Every year without fail, Craft Show Season arrives. These few weeks in September and October are affectionately known as “CSS”.
“Want to go shopping this weekend?” my friends will ask innocently.
“No, sorry… it’s CSS.” I respond. They shrug knowingly, sometimes followed by a head nod or affirming pat on the back.
Anyone who’s not a crafter might glaze over the gravity of CSS and how it shapes your life. I have an upcoming show this weekend, Harmony Grange Festival, and it will mark the opening of my 3-week CSS. I’ve been prepping for months: crocheting hats to have a decent inventory, screwing dowel rods into bases to make hat stands, painting wooden letters to fashion a sign, saving $1 and $5 bills for months so I have change for big spenders.
You can’t underestimate the power of CSS; those unprepared will not survive.
Especially in college, CSS is an interesting time of year. I have done two-day shows where I’ll get 3 hours of sleep because I chose to stay up and crochet more hats. I have driven 50 minutes in the wrong direction before realizing it and arrived late to shows. I have endured 35 degree weather with nothing but the shelter of a blue EZ-up tent to protect me from the ranging winds. I have done homework in McDonald’s restaurants. I have tried to sell warm crochet hats to people eating snow-cones in August. It has rained, it has been warm. I have worked 28 hours and driven 6 hours in one weekend. During CSS, I’ve done it all.
That being said, I wouldn’t trade CSS for anything.
I love it. Absolutely love it. The people, the selling, the relationships, the experiences. Some people remember my booth from previous years and when I hear, “Ohhh – there’s the hat lady!” it makes all those sleepless nights worth it. I’m like the dependable friend who shows up each year.
Three craft shows in Western Pennsylvania will culminate my 2010 CSS:
- September 23 – 25th – Harmony Grange Festival
- October 1 – Clarion Autumn Leaf Festival
- October 2-3 – Delmont Apple ‘n Arts Festival
If you’re in the area, stop by and see my new booth setup or ever better, pick up your very own JJCrochet hand-crocheted hat! And please, if I look tired, don’t tell me.
For those who can totally relate to CSS, here’re two good articles to make your CSS seamless:
- 14 Tips to Increase Your Craft Show Sales by the Buzz Blog
- 10 Tips for a Craft Show Booth by Going Home to Roost
All the Best and Happy Craft Show Season!
Pingback: Craft Show Recaps | JJCrochet
Pingback: Craft Show Update | JJCrochet's Blog
Sue |WaltersApril 11, 2012
Hi, Thanks for all the info on craft markets.Your hats are gorgeous, well done you. I have just started making crochet baby beanies and shoes and cannot stop. I live in George in the Western Cape South Africa. Where can I buy the white heads you model your hats on and are there baby ones. I can see it makes such a difference showing them off properly. If you would like a peep at what I do you can google From the Heart Emporium, click on shop by seller and you will see my FLOWER-CHILD there. Would love to hear from you if you ever get the time.
MirandaAugust 9, 2012
Hi, I just found your site yesterday and wanted to say that your patterns are absolutely amazing, I’ve already made the baby Valentine’s Day hat and the newborn headband! And, I cannot wait to try some of the others! Not only do create great patterns they are so easy to follow, which isn’t always the case. The search for an adorable baby hat that was free wasn’t easy. I was excited when I found yours! I was also pretty excited to find someone who loves to crochet who is young like me. Then, I saw this post and realized that you were from an area close to me. I only wish I had saw this sooner and I would have made sure to see you at the Harmony Grange Fair! Thanks for the great patterns! You are extremely talented!
LuJune 25, 2014
Thank you so much for this post! I’m thinking of doing my first CSS, it’s a small thing on the 4th of July, I moved here 3 years ago and every year I tell myself “next year!”, reading your experience totally inspire me. THANK YOU!!! 🙂
JJCrochetJune 29, 2014
You’re very welcome, Lu! I hope you participate on CCS on July 4th. It’s daunting when you don’t know much about craft shows, but once you do one, you’ll get an idea of how they work and just how much fun they can be. Best of luck!