Thursday, September 6, 2018

Dragon Shield Scroll Saw Pattern.


This dragon shield is 11 inches tall.

I have designed several patterns with a dragon theme over the years. This may come as a surprise to some but the dragon patterns are some of the most downloaded patterns in my catalog. Some themes just do better than others.

Of course, dog and cat patterns are the most popular. They will get downloaded double of just about any other pattern. We love our pets. Any design with an angel will always be popular. Crosses and religious themes are very popular.

The reason I mention this is because it's important to those of you who are thinking about selling your work at craft shows. If you have never sold crafts before you will find that it is tons of fun and tons of frustration. 

It can take years of selling crafts to come up with a formula that works. There are many variables that affect sells but one of the biggest is product selection. Just because you enjoy making a particular product does not mean it will sell. Often quite the opposite is true. 

Here are a few quick tips that may help you get off to a good start. 

Specialize in a limited set of products. Don't try to be Walmart and sell everything including the kitchen sink. A booth full of scroll saw projects of every type will just confuse your potential customers. Come up with a theme and try to stick to it. 

Make high profit/low labor products. What do I mean by this? You need to have a few products that you can knock out relatively quickly with a low expense that sell for a price above their actual value.  An example would be Christmas ornaments. They can be stack cut 3 or 4 at a time from a small amount of material and they sell well above their actual cost of time and material. If you can come up with a "hook" you can increase their perceived value even more.

Here is what I mean by a "hook". I had a reader who purchased the pews from a local church that was being torn down and the congregation was moving to a new church. He made small religious keepsakes from the wood of the pews. He could have asked just about any price and they would have sold. In this case, he sold the product at a low price because he wanted to give back to the church. That was a nice gesture but the point is that he made a low-cost product that had a very high perceived value.

Treat your products with respect. If you just throw your products out on a table and stick a magic marker price tag on them you will probably get to take them back home(This is not a yard sale). The way you display your merchandise can make or break your sales. This is important in all sales but it is critical in selling crafts. To get good at displaying product is difficult. Spend time at craft shows as a spectator and study different techniques for displaying items. Take those and apply them to your style. Don't be afraid to make changes if things are not going well. This is one area where there is no substitute for experience.

Be prepared to lose money. Even experienced craft sellers will have bad shows. A common comment is "I didn't even make my booth fee back". That's probably going to happen so be prepared for it. When sales are slow you need to make sure you are making contacts for possible sales after the show. Business cards are a must-have. Give them out to anyone who shows interest in your work. Include your contact information including an email address and if possible a website. 
   
When crowds are lite see if you can make friends with the other sellers. Sometimes they can be a great source of information. A few of them won't want to talk business but many will bend over backward to be helpful.

Selling successfully are craft shows is not easy if your goal is to make a living at it. Very few people are able to do it. When getting started your goal should be to take every show as a learning experience. Start with modest goals and work to improve on those goals as you gain experience. 

The last and most important tip is to have fun.  



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Products for your consideration:


Scroll Saw Pattern Design Tutorial: DVD
Let me teach you to create a beautiful wooden portrait pattern. I will show you everything you need from start to finish. The video will show you the free software program you can download for Windows or Mac OS. I will show you how to install the program and configure it for best results. 
Then I will show you the technique to take your photograph and make a pattern from it. When the pattern is complete we will go in the shop and cut it.
The DVD is $10 plus shipping. This is a data DVD that you will use on your computer to watch the video tutorial  



Every Scrollsaw Workshop Pattern from 2007-2017 in DVD
Purchase the entire Scrollsaw Workshop pattern catalog for offline access.

This DVD has 2,300 patterns published from 2007 thru 2017.
The DVD is $20 plus shipping. Ships to 60 countries around the world.

If you use the DVD on a Windows PC there is a simple viewer program to browse through the patterns.

The DVD also works fine on a MAC. The viewer program is not MAC compatible but there is an included PDF with all the patterns shown as thumbnails for easy viewing. 

Unique Wooden Vases:
Want to create beautiful wooden vases on the scroll saw?
My two "Wooden Vases on the Scroll Saw" books make it easy.

The books are $12 each and available for instant download after purchase. Click for Video Demonstration.


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