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Holiday Craft Show Etiquette

Updated: Sep 29, 2022

Holiday Market Shopping Guide Etiquette Guideline


Hi there! I’m Kaye! I make things with string! Today I am going to go on a semi-salty rant that is actually a guide on how to be a good shopper at a market!

There is a swift uptick in events during the last 3 months of the year. We all know this because we see them driving down the road and we get invites to them. I know I have my favorite Fall/Winter events and I am sure you do too! My favorite local fall event is Arts in the Heart of Augusta! But I wont get into that here because Arts in the Heart could honestly be its own video with no trouble.

Horrible customers have been a thing forever. We only recently gained the benefit of being able to call the terrible humans….Karens! Personally I have been experiencing Karens at crafts shows and events since I was a teen. More than once their hateful words have made me want to quit sharing my designs with the public. And to be honest, there have been years where I didn’t set up anywhere because I didn’t want to deal with them.

One thing I have come to realize is that not all the people we would dub as Karens mean to come off in the way that they do. Some of them are just people who lack social skills but are actually really cool. So I decided to come up with a list of things NOT to say or do at a Craft Show or Market.

So buckle up, buttercups! It’s time to teach humans to people.

Please think about what you say to the people who are at these events! Your words sting!

Things not to say or do to a vendor/artist at an event.

1. Your items are overpriced

Instead: I dont have the cash for this right now.

My items are priced very fairly and you can bet that I spend a lot of time doing my best to keep it affordable but this is not a hobby for me. This is my job! This is how I pay bills. If we take my job and break it down to an hourly wage, I make around 1.75 on most items and honestly that sucks. I have been slowly building myself up over the years to actually charge people what I know my craft is really worth.

So in all fairness, let’s reserve the roles. How much do you charge your employer to work for them by the hour? Do you think that is a fair living wage? What if you only got paid by completed reports or the number of words you can type in a minute. See where I am going with this? If not, basically, if you would want a honest living wage for yourself, why wouldn’t you want the same for someone else.

2. I could make this.

Instead: I crochet too!

I would rather have a conversation about our chosen art forms than you downgrading my work because you can create something similar.

If we talked further, I would be happy to share that I even have free crochet patterns on my website. I would be happy to offer tips and tricks that I have learned in my 25+ years of crocheting. I completely understand. For example, I recently attended an event where a lady was selling aprons. They were lovely aprons but outside my price range, and I knew that I honestly had the skills required to make my own aprons. I noted the store and I will be looking into either purchasing an apron from her because I frankly do not have a lot of time or seeing if she patterns available for purchase. One thing that always plays through my head when people tell me that they could make this is …. Well you didn’t. I did. Do you wanna buy it or walk on to the next vendor or booth? Frankly, either is fine with me.

3. Dont try to figure out my pattern by examining my work in front of me.

Instead: Ask if I offer crochet lessons. I don't mind helping a fellow artist though something that is giving them an issue or discussing where I get my patterns or even how I create my own patterns.

I offer free patterns and paid patterns on my website. Maybe, if you had opened that dialog instead of holding my design and counting the stitches, you could get something for Free. Why reinvent the wheel when it has already been done.

In closing be mindful! Your words hurt artists more than you know and Holiday Craft show customers are among the worst offenders. Be KIND! Congratulate the artist on their work.

You dont have to buy anything necessarily to make an artist feel like their work is appreciated.

Semi-Salty Fairy Rant over.

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