Need to expand your sales? Consider these often overlooked alternative markets...
Churches provide selling opportunities for many different craft items. For instance, you will find a market for stained glass windows, woven banners, candles, candle holders, altars, altar coverings, vestibules, tapestries, baskets, urns, wall hangings, and more.
To reach the church market, the first step might be your own church or the church of a friend. The organizational arm of the various congregations usually make budget and purchasing decisions.
Find out when they meet and ask if you can make a presentation. Almost every denomination sponsors annual conventions like the Southern Baptists Conference. Announcements of these events appear in the publications of the organizations.
In addition, you will also find in many large cities several religious stores that sell a variety of products including crafted items. Visit these retail outlets to determine if your craftwork will fit in.
Selling arts and crafts on university campuses
Some colleges allow craft fairs to be sponsored by their student associations or the university itself. In return, the university takes a percentage of total sales, usually around 15%.
The College Blue Book and the Comparative Guide to American Colleges both are directories of national colleges with descriptions of student activities. See your library.
Additional retail outlets
Retail craft stores aren’t the only possible outlets for craftwork. Depending on the kind of craft, its size, price, fragility, and construction, products can be marketed through a number of alternative retail outlets. For instance:
* Gourmet stores stock food and gift baskets.
* Airport and hotel gift shops attract travelers in transit.
* Museum and hospital gift shops as well.
* Gift stores can also be found at marinas in coastal areas.
* Beauty shops sometime display jewelry items or let their customers know they have them for sale.
* Campgrounds at national parks and tourist areas often sell craft gifts from local artisans.
* Christmas shops offer a wide variety of products including crafted wreaths and ornaments.
* Fashion boutiques that carry high-end garments are more likely to be interested in handwoven or one-of-a-kind pieces.
* Sell clothing and accessories to maternity shops.
* Cookware stores are additional outlets for pot holders, wood cooking boards, and other kitchen craft items.
* Florist shops offer potential for pressed flower gift boxes and related crafts.
* A woodworker might sell hand fashioned gun racks and gun stocks to gun stores.
About the Author
James Dillehay, author of seven books, is a nationally recognized expert on marketing arts and crafts. Artist, entrepreneur, and educator, his articles have helped over 15,000,000 readers of Family Circle, The Crafts Report, Better Homes & Gardens, Sunshine Artist, Ceramics Monthly, and more. James has appeared as a featured guest on HGTV's popular The Carol Duvall Show and he is a member of the advisory board to The National Craft Association. He is editor of
www.Craftmarketer.com. This article is copyrighted and excerpted from James Dillehay's The Basic Guide to Selling Arts & Crafts.