Welcome to our latest Artist to Artist post! In these posts you will hear firsthand hints and tips on a range of topics from our professional member artists. Today we will be hearing from Lana Lepper – of LanaBetty.
LanaBetty fuses traditional jewelry making with 3D printing to produce complex shapes and angular lines in her designs. She is a creative blogger and has some great posts about how to get ready for markets that are packed with essential tips!
Today, Lana has answered our questions and responded with helpful advice about how to prepare for fairs and markets:
Why do you think attending markets/fairs is important for an artist?
Attending markets and fairs are one of the best ways you (as an artist) can get your products out to the world!
– you can test your new products and pricing
– learn about branding and display
– hone in on your demographic and connect with clients
– understand what the most common questions customers have about your product
Taking your product to a market is like opening a pop-up or mini-shop for a day or weekend. It’s your very own store front. The event organizers will help by promoting and advertising and if you have a mailing list or use social media, you can invite your friends, family, and followers.
With such a busy schedule, how do you best use your time and energy when seeking markets?
It’s taken me a while, but now I set aside a few days throughout the year to plan my markets. I keep a list of markets I have attended in the past or would like to attend in the future and try to plan out all the weekends for spring or fall. I usually lock in my holiday markets by February or March. It takes a lot of planning and saving (keeping money available to pay market fees). If that seems too onerous, start small. Check out small markets or farmers markets where the investments aren’t too high. As you become more confident with your business and hone in your ideal customers and best place to showcase your product, you can roll the dice on bigger markets like Craft Council Summer Market or Circle Craft. Maybe one day I’ll be confident enough to take my business south of the border!
What is your top-tip for making sure everything goes smoothly on the day?
For me, it’s time. If I do not have enough time to prepare, I always feel like nothing is going right. I take the time I need the day or a few days before to make sure I am packed, my float is ready, and that my phone has the card reader app updated (because it’s important to be able to take credit card payments). The morning of the market, I like to have enough time to setup my display, showcase my jewelry, snap a photo to post on instagram, and of course, enjoy a coffee. Being relaxed with a moment to freshen up after that initial hustle really helps me prepare myself to talk with potential customers!
What is the best thing to have come from showcasing at a fair/market?
There are so many great things. I have identified my best selling products, connected on a one-on-one level with my best customers, met with shops and local businesses interested in carrying my products, and probably the best part, I’ve met some of the best, most warm, lovely people (my fellow vendors). They know the hustle, they understand how hard it is, and they LOVE talking business all the time (just like me). I love markets and always want to do my very best, improving my products, approach to customers, and visual branding.
Any thoughts or advice you’d like to offer for someone who is just starting out?
Do it. Why wait for an idea or product to be perfect? Jump in, head first and say yes to adventure. If you looked at the products I made 5 years ago and compared them to what I am doing today, you wouldn’t recognize them. It has been such an amazing evolution learning and evolving my brand into what it is today. I am so proud of my progress and now my story is rich and fun to share!
You can catch LanaBetty at the ‘Celebrate! Vancouver Summer Market’ hosted by CCBC from 21st-24th July 2016 and a variety of other shows and markets.