I have done many craft shows, and just love meeting new vendors. At a craft show last year, I met a beautiful couple who were "retired". Both of them had always done crafts. He made wooden clocks, and she did quilted bags, purses etc. They seemed to do well for customers, and were always searching out new craft ideas to expand their business.
But what they told me next, was a brilliant idea. They had wanted to travel the USA, and really did not have the funds to do so. Their pensions were not huge, and although they were blessed with good health, they did not want to get back into the "9 to 5" working world, but wanted to continue with their craft business. They said it kept them young!
Craft Show Display Ideas That Setup Quick
Their craft business had been successful so far, and they had done the craft show circuit in their area. Getting well known along the way. Well, last year they decided they wanted to travel through the states through the north east more. So, they found out where all the big craft shows and fairs were, and their dates and sent off their applications to them. Once they had been accepted at various craft shows, then they planned their trip, based on where the shows were.
They put a few days in between each craft show, so as to tour the area. This way, the money they made from the crafts would fund their vacation.
Funding Your Vacation with Craft Shows
They already had a van for carting their wares, so they spent the previous winter, stalking up their supplies of products, and packing them well, and set off for the spring and summer craft show circuit. They were telling me how much they enjoyed it.
Many of the craft shows, were only the one weekend, and in some cases only one day. They did better at some shows then others, and took notes of each show, to be able to refer back to and decide if they would ever do that one again.
If you do a lot of craft shows, you can forget which ones were the best, so it is best to keep notes. So, after their weekend show, they would pack up, go back to their hotel, and then relax and tour around. During the shows, they would talk to many local people who would tell them about great attractions to go and see, or great restaurants to eat at. They made many new friends, and made money too!
Their vacations, did not cost them an arm and a leg, and the craft show proceeds would cover many of the extras. They had also met others who were doing the same thing. Other couples were using a RV to tour around the craft show circuit, and then have a place to stay in an RV park at the end of the day.
It may take a bit of work to organize, but judging by the couples I met at this particular craft show, I was amazed, just how many are doing this. They were well seasoned with what crafts to make and sell, and were telling me, that certain things would sell like hot cakes in one state, and not in an other!. They would bring supplies, just in case they had to create more products. But they had this down to a science.Credit: morguefile.com
If you run a craft business, and are looking to do a bit of "road traveling" maybe get yourself the schedule for all the craft shows nation wide, and pick an area you would like to tour and enjoy. If you are lucky enough to have lots of vacation time at work, or if you are semi-retired, or totally retired, and have a passion for your craft, this just might be the best way to afford or subsidize your next vacation. Just make sure and have lots of products.
You can Claim Your Craft Show Travel Expenses While Enjoying the Sights
From a bookkeeping point of view, not only do you make money with your craft business and doing the craft show circuit, but you can also claim some of these expense on your business tax return. You would need to see your accountant before you embark on this type of journey to find out which expenses can be claimed, and keep all receipts.
At that last craft show I was in, I met 8 couples that traveled this way for the summer. But there was also one couple who went south to Florida in the winter, and brought all their arts and crafts with them, and did all the Florida craft show circuit, to help subsidize their winter vacation, and to sell off their wares. As this gentleman said to me "I love to create, and if I don't sell them, my garage would fill up" so he sells his wares at these shows, and stays nice and warm in winter!.
Once you have done a few craft shows, you get to know what works and what doesn't. Many of us crafters will do a quite a few before Christmas, and then take a break in the New Year, and start creating a new product line for the next season. But these couples, would still find sales were great in January and February down in Florida, because there were so many other "snow birds" down there looking to buy unique gifts.
So, the so called "after Christmas slump" didn't seem to affect them in January and February down there.
My friend, that I have done craft shows with, makes quilted jackets, and she went to Florida for a holiday last year, and brought some of her light weight quilted jackets with her, and she sold them at a show down there. In the winter months, Florida can still have a chill at night, and she found a great market for these jackets. Best of all, most of her customers were from the north, looking to escape the winter months. Not really locals at all.. but she did well with the sales. So, each winter when she goes to Florida for a couple of weeks, she always brings some jackets with her to sell. Helps with some of the expenses of her trip. Plus she keeps information on her customers, and lets them know by email the next time she will be down there, or where she is, if they want to come and visit her.
So, if you have been wanting to venture further away with your crafts, then why not fund your next vacation? Think of it as a "working vacation" but fun. Try the craft show circuit and fund your next vacation.
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