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To wonder if crafty type businesses have had their day?

(51 Posts)
TheoriginalLEM Sun 12-Jul-15 11:02:51

We had our school fair yesterday and it was really successful. A lovely day had by all and lots of money raised.

Except for the poor independent stall holders, i felt really bad for them. Hardly anyone was even looking at their stalls, let alone buying sad It was an extremely hot day and we probably had reduced footfall, or at least it seemed that way but we made £££'s so clearly not.

Do you think people are just over that now? I felt kinda sorry for them.

LaurieFairyCake Sun 12-Jul-15 11:05:13

What sort of things were they selling?

theblairbitchproject Sun 12-Jul-15 11:05:36

Marking place

elQuintoConyo Sun 12-Jul-15 11:07:39

Place marking, too wink

YaTalkinToMe Sun 12-Jul-15 11:11:29

Yes I think so for many items and crafts, crafts boomed as there was not a lot of things like that readily available, so big business saw the hole in the market and put them in.
You can now pick things up for cheaper and along with your normal shopping.

sootballs Sun 12-Jul-15 11:13:46

They are ten a penny, and often expensive. I saw a beautiful childs apron at our school fete, I knew the material used in it and had looked into buying it at 6.99 a meter. The apron was well made but for sale at £14.99. Too much for me.

How many family tree or cutouts can be bought? I had one bought for us, it apparently cost £30, the frame fell apart when we put it up, the writing is wonky and our names are wrong.

TheoriginalLEM Sun 12-Jul-15 11:14:42

Not 100% sure as i was the architypal headless chicken. There were overpriced cupcakes - so i knew she was going to fall flat as we had stuff for 50p.

There was cushions and soft furnishing type things. Twiggy shit, decoupage stuff, typical craft fair type things. All quite nice i suppose but i didn't buy anything. Just wondered if its all going out of fashion.

GnomeDePlume Sun 12-Jul-15 11:15:08

I think the hand made card boom is long gone. The other crafts are on their way as well.

So often the 'unique' handmade item is nothing of the sort and expensive to boot. Fashions change. Also over the last few years I think that we have all got a lot more canny about how we spend our money.

WaitingForFrostyMornings Sun 12-Jul-15 11:27:15

I think there's just too many people selling the same thing for too much money.

I used to make and sell a very specific glass personalised item.

It was completely hand made and hand engraved to order.

They took me ages to make each one and they were specific to each individual order (names and images).

Unfortunately people tried to copy them and charge half I was charging for an inferior product but people were clearly happy to pay less for a poor quality copy. In the end I couldn't compete and my business folded.

I think people have been buying cheap poor quality copies for so long they have come to expect exactly that, cheap, poor quality. They're now reluctant to buy them because they see no value in the product.

GnomeDePlume Sun 12-Jul-15 11:30:33

Thinking about it I have recently bought a new watch strap from a trader on Etsy. So perhaps our craft purchases have moved onto the world wide web.

Teabagbeforemilk Sun 12-Jul-15 11:33:50

There are so many craft type things, its difficult to make a business unless you have something really good or different.

Even then people (as pp said) make cheaper, shitter copies and people opt for those. Personally I buy a lot of craft stuff. Most jewellery I have comes from a friend who does it on the side of her day job. Its supporting her and individual.

Personally at school fairs i want more money to go the school and the kids want to do hook a duck and tombola. By the time I have spent money on all that stuff, buying a hand made pillow is not on my list of priorities. Especially on a hot day, I just wanted to go home (we could take the kids whenever we wanted) and chill out.

soverylucky Sun 12-Jul-15 11:34:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ejzuudjej Sun 12-Jul-15 11:39:34

I agree.
I think there's just too much similarity.
Pinterest shows how everything is made, so every reasonably crafty person can make their own earrings, headband, plastic bag holder, toilet sign etc

annandale Sun 12-Jul-15 11:40:17

'at school fairs i want more money to go the school and the kids want to do hook a duck and tombola. By the time I have spent money on all that stuff, buying a hand made pillow is not on my list of priorities'

This. Canny crafters have moved on to start decluttering businesses, helping their previous victims customers get rid of all the stuff they sold them before.

I hate ornaments and feel short of breath in cluttered houses, including my own but at least I know why all the crap standing around is there. Unfortunately I have an artistic husband and child so the walls are rapidly filling up with their oeuvre. Why would I spend £14.99 on a teacup in a box, I have china in the attic I've never had room to unpack?

Peshwari Sun 12-Jul-15 11:50:56

I think if you add up materials and time costs of even the not so great stuff, you'll probably find the price charged is 'fair' but most people would not perceive that to be good value compared to store bought things.

I make some craft type things for gifts and people often say you should start selling these etc. without any realisation that to charge even minimum wage for my time would price them way beyond what anyone would realistically pay. It works for gifts as I'm not trying to recoup the costs for my time.

