Christmas markets are a real highlight in the community calendar. They’re an opportunity for local creatives to get together and share their work, while making a bit of extra cash over the Christmas season.
If you’ve never tried selling your artwork at a Christmas market or holiday fair before, it’s a great way to get your name known in your local community. Check out our 4-part series on craft market success for artists below, and then read on for some additional, Christmas-specific tips!
The truth is, not everyone can afford to buy large pieces of art for their loved ones, and most stall holders find they do much better in a Christmas market if they offer a range of smaller, more inexpensive items alongside their larger pieces. These might include prints, greeting card sets, and smaller scale sculptures or wall hangings.
When I set up a stall, I like to choose 3-5 of my larger, more impressive pieces to attract people to the stall, and stock the rest with smaller items. Direct people interested in your larger pieces to a photograph book or your website.
2. Include Christmas-themed items
It would seem obvious, but many stallholders forget that buyers are looking for specifically Christmas-themed items, such as greeting cards, tree ornaments, advent calendars, and anything wintery or festive. After all, they can get your normal work at any time of the year.
Spend a few weeks beforehand creating some unique Christmas items for sale, and place these prominently on display. They’ll probably be your biggest seller for the day!
3. Offer gift wrapping
Gift-wrapping should be a free service you offer to anyone purchasing from your stall, unless the market itself is offering free gift-wrapping. Stock up on supplies of colorful wrapping paper, ribbons, scissors and tapes, and make sure you keep an area in your stall clear for laying out and wrapping presents.
4. Create gift certificates
Art is so subjective that many people won’t know which piece to choose for their loved one. A gift certificate will solve their problem. Gift certificates work best if you offer pieces at fixed price points so buyers know what they’re getting (for example, if you price all your small paintings at $90, medium at $200, and large at $360).
To create a gift certificate, simply design a template on the computer, using a piece of your artwork as a background. Be sure to include the words “Gift Certificate,” the value of the certificate, and a space to write the recipient’s name. Print them out in full color on thick card stock or beautiful paper—you want them to look like beautiful gifts.
5. Get into the Christmas spirit
Even if you’re not big on Christmas, it pays to get into the spirit of the season by decorating your stall in festive colors, stringing up fairy lights, giving out candy to the children, or wearing a Santa hat or reindeer antlers.
(Although it may seem silly to you at first, your customers will see an artist who has made an effort to get into the spirit of the season, and because of it, they’re more likely to want to purchase from you.)
In the end, Christmas markets can be a great way to get your name out there in your local community, make a bit of extra money, and be part of a fun, magical event that everyone enjoys. Have fun, and Merry Christmas!