A great way to sell your art is to attend local craft shows. You can experience first hand what people like and don’t like about your work.
Here’s a list of shows in the Brandywine Valley, which covers areas of northern Delaware and Southeastern Pennsylvania. Some of these are large shows with mostly professional artists and some are small events with newbie artists and crafters.
|Hodgson’s Craft Fair||April||2575 Glasgow Avenue, Newark, DE 19702|
|Bellefonte Arts Festival||Saturday, May 21, 2011, 10-5||Main Street in Bellefonte, DE|
|Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen Fine Art Show||Saturday, August 4, 2012, 10-6 and Sunday, August 5, 2012, 10-5||Chase Center on the Riverfront, 815 Justison St, Wilmington, DE 19801|
|Arden Fair||Saturday, September 3, 2011, 10-6||Arden Guild, Arden, DE|
|Brandywine Arts Festival||Saturday, September 10, 2011, 9-6 and Sunday, September 11, 2011, 9-4||Brandywine Park (near the zoo), Wilmington, DE|
|DuPont Country Club Annual Fall Craft Show||Sunday, October 2, 2011, 11-4||DuPont Country Club, Wilmington, DE|
|Dover Officers Spouses Club Craft Show||Saturday, November 5, 2011||Delaware State Fairgrounds, Harrington, DE|
|Shop to Stop Lung Disease||Sunday, November 6, 2011, 10:30-3:30||Hockessin Memorial Hall, Hockessin, DE|
|Trinity Presbyterian Church Winter Bazaar||Saturday, November 12, 2011, 9-3||1120 Darley Road, Wilmington, DE|
|St. David’s Annual Craft Fair||Saturday, November 12, 2011, 9-3||2320 Grubb Road, Wilmington, DE|
|Annual Artisans’ Show||Saturday & Sunday, November 12th & 13, 2011, 10-5||Center for the Creative Arts, Yorklyn, DE|
|IHM Christmas Bazaar||Friday, November 18th 5–9 and Saturday, November 19, 2011, 9-3||Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Wilmington, DE|
|Delaware Hospice’s Festival of Trees||Friday, November 18, 2011, through Sunday, November 20, 2011||Cokesbury Village, Hockessin, DE|
|Grace Episcopal Church Craft Show||Saturday, November 19, 2011, 10-2||Concord Pike, Wilmington, DE|
|Handcraft Unlimited / Country Peddler Craft Shows||Saturday, November 19, 2011, 9-5 and Sunday, November 20, 2011, 10-4||Bob Carpenter Center, U of D, Newark|
|Talleyville Fire Company Craft Show||Saturday, November 26, 2011, 10-3||Talleyville Fire Co. Memorial Hall, 3919 Concord Pike, Wilmington, DE|
|Arden Holiday Shop||Sunday, November 27, 2011, 11-4||Arden Guild Hall, Arden, DE|
|Alternatives Holiday Craft Show at DCCA||Friday, December 2, 2011, 5-11||Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, 200 South Madison Street, Wilmington, DE 19801|
|St. Mark’s Holiday Bazaar||Saturday, December 3, 2011, 9-3||Duncan Road, Wilmington, DE|
|Annual Country Christmas||Saturday, December 3, 2011, 9-2||Avon Grove Intermediate School, West Grove, PA|
|NCCL School Craft & Vendor Show||Saturday, December 3, 2011, 10-4||Newark Center For Creative Learning, Newark, DE|
|Glasgow High School 2011 Craft Fair||Saturday, December 10, 2011, 9-3||Glasgow High School, 1901 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19702|
|Appoquinimink High School Craft Fair||Saturday, December 10, 2011, 9-4||Appoquinimink High School, Middletown, Delaware 19709|
|Delaware Art Museum Holiday House Tour||Saturday, December 10, 2011, 10-4||Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE|
|Holiday Food & Gift Festival||Saturday, December 10, 2011, 10-6 and Sunday, December 11, 2011, 10-4||Chase Center on the Riverfront – Wilmington, Delaware|
And here’s a list of shows that are a little farther afield, but within driving distance of Wilmington, Delaware.
|Pennsylvania Guild Fine Craft Fair||Saturday, October 15, 2011, 10-6 and Sunday, October 16, 2011, 10-5||Montgomery County Community College, Blue Bell, PA|
|Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show||Thursday, November 10, 2011, through Sunday, November 13, 2011||Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA|
|Pennsylvania Guild Fine Craft Fair||Saturday, November 12, 2011, 10-6 and Sunday, November 13, 2011, 10-5||Lancaster Convention Center, Lancaster, PA|
If you are a new crafter or artist, take a look at the symbols I’ve added to help you decide which shows to start with.
|The footprint means the show gets a lot of traffic, numbering in the thousands. More traffic means more eyes on your work and more chances to sell your stuff!|
|A thumbs down means I’ve done this show and won’t go back or have attended it and can’t recommend it.|
|A potato means that this is a small show with limited traffic. This is not necessarily a bad thing; on the contrary, the small potato shows are the best place to start for newbie crafters.|
Craft Shows That Aren’t
I’ve been visiting many craft shows this year and have been amazed at the number of craft shows that aren’t. Aren’t crafty. Aren’t artsy. Aren’t full of wonderful hand made items created by talented artisans. Many of these shows allow in vendors that are selling goods made in China or Equador, goods that may have been hand made, but certainly not by the seller. At these shows you will also see direct marketing businesses like Tupperware and Silpada Jewelry. At one show I attended, fully half the spaces were allotted to the home party crowd. I have nothing against these companies, but they belong in the home party venue, not at a craft show. I’ve also been seeing roofing, siding, bathroom renovating, and window companies at my area craft shows. Really? How are these businesses in any way related to crafting? Of course, it’s all about filling spaces and making money for the folks who run the shows. To help you weed out these types of shows, I’ve given many of them a thumbs down in my coding above. Attend them if you like, but be aware that you’ll be competing against items made by cheap labor in third world countries.
Know of any other craft shows that should be listed here? Leave a comment and let me know!