Arts and Crafts Show Reviews 2012--December

Northampton Winter Craft Fair

Northampton Winter Craft Fair

Organized as a fundraiser for the Hampshire County Big Brothers and Big Sisters, this craft show takes place in the Northampton High School on the first weekend in December.  I have attended a couple of times and found quality vendors and good traffic. 

This year I attended to try to ascertain whether or not this was a good show for me to apply to.  A few members of AWM do this show so I thought it might be  a good fit.

First, as I was unable to find a parking space in the large high school lot, I knew that traffic was excellent.  There is an admission charge and vendors are located on 2 floors with lunch being sold in the lower lever cafeteria area. Downstairs people did seem to be purchasing though it seemed to be smaller, lower priced items.  Upstairs the crowd was larger and the activity level higher.  One vendor selling quilted items was very busy all day.  She later told me that although many of her sales were lower priced items, this was her best show EVER.  Good to hear.  Another selling tote bags and wallets said her day started out a bit slow but she was selling.  I noticed that the pottery vendors was particularly busy.

As a jeweler I was most interested in that category.  The show booth map listed 85 vendors--20 of them jewelers.  I counted about 6 more selling jewelry as a secondary product.  Of the 25 vendors in the lower level 8 were jewelers and 2 others included jewelry.  And two of the people downstairs were polymer jewelers.

Upstairs in one area about every other booth was jewelry with a couple of them directly across from each other.  In conversations with friends and after observing purchasing, it appeared that jewelry was selling but only inexpensive, under $40 pieces.  I spoke to a silversmith who was there.  Her jewelry was exquisite and simple.  But her price point started over $40.  She had little business.  One jewelry with displays of $20-$25 gold and silver earrings was getting a lot of attention though.

This is a great craft show for customers.  Vendors are not hobbyists and sell quality products.  Most know enough to bring products in a broad range of prices.  If you are an artisan and can fit into that criteria, you could have a great show.  As long as you're not selling jewelry.  I didn't see any steampunk jewelry there and did wonder how something so unique would fair.  But I'm hesitant to apply next year as there is just too much competition at this show.

The cost of this show is around $200.  Price varies depending on your location and size of your space.