Northeast Florida Craft Vendors really need more opportunities to sell their handcrafted wares. South and Central Florida really gets all the good events with tons of people attending until all the snow birds start heading back up north. It would be great if more of the state parks would start holding events all year long. In the late spring and summer concentrate on those parks with swimming areas. Maybe we should start our own coalition and lobby the start park event planners to allow us to hold events once a month in one or more of them in our area.
I cannot think of one state park in our area that doesn’t have a fairly large area where tents and trailers could be pitched, a small stage for local musicians to come in and play and the park visitors to come over and spend a little money. They could charge a percentage of sales as a vendor fee like the Florida Folk Festival. That seems more equitable to all parties. Most musicians would play for a small stipend or even free depending on the amount of advertising and if they were allowed to set up a table to sell the CDs.
It wouldn’t take all that much to organize, advertise on their Facebook pages, list the events on the web pages and the Florida State Park app and we could advertise on our websites and social media pages as well. If enough different craft vendors band together we could organize ourselves where we wouldn’t overlap all that much. The bad part would be the weather as it is pretty volatile starting around August and September but that is true of any outside event. I guess someone should start a Northeast Florida Craft Vendor Facebook page to post information on all the events and gather more vendors to participate. There is already a North Central Florida Craft Vendor page but the events are generally in and around central Florida.
I don’t know about you but I really don’t like to go to the Flea Markets in our area to try and sell our handcrafted items. People who attend generally are only looking for bargains and not so much good handcrafted items. The big craft event companies charge entirely too much in vendor fees for my taste. And being tied down to a specialty market like the Riverside Arts Market in Jacksonville every Saturday is not something I would like either. But a 1 day event twice a month in a different setting would be pretty sweet. Please keep checking our Calendar of Events Page for upcoming festivals/craft shows in the Northeast Florida area. We mark each by county so you can find them quickly. In the description area we try to include information pertinent to craft vendors such as the fees and whether or not you can download the application online.
Of course, if we all had a vintage trailer or cute enclosed trailer retail shop on wheels we could be known as the Southern Crafters on the Road gang and travel like gypsies from event to event!