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September 13, 2010



Wondering about the same thing myself and whether doing the shows I do is a profitable way to pend my time. I don't do any of the big and expensive shows as I don't have the turn over to justify them. I look forward to your gizmo and to plugging in my figures.


Hear hear! It's all to easy to get swept up in the excitement of having up your own stall at a show, but honestly, if we indies are to be taken seriously, we have to take the financial side of the business seriously too. My business is still small, so I've turned down a number of shows because the figures just didn't add up to make it profitable for me. Often I decided I'd rather enjoy going as a visitor (and inevitably spend lots of money on your stall :) Thank you for being brave enough to spell this out!


I agree with Deb, I just don't do shows unless I think I can make a profit on the event. This has to pay my mortgage. Some shows seem to think that the stallholders are like a bolt-on sideshow to the main performance i.e. the classes.
I absolutely love meeting customers and other sellers, but every single show has to earn its place on my calendar, and if it can't do that, I can't do it.

Woolly Wormhead

As much as I can cost out my designing and production, shows are one part of the business where I know I'm missing things. Well said, and to reiterate, cash doesn't equal profit!


Well said Jeni - we don't do the shows that charge a high fee - it's just not cost effective for us! We try and price sensibly, this is our living after all, if only the other producers realized the way costings work!!! Hopefully you are getting the point across!

Nicky Hale

Great exercise, and as previously stated, advertising can be freely done on various sites, RAV, facebook, twitter to name a few. On a smaller scale I am on my son's school PTA and we run a craft fair, we advertise in the local paper which is paid for, but we also let people know via our facebook page, local radio, posters in local shops, displayed in our cars and on our blogs. We find a more people come because of our free ad's rather than the paid for so its all about leg work and benefits in the long run. Its a shame that your profits aren't bigger as it is always a delight to see such wonderful stands at the various events throughout the year, but at the end of the day everyone has to make a living. Take care Nicky x


great idea:) I wouldlike to see more shows where the costs are shared between the vendors maybe and then they know up front what it will cost them. A not for profit for the organiser. That was what I wanted to do til health took over. Organise an event at an acgricultural college as it tied in with the sheep etc, the costs being worked out and shared by the number of vendors. That way the admission would have gone to charity, kind of like a certain event that was supposed to do that last year in C:) Maybe less expensive venues but still with good access. I didn't go to Iknit but I know that if friends on rav hadn't mentioned it I would not have known it was on, no advertising. Rav adverts are essential but also guilds, fliers to vendors to give out and of course magazines. Free press doesn't harm either if you get a newspaper to do a piece on the event prior to it and of course radio:) Sorry have meandered on, blame the enforced bedrest and antibiotics:)


This is such a great idea. I know in my real job my boss is acutely aware of profit margins and when we spend thousands on a fair we have to get tens of thousands of orders and new customers to make it worthwhile. It's so easy to feel yoiu made money when you have cash in your pocket but profit and cash aren't the same thing.


I'm just embarking on my own business, in ceramics, not yarn. But I have worked out the costs of a mug sized item, and the kiln maker worked out the depreciation of my kiln and the cost of a mug sized item too. He was excellent. I know exactly how much it takes to make each item, and how much I need to sell each item to make a profit.

It was something we were taught at University to do.


Yes, nice to see this addressed. When you add it all up it's shocking
how little you make really. I looked upon my last show as advertising really
and it was worth doing in that respect, but what a bloody expensive exercise!

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