Most craft type businesses do not work as business ventures, either they are propped up by tax credits for the self employed (no longer going to happen) or just pocket money ventures. I don't think many of them are viable businesses. Especiallly with the likes of etsy when they compete on a global stage.

howabout Sun 12-Jul-15 11:52:11

At a school fund raiser I prefer things for DC to do or if there are crafts I prefer things made by DC. Our school arranges to frame and sell some of the DC's art projects which are lovely and give you an excuse to throw out some of the lesser quality output smile.
They have also produced poetry and cookery books and school magazines for sale.

I also agree with soverylucky. I am a knitwear designer in my own small way but as it is generally only economic for me if I compare my output, which are gifts for friends and family, with designer prices I hardly ever pay for someone else's craftwork.

sootballs Sun 12-Jul-15 11:53:12

Yup. Could definitely do with some decluttering here, got a few quotes from people and it was £50-75 an hour, with a minimum 3 hours.

enderwoman Sun 12-Jul-15 11:56:53

I'm always surprised to see independent businesses at our school fair. The people on these stores are almost always very friendly but my kids just want to play the games and buy food/snacks so they don't get a look in.

weeblueberry Sun 12-Jul-15 12:03:23

I agree a lot of stuff has moved online. A few of my friends have crafty shops on etsy and they do reasonably well. But, because they're getting orders in advance, they don't need to shell out for materials until an order is placed. So they're not left with lots of surplus materials.

Songofsixpence Sun 12-Jul-15 12:04:10

I don't think crafty type business have had their day, more that school fairs aren't really the place for them.

I'm on our school PTA and the independent stall holders rarely do well unless they're selling cheap pocket money type stuff. From experience, people tend to stuff £20 in their pocket for the kids to buy ice creams, craft stuff the kids have made in class, a few games, a hot dog, bouncy castle, etc.

We had a lady selling handmade bags at £30+ once. She had a lot of interest but no one bought anything from her as they just hadn't bought that much money out with them and she didn't have a card machine.

Another event had a lady selling lovely cupcakes. They weren't overly expensive but all the kids wanted were the 20p crispy cakes.

I have a crafty type business - well, not really a business as such, more a hobby really, I'm on Etsy, I make stuff to order and I sometimes have a stall at the big summer festival type events - and I always do well out of it.

School fairs just aren't the place for it really, whereas at the local crab fair or sailing regatta you can make a killing

EponasWildDaughter Sun 12-Jul-15 12:16:25

When you look at what places like The Range and Wilco sell for a fiver or less (bunting, cushions, candle holders, twiggy shit, wooden 'objet d'art' etc), it's no surprise that people wont fork out for the same sort of thing for 3 or 4 times the price just because it's hand made.

I have every sympathy with those trying to make and sell, but the rise of the pound shop means that things can be bought, displayed and chucked again so cheaply that the 'genuine' article is now a bit obsolete.

GlitterNails Sun 12-Jul-15 12:21:53

Don't forget the stallholder has paid the school to be there, so by supporting them you are supporting the school indirectly, as they will come to future events.

Price is a big issue. I started with jewellery, but so did everyone else. Often there are numerous similar stalls at events if they aren't run well. And often people looking don't take into account time.

A 9ish year old girl purchased a bracelet from me once, and her dad came over to complain - saying the beads would have cost no more than 50pm so how dare I charge her a few pounds. That wasn't true - by the time you've bought the beads and paid postage (or gone to a local shop and paid three times the amount), plus there was an expensive charm on there, the findings and my time.

Plus with jewellery you can get it so cheap elsewhere, I've now moved onto glass which is more niche. However, glass costs a lot of money, so the items aren't cheap for me to sell on.

I do very well at Christmas, and okay the rest of the year. It's a hobby for me though, and just pays for more glass, etc.

GlitterNails Sun 12-Jul-15 12:24:56

I did make bunting last year for for Christmas - the material cost a lot of money, and they took ages. I priced it at £12, which was about £2 for my time. I probably went for too nice a material, but wanted them to be nice.

Feedback was they were too expensive, as people can buy them cheaply from shops who buy in bulk.

People are probably making far less than you think.

FirstWeTakeManhattan Sun 12-Jul-15 12:28:23

I like hovering around looking at handmade stuff, but I hate it when the smallholder starts 'chatting me up' to sell stuff. It completely puts me off buying. My ideal stall holder would just smile a hello then bloody ignore me and let me look. I can make my own decision about buying.

It is getting easier and easier to make your own stuff, I agree. The only things that turn my head are the beautifully made wooden spoons and things at our local woodcraft fair. I guess anything that takes special equipment (kiln, wood turning, silver smithing) might still do okay?

SoupDragon Sun 12-Jul-15 12:32:29

I think Craft stalls do better at a Christmas fair when more people are looking out for gifts.

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