By Hand: Want to sell your creations on the craft circuit?

By Ardeana Hamlin, BDN Staff
Posted July 29, 2008, at 12 a.m.

Sooner or later, those who make arts and crafts want to earn money creating handmade items. But how does one go about doing that?

Deb Niles of Holden, who makes hand-painted jewelry and items from polymer clay, and Heather Leclerc of Eddington, who makes beaded jewelry, shared some tips for getting started selling arts and crafts.

“Visit craft shows before you take part in one to get display ideas,” Niles said. She has been a vendor at craft shows and fairs for eight years. “Crafters are a wonderful group of people who are willing to share their experiences. But be aware that what works for one may not work for another.”

Niles also offered this advice:

“The rule I don’ t follow,” Niles said, “is ‘ know your market.’ ” However, she said, knowing who potential customers are is an important factor in determining what your niche market may be.

Craft fairs Niles enjoys attending as a vendor are the Zonta Club fair in Bangor, the blueberry festival in Machias, the Bangor Sidewalk Art Festival, the Fly Buy in Greenville, the Christmas Fair at John Bapst Memorial High School in Bangor and the annual fair held by the Greyhound Placement Service in Augusta where Niles donates a portion of her craft sales to the greyhound dog rescue organization.

Niles said one of the drawbacks of selling crafts is the need to be constantly in production. “But it keeps me motivated,” she said, “because this is my love.”

Heather Leclerc suggests that crafters who want to sell their wares choose a craft they love and be creative with it. “Don’ t do what everyone else is doing. Create a niche of your own.” One of those niches, she said, because people are spending more time at home in the wake of rising gasoline prices, is decorative or useful items for the home.

Leclerc also offered these tips:

Snippets printed on July 26, 2017