewing patterns courtesy of Eazy Stitch.

Eazy Stitch Patterns is a range of practical, basic sewing patterns designed for local fabric, and making use of simple needlework techniques. Hesmari van Toorn, the owner of Eazy Stitch, is a mother of three, and so she understands very well how important it is to save both time and money - particularly for mothers on a budget.

Click here to enter.

If you would like to offer a prize through the Red Balloon Craft Junction, please contact Guinivea and she will let you know what you need to do. This is a great opportunity to get exposure for your business at a very low cost - we don't charge a fee to run competitions, so your only investment is the prize itself.


What's on

If you are giving a craft class, running a craft market or organising any other crafting event, please remember to add it to the Red Balloon Events Calendar so that we can share it with everyone.

  • Ceramic Painting for Housewives (Gauteng)
    Spend a relaxing morning at Potter's Corner in Roodepoort, learning how to paint your own ceramic bowls for your house. All tools are supplied.
    Click here for more information and contact details.

  • KTV Craft Sessions (Gauteng)
    Free craft sessions held by KTV for children between 6 and 16. These craft sessions are in preparation for children to participate in the KTV Market Day, which takes place on 5 September 2009 at the Brightwater Commons. Booking is essential as spaces are limited.
    Get all the details here.

  • Spiral Moon Market (Gauteng)
    Browse handmade crafts, consult tarot and rune readers, participate in a drumming circle and enjoy international foods at this craft market and esoteric fair, held in Kyalami on the second Sunday of every month. There's entertainment for the children too, including a jumping castle.
    Click here for venue and trading hours.

  • The Craft Market at Spier (Western Cape)
    The craft market at Spier showcases top-quality contemporary and traditional artworks by South African crafters. You will see textiles, ceramics, woodwork and African beadwork here, including the fabulous Nguni-style tapestries that are hand-woven by the women of the Keiskamma Embroidery project in the Eastern Cape.
    Dates: Every day, weather permitting
    Venue: Next to Spier's Wine Welcome Centre, Stellenbosch
    Trading hours: 10am - 5pm


On the bookshelf

Gel Candles: 40 Creative Projects by C. Kaila Westerman

This beautifully-illustrated guide kicks off with 10 easy steps to crafting gel candles, and then leads the reader through a series of increasingly attractive and unusual projects.

The projects make use of a variety of techniques including embedding decorative items, bleeding dyes together, decorating containers, and mixing opaque and gel wax.

This book is suited to both beginners and experienced gel crafters.

Get more info on this title here.

Find more book reviews in the Craft Compendium.


Opportunities for crafters

Get more info on places to sell your crafts, in the Craft Outlets section of the Red Balloon Craft Junction.

  • Mosaic Inspirations, an exhibition of mosaic art (Gauteng)
    Mosaic artists are invited to exhibit their work at the first Mosaic Inspirations exhibition. Entries of all levels are welcome, for sale or display.
    Dates: 5 to 26 September 2009
    Venue: 107 Siersteen Street, Silvertondale, Pretoria
    Closing date: 17 August
    Call 012 804 7392 or visit www.mosaicarts.co.za for more information.

That's all for this edition. Wrap up warmly, and remember to check the Events Calendar at the Red Balloon Craft Junction to see what's on in your area.

Till next month,