The best way to find out if you like to sell your own work is by doing a small, friendly Craft Show. There are lots of local opportunities to do this, especially during the Holiday Season.


- Low entry fees

- No travel expense

- Low pressure, friendly atmosphere

- Do not need special booth equipment, pedestals, spot lights.

- Easier jurying situation than large shows.

SO … you get in and panic begins!

NO … everything will be fine and you will have FUN.


For a first show, stay in the impulse buying range of $10 - $75


Bring whatever you have that is 100% best quality. PLEASE … no seconds at your first show! This is your first chance to establish who YOU are and what kind of work YOU make. YOU totally control the message so make sure you are saying the right things about YOU and your work.


Business Cards : Pass out business cards to everyone ... have them everywhere ... make sure all your contact info is on them and hopefully a picture of your work too.

Bags with handles ... even if its grocery bags, give people a handled bag to carry the pot in. Wrapping paper can be as simple as white rolls of newsprint quality paper but PLEASE … DO NOT wrap your beautiful work in old newspapers. Your hand made pottery deserves better than that.

Water ... take water for you and a few spare bottles to offer to customers who BUY something.

Chair .... take a chair but don't sit in it ... offer it to customers who BUY something and they can rest while you pack it ... or friends can sit while a serious shopper shops.

Quick snacks ...
like trail mix, nuts, raisins, crackers etc that you can graze on since you don't want to be eating meals in your booth.

Examples …
People want to know what they can do with the pottery so bring flowers for a vase, pencils for a pencil holder, kitchen gadgets in a gadget holder, soap in a soap dish … etc

Spares ...
keep some pottery in boxes on purpose so you can say "Oh my goodness, I have the perfect one for you packed away." People love getting something no one else has seen.

Odds and ends ... scissors, scotch tape, pens, price stickers, calculator, note pad, measuring tape, aspirin or some pain reliever ... nothing worse than going all day with a headache!


Accept credit cards … there are apps for that.

Arrive early so you are not harried during set up

Don't panic and start changing your prices

Don't sit around and read a paper, magazine or book ... people want to meet you, believe it or not! Put that cell phone away unless you are taking pix of a happy customer !!!

Don't hide in the back of your booth. Yes, you!!

Watch what is selling around you.

Listen to people’s comments and learn from them.

Keep your cash on you or in sight  at all times

Smile   Smile   Smile  

Just keep smiling, moving around and looking welcoming. Even if it is all falling apart keep the attitude that all is going well. The only answer to “How’s the show?” is “GREAT!”.


- Don't ask shoppers a question that can be answered yes or no such as "Can I help you?" or "Is there anything I can find for you?" People don't like to feel rushed or crowded and tend to do what they say they are going to do and if they say the dreaded "NO, just looking" they will do just that.

- Another thing to avoid is craftspersons from other booths coming by to complain about how bad the show is or how awful the weather is etc etc ... they not only waste the time you could be spending on sales, but no customers want to hear artists grousing about conditions. 

-Another hazard is the amateur potter who wants to pry all the information they can from your brain. Tell them you are busy selling your work.

When you are done and home all relaxed and cozy … forget about sales $$$ and think about whether or not you enjoyed selling your own work, telling your story and answering questions. One answer will put you in retail, another will send you happily to wholesale.

- What did you think of the set up and tear down times?

- How well did you answer questions and did you like to?

- By the end of the day were you more comfortable talking about your work?

- Was it worth it … if not, with work could it be?

 © Chris Campbell 2019