How To Be The Perfect Craft Show Shopper

Hopefully you're going to be attending a local arts and crafts show sometime in the upcoming weeks. From July to November is generally considered the busiest time of your from artists, crafters and vendors, and we'd love to have you come visit us!

Do you have what it takes to be the kind of craft show shopper sellers like? (Say that five times fast...) Do you want to make a positive impact on those of us putting our hearts out there on those tables? Here's how.

1. Come ready to talk, not just shop. We all have a story about why we do what we do, and we'd love to share it with you. Engage the sellers by asking about a certain piece, how long it takes to make something or what their favorite styles or techniques are. Buyers who glance around the table and walk on are pretty boring.

2. Come ready to shop, not just talk. How can I put this? We're not a museum. We're not a reading room. What we are is the perfect place to buy local, handmade gifts for your family, friends and yourself. You don't have to buy something at every booth, but please support your community by supporting us.

3. Refrain from saying, "Well, I could do that." Yes, you probably can, but do you? Will you?

4. If you have questions, ask. Does this come in another color? How many of these do you have on hand? Do you take custom orders if I'd like something a little different? You're definitely not bothering anyone - that's why the seller is there!

5. If you have children, please watch where they put their hands. Accidents happen, but we just don't want our hours of hard work to end up dropped, ripped or broken. This is our storefront, so to speak, and we can't just replace something like a chain store can.

6. Most artists and craftsmen have mailing lists, emailing lists, social media, websites and online stores. If you love what they do, sign up to learn more. This is how you get special deals, updates on the products and lines you love and interact with sellers after the event. Just because the show is over doesn't mean we stop working.

7. Tell someone about us. For most small businesses, word of mouth is still the best advertising. Keep us doing what we're doing by sharing our contact information. Give your friends our web address. Post a great review on Facebook or Twitter. Include our business card when you give our product as a gift. Help us continue to be part of the retail community by passing on our names.

Next up for Stuff From Trees is Ottumwa's Walk On Art Street on Sept. 15. Stay tuned for more information, including some great new pieces we'll be unveiling.

Can't make it to one of our local shows? Visit us at Stuff From Trees to see everything we have to offer. We'd love to see you any time!

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