Our Growing Craft Show Business

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Display of Shower Steamers, Lotions and Soaps

When we participated in our first craft show five years ago, we were total rookies. We only had a handful of products to sell, and everything fit on one not-so-enticingly-arranged table.

Craft Booth

This is what our first booth looked like.

Since then, we’ve done loads of shows, and with each one, we come a little closer to creating the booth in my head.

Right Side of Craft Show Display

We’re currently set up at the Tennessee Valley Fair for 10 days, and this is what our booth looks like this time. Big improvement over our first booth, don’t you think?

Aromatherapy Inhalers

That improvement is the result of lots of time spent building out our product line and perfecting our packaging and displays. It sure didn’t happen over night.

Display of Bath Bombs, Tub Teas and Bug Sticks

Being frugal, we’ve chosen to grow our business without any outside investors or debt, so it’s taken lots of patience, creativity and second-hand shopping to make things happen.

Display of Shower Steamers and Body Butters

Almost all of our displays are pieces that we bought from yard sales and thrift stores, or rescued from curb piles. The few we didn’t come by second-hand, we made ourselves.

Reusable Food Wraps

And it’s been a while since I counted, but I think our product line has grown to around 70 products. My husband and I still make everything ourselves, with occasional help from the kids.

Soup Bowl Cozies and Hand Warmers

That keeps us on our toes at times, since we also sell our products online and wholesale. I imagine we’ll need to hire help at some point.

Back of Craft Show Display

If you look closely at these pictures, you’ll probably recognize many of these products as being things that I’ve shared tutorials for on the blog. If you see something your interested in making, just post a comment, and I’ll share a link to the tutorial you’re looking for. If I haven’t written a tutorial for something, it’s probably coming soon (i.e. after I catch up on sleep).

Front of Craft Booth

Most of these products are also available in our online shop, if you aren’t interested in making them yourself. There are a few things that I haven’t added to the shop yet, but you can email me to order those in the meantime.

Blue Ribbon for Best Booth Display

We have another five days to go at the Tennessee Valley Fair, but so far it’s going well. We won a blue ribbon for Best Booth Display, and we picked up a new wholesale customer, plus several custom orders. But the best part, by far, has been getting to meet some of you. If you live in East Tennessee, come by and say hi.

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  1. Your booth display is awesome! Congratulations on winning the blue ribbon. I too wish I lived closer so I could meet you in person.

  2. Thank you for sharing all of the tutorials that you have. I’ve made several and they’ve been really fun and I have loved the results. 🙂

  3. As always you AMAZE me. NOW I know why you haven’t been as active on the blog. You are so talented. Curious, what made you become so active in craft shows? I too wish I were closer to meet you…get your autograph;) How do you choose what products to make/sell? Clearly your full time business (and a wonderful one). How do you figure out prices? I’m going to have to check out your website as it has CLEARLY grown since I was last there.

    1. Yep, getting ready for this show definitely claimed a big chunk of my time lately. I’m eager to get back to posting more frequently. I have so many projects and updates I want to share with you guys. I should be back to a regular posting schedule next week.

      The whole craft show/product line thing just sort of grew from the blog. I kept hearing from readers who liked an idea I’d shared, but wanted to buy it from me, rather than make it themselves; so, we started offering both options. Most of our products are things that we created to solve a problem in our own lives, and I love that we’re able to help other people solve the same problem. It just feels like a really authentic/non-sleazy way to earn a living from what we do, especially since I try to price things the way I’d want them to be priced.

      We’ve been doing craft shows for five years now, but this year is the most we’ve ever done. It’s part of how we’re replacing the income we lost at the beginning of the year/working towards our Pay Off 2020 goal. I think we’ve committed to 18 shows this year. Most of those are October-December, so we’re just getting into our show season.

      Our wholesale side of the business is also growing, and that’s been keeping us busy, too. Our products are now in 19 stores (across TN and KY). Since it’s still just Aaron and I running the blog and making everything, it’s a bit of a juggling act right now, but we’ve been investing in equipment to speed up our production, so I’ll have more time for the blog and more time for things like curbshopping and yard saling. Cuz I get twitchy when I don’t get my writing time and second-hand shopping fix 🙂

  4. Congratulations on your booth, it looks great. I hope you have a great show season and meet the goals/expectations you and your family have.

    1. Hi Tamara,

      For the most part, we try to do shows within an hour and a half of our home, so we don’t have to stay overnight. There’s one exception to that this season, and we used the free nights that we earned staying at Choice Hotels this summer to book our stay.

  5. Wow, Erin! What a beautiful booth. I love that most of your booth is from curb finds and yard sales. You inspire me in so many ways!

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