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.
|Bellefonte Arts Festival||May||Main Street in Bellefonte, DE|
|Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen Fine Art Show||July||Chase Center on the Riverfront, 815 Justison St, Wilmington, DE 19801|
|Pennsylvania Guild Fine Craft Fair||June||Rittenhouse Square|
|Arden Fair||September||Arden Guild, Arden, DE|
|Brandywine Arts Festival||September||Brandywine Park (near the zoo), Wilmington, DE|
|Pennsylvania Guild Fine Craft Fair||October||Ludwig’s Corner|
|Annual Artisans’ Show||November||Center for the Creative Arts, Yorklyn, DE|
|Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show||November||Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA|
|Delaware Hospice’s Festival of Trees||December||Cokesbury Village, Hockessin, DE|
|Hodgson’s Craft Fair||December||2575 Glasgow Avenue, Newark, DE 19702|
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!