We have heard about a possible craft vendors opportunity during the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park’s Festival of Lights in December. We wanted to tell everyone about it so that you could contact the park’s Gift Shop Manager about setting up a tent in the craft village for the month or even better if you have a cute little “Shop on Wheels” they may let you set up there. We spoke to the previous manager about it when we were volunteering there year before last. They did have two vendors set up on the sidewalk outside the gift shop main entrance last year. This event draws literally thousands and thousands of people from as far away as South Florida and North Georgia every single year.
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Since we really need a mobile retail shop to house our vast supply of handcrafted items we have created over the last couple of years we are going to run a T-Shirt Campaign to get some initial funding to buy a used vintage trailer and convert it to a mobile retail shop to use while we are gathering the funding for our brand new replica 1961 Holiday House Travel Trailer Mobile Retail Shop. Once we purchase the vintage travel trailer, remake it into a mobile store and use it a few months we may be able to offer it as a reward for our main campaign or even rent it out for local craft businesses in North Florida and Southern Georgia to use at their own craft vending opportunities.
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Fall Festivals and Crafting Events are coming and you really need to get online and check out some of them. As a professional crafter you and I will need to plan ahead for any events we may want to attend as there are almost always applications to fill out, fees to pay in advance, inventory of our items to keep track of and marketing materials to gather. Of course, you will also want to get started on posting the events on your website and social media pages so that your fans and customers will know where you will be and when.
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Missed opportunities in the craft business, for me, include this year’s Florida Folk Festival. Sadly, our RV decided it didn’t want to work and busted a radiator hose while we were traveling down I-10. We were stuck on the side of the road for about 9 hours in the heat of the day until my son-in-law was able to come by and help us replace the small 3 inch hose into it’s 1 inch space and refill the radiator. By the time we got it going again we decided to just head on back to our volunteer camping site at Olustee Beach. Even a greater tragedy is that I spent almost $400 on new supplies and materials for our booth to give it a fresh look. The organizers of the event has us place right around the main concert stage area so that we would have gotten some major traffic.
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Summer is absolutely the best time to make crafts. Not only is it too hot out there in our Florida sun to try and participate in outdoor craft vending opportunities there isn’t all that many out there to participate in. Granted, there is the Florida Folk Festival during Memorial Day Weekend, the Blueberry Festivals in June, Independence Day Celebration festivals all over the state in July but August is mostly a bust anyway. Our craft selling opportunities don’t really get going until about the end of September or the beginning of October. Then it is hot and heavy until just before Christmas.
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