Maker Tips: 3 Craft Show Do’s and Don’ts

Danielle Spurge Post - Maker Tips - 3 Craft Show Dos and Donts 1

Post by aftcra Guest Blogger, Danielle Spurge of Merriweather Council. Sign up for The Merriweather Council’s newsletter here.

I love to go to craft shows because it is so fun to get out of the house and be amongst crafty friends and lovers of craft! Plus it’s fun to set up your booth and talk about your work all day. I realize some people are not into this at all, but I love it and encourage everyone to do it at least a few times!

To preface these tips there is the mother of all craft show logic: only shows that suit your work, price points and appeal to your target audience. Will your people be there? This is the number one consideration! No point in investing time, money and energy into a show that doesn’t attract the people who want to buy your stuff. No matter how much promotion you do for a show you’ll be at, the organizers are the ones who will primarily determine what kind of audience this show attracts so do your research!

Ahh craft show season!! Gotta love it. On top of the main factors in craft shows such as location and target audience, you want to consider a few more things that are specific to you and your product’s presentation at a show. Being mindful of display, attitude and personal behavior is essential when doing a show! Here are my personal craft show do’s and don’ts for making it through this craft show season.

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3 Craft Show Do’s

1. Do Display Wisely!

You want to present your item as close to it’s “natural environment” as possible. This means that if you sell wall art, you want to display it hanging, on a “wall” in your craft show booth. Some folks are lucky – photographers and painters especially- in that people generally understand you hang these up or frame them. But if you sell an item that is a bit more cryptic, let’s say a ceramic tile, people might not “get it” if it’s just laying on the table. Give your work as much context as possible for the passerby.

2. Do Use Signage.

Signs are essential. For pricing or additional info, signs are great for giving people info they are too shy to ask about. If you have a product that is difficult to adhere a price tag to, a sign is an easy way to communicate that info. Likewise, you want your signage to promote your brand and give interest to your space, so consider hanging signs above your table or from the sides of your tent if possible – rather than only putting a sign across the front of a table, where it will be blocked as soon as someone comes to your table, which is what you want! A sign that explains you take credit cards will also go a long way.

3. Do greet customers.

Time to break out of your shell here, people! A simple hello and welcome is a nice way to let patrons know you are the person in charge of this space. A friend of mine who worked many years in retail passed this phase along to me: “let me know if i can answer any questions while you look around.” This immediately takes away the weirdness associated with “Let me know if you have any questions” / “no I’m just looking” exchange. You have already acknowledged that they are browsing, and offered a no pressure invite. Don’t harp on people, some folks find it annoying.


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3 Craft Shows Don’ts

1. Don’t spend the whole day on your phone.

Or otherwise huddled in the back corner. Be present and available for questions, discussions and most importantly, transactions! You are the brand, so be the brand!

2. Don’t only accept cash.

If you have the ability to sell online, you have the ability to accept credit card in person at a show, assuming there is decent cell service at your event’s venue. Many people will not have cash on them, don’t make it harder for people to buy from you.

3. Don’t compare yourself to your neighbors.

Shows are hard in that, you are competing in real life with the person directly next to you! You will get mad, frustrated and confused if you spend the whole day wondering how everyone else is doing. Not to mention distracted. Focus on the customers in your booth, and making sure your display is enticing and presents your products as well as possible. Don’t spend your day hypothesizing with your neighbor on how things are going down the hall or in the front of the room. Just make the most of what you’re got going on!


Learn More Now!

Get more advice, maker tips and handmade shop management guidance from Danielle by opting-in to the Merriweather Council’s newsletter. Here you can gain access to a variety of e-courses, including a free optimization course which focuses on optimization of your social presence from your online shop to your Instagram profile.


About the Author, Danielle Spurge of Merriweather Council:
Danielle Spurge of Merriweather Council on aftcra - 4 passive ways to advertise your online shop

Danielle is a crafter, blogger and crafty business consultant. She empowers creatives to share their work with confidence, optimize their handmade shops + leverage their creations. More info can be found at the merriweathercouncil blog.










Laura Martindale has an Artistic i


We recently met up with one of our first sellers, Laura Martindale, to learn more about her passion for art and her thoughts about aftcra. First and foremost, who is Laura?

Laura is an artist from the low country of South Carolina, just outside of Charleston.  

As the founder and owner of Artistic i, Laura wields her brushes and paints on behalf of diverse residential and commercial clientele. She paints everything from nurseries and children’s rooms to model homes and commercial interiors. Whether it is a detailed mural or commissioned painting, Laura’s art is beautiful and purposeful. She works closely with clients to fulfill their vision and the potential of the space often in ways the client may not even have thought possible. Not only does Laura paint throughout the Southeast, she travels world-wide to perform at live events. She even creates live wedding paintings! 

Laura’s artwork doesn’t stop at the canvas, she also designs websites & logos to develop company branding. As quoted in Daniel Island News, “Laura has fine-tuned her craft so thoughtfully that she can produce a stunning oil painting one week and a tight corporate graphic design package the next.”  

 “Artwork can be a very powerful tool for any setting. I understand the importance of layout, design, color persuasion and how to speak visually to people. Instant gratification and awe are part of my weekly repertoire. The fulfillment of being a professional artist is immeasurable.” – Laura Martindale


Laura, we think you’ve got talent! How would you describe your art? 

Modern, colorful/bright. I enjoy high contrast and realism. My goal is for my artwork to demand attention when you enter a room.


 We love that your artwork can be customized.  How do you work with your clients to deliver what they want?

One of my strongest talents is listening to my customers. I ask a lot of questions and ask for photographs of the space (when necessary) or if I live close by I will visit the space. I listen to what my customer is envisioning and I make it happen. I’m happy to say, I’ve never had a disappointed client. My customers almost always say “This turned out better than I ever expected.” They are over the moon with the final product whether it is a mural or on canvas. That is my goal – to exceed their expectations.


 As an American artist, how important is “Made in America” to you?  

Products made in America are very important to me. All of the products I use: paint, canvas, stretcher strips, giclee printing, etc. are all made here in the states. I feel the government needs to do more to make it possible for more companies to operate this way.


What makes you excited about aftcra? 

I think it is wonderful that you are supporting “Made in America” companies. I know people that only shop this way, and now you have made it easier for them to do so!


 For original artwork by Laura, check out her aftcra store, myArtistici, by clicking here: