Hello again. Its been a while since I published a post so I thought Id better pop in and catch up with you all. As Christmas fast approaches, (too fast for my liking), here at Glassy Towers we have been busy working away creating lots of pretty makes for gifts and decorations. We are also attending a lot of craft fairs and it got me thinking about what I expect from a craft fair and what the public see.
Ive been attending fairs for about four years now and its becoming increasingly obvious that the title "Craft Fair" is very often quite ambiguous given that only about 50% of items at some of the fairs are actually handmade. As every crafter will know being at an event where you are competing against mass produced items or against other sellers who are only hobbyists can be pretty defeating. Especially as those people charge so little for their work. This then affects the sales of genuine business' such as our own because we cannot compete with such low prices. All the materials, time and overheads have to be taken into consideration when pricing an item otherwise there is little point in being in business. Sadly those people who charge so little for their items are giving the impression that the work that we produce is overpriced. So if you are looking to purchase items at craft sales then please do consider the following:
As a small business our overheads include material costs, the price of glass has risen by 12 and a half percent this year alone. The other materials involved in creating your piece will be solder, flux (a chemical used to allow the solder to flow on stained glass pieces), copper foil, glass paint, my time at the minimum wage, the cost of electricity to operate the glass kilns and last but by no means least the cost of Public Liability Insurance.
I am rarely asked by the organisers of fairs I go to if I hold Public Liability Insurance. I do but how many of these other sellers are genuinely insured and covered against the damages that they may face if sued by a purchaser who may be injured by a piece they have made. All crafters attending fairs should be, by law, covered by insurance.
The other issue is that of copyright. Images, wording and logos are all covered by copyright and by making pieces with these on you are breaking the law. Again, I see so many stallholders ignoring this issue.
So I would urge anyone who is considering organising a Craft Fair to seek the following from the applicants for stalls.
Please ask for proof of insurance, please do not accept stallholders who are in breach of copyright with their goods and please do not accept stallholders who are not selling handmade items.
And finally if you are attending a craft event coming up to Christmas please do not buy copyrighted items, do not buy items that are ridiculously cheap because you are probably buying from unlicenced and uninsured sellers who are not professionals.
I realise that all the above has probably left you feeling a bit disheartened about buying handmade and I'm sorry if you feel Ive been ranting a little but I hope its given you an insight into what to expect when making a purchase.
A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us here at The Glass Dragonfly