Monday, November 2, 2009

The Spice of Life?

At a craft show I did a couple weeks ago, a fellow vendor stood inside my booth and said that she prefers to focus on one kind of craft when she does shows so that her booth "doesn't end up looking like Wal-Mart." I can only assume this was a not-so-subtle hint that my booth looked like Wal-mart because I do not focus on one kind of craft. Just like in my Etsy shop, when I'm at a craft show I sell crocheted hats for the whole family, journals, scrunchies, wash cloths and dish scrubbies, instant canteens, sachets, and Christmas items.

I have two reasons for not focusing on one specific kind of craft:
  1. I like making different things! I enjoy crocheting, collaging, sewing, and painting. Why limit myself to only one kind of craft? Why miss out on the pleasure I could get by plying all my trades?
  2. I want my shop to have a little something for everyone. Maybe you don't need a new winter hat, but you do want a new journal. Maybe you don't need a journal, but you do need something to carry your water bottle in. Or maybe you want a hat for your grandson and a journal for yourself. And so on.
But I'm beginning to wonder... am I wrong? Would it be better, business-wise, to restrict my store (and craft show booths) to just crocheted items or just journals? Maybe just baby/child-oriented things?

I put it to you, Gentle Readers. Do you think it's a better idea to sell only related items, say things made of yarn, or jewelry, or artwork, etc? Or is it better to have a variety? Is variety no longer the spice of life?

And if you shop at craft shows or on sites like Etsy, are you more likely to buy from a person who sells a whole lot of variations on a single theme, or from someone who makes many different kinds of things? Or is it a silly question, and you don't care one way or another?

Leave me a comment with your opinions -- I'm really interested to know.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting (and don't you just love those comments at shows?)

    I *only* knit (well, actually I crochet too) and thought my shop was pretty coherent because of that - but after a recent very helpful critique by my team I'm going to narrow down and focus on what I do best - my meerkats.

    but I totally understand what you're saying. I thought it was good that I had knitted scarves/toys/flowers etc, to appeal to lots of demographics - but maybe it's been a distraction. We'll see.

    Good luck with your decision - it's not easy!


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