Fairs/Festivals

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pinksiva
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Joined: 2010-08-04 15:04
Fairs/Festivals

Hello all,

I have questions about Fairs/Festivals. I have started to do Fairs/Festivals since last year and have done about 10-15 so far. What I have question about is, most of the time I have made between $150-400 in one day depending on the fair/festival, is there way to make more than $400 in fairs/festivals? My henna designs start from $5 and goes up to $35 for the festivals/fairs? What I have notice is that most people will choose my $5 desgins and will not go for any higher price then that...the most I have made from one person is up to $25. Is it too much to expect to get paid more then $400 for henna for a show? Before having the $5 designs, people often complained that my prices were too high, especially indian (not to offend anyone but I'm indian myself). I have also notice that most of my customers are with kids, teens and some moms. I have not had any luck in getting men to try henna. How do I get the men intersted in getting henna? I have had my husband advatising men henna for me in fairs and festivals in past but still did not get any men to try henna. From all of the shows I have done, I have had 3-4 men in 10-15 shows I did. Any ideas or thoughts or experience in fairs/festivals you would like to share would be really appriciated.

Currently, I work full time and am doing henna fairs/festivals once a month since I have 3 yrs old but would like to do henna as full time. So before I go quiting my job for henna, please tell me there is a way to make a living doing JUST henna and henna business.

Love and Light,

Pinksiva

Jen
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Last seen: 3 years 12 months ago
Joined: 2010-04-26 06:47
Re: Fairs/Festivals

 There is a limit to how much you can make depending on the attendance of the events you're working. A rough estimate is about 1% of a festival's attendance will seriously consider henna.

If you tend to have a long line most of the time, I would suggest training someone up and adding another artists. If not, than there are a few smaller things you can do to help.

First of all, I've found that clumping all the $5 designs in one spot in a book causes people to focus on those designs while they browse. Mix 'em in! Also, don't include very many. This may be enough to keep folks from complaining about your prices, but keeps you from doing only $5 work all day.

Try offering other stuff, like glitter tattoos, or gift items for sale. You can decorate wooden boxes with henna, or even find some ready-to-sell items. This does require you have a helper at your booth to manage those sales while you work.

Make sure your signage is good so you can get people's attention and that your booth is inviting so people want to browse when they stop by.

Make sure you have business cards and pretty aftercare sheets with your contact information.

Don't put all your eggs in the festival basket. In my area $400 a day at festival is about a high average for me. Its also a weeks worth of pay at $10 an hour so its hard not to call it a good days pay, ya know!? BUT no, I can't make a full time living at this without also doing a bunch of private parties, appointments, school and library programs, and making soap and working customer service for Mehandi. And I've been at it a decade now. I think people who live in areas that are particularly art-centric, more multicultural, or warmer a larger part of the year can do full time henna work much easier though.

Malynda
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Joined: 2010-05-10 13:25
Re: Fairs/Festivals

I agree with Jen.  I would also add that at a festival, time is money.  The bulk of your patterns should be in the $10 to $20 range and take you no more than 10 minutes to complete.  You don't want to spend more than 10 minutes per customer, so only have patterns in your book that you can do very quickly = the more people you can henna in a day, the more money you can make.   Customers are customers, so don't worry too much about not hennaing enough guys, though it helps to have some "guy" stuff like dragons, Chinese/Japanese symbols, animals and tribal patterns mixed into your books.  Women are more inclined to have henna.  I think I run a ratio of 10:1 on how many women to men I henna at the average festival and probably 3:1 at teen-centered events.

Henna is my main source of personal income, but I need to diversify just as Jen suggested.  Festivals every single weekend during the warm months, year-round private appointments between (and sometimes during) festivals, tattoo design and various art-related jobs as often as I can get them.  It's a unique way to make a living, but difficult physically and financially, and by August, a normal "day job" looks pretty darn appealing.  My advise is to keep good financial records of your henna business so that you can track it as it grows.  As soon as you are making more at henna than at your regular job (be sure to take costs, employee benefits, taxes, etc into account), then you can start the decision process on whether it is worth the risk to quit.

Blurberrybuzz
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Last seen: 5 years 12 months ago
Joined: 2010-05-08 17:45
Re: Fairs/Festivals

I agree with Jen and Malynda.  $400 is an average day for a festival for me.  I plan on making my booth fee back in the first few hours of the first day.  Often the first day is a short Friday night, 5pm -9pm or 10pm and I work that day alone.  Saturday festival days should be bringing in $300-$500 per artist.  A few of my tried and true festivals are $600 per day per artist, but that's the exception.  I also sell decorated items and book brides, baby blessings, parties, high school grad nights and library/community ed classes.  Henna in Minnesota is very seasonal.  I'm crazy busy from the beginning of June to the end of September.  The rest of the year is much slower with December-February being really dead.  Keeping a spreadsheet of all your income and expenses including milage will be helpful for determining whether or not henna is a solvent business for you.

Keep in mind the power of bartering too.  I've made gotten many services and products that way.  You can barter with other vendors at our festivals and enjoy some cross marketing or barter for things like professional photography which is great for marketing in order to increase your business.

I also push the $15 + artist choice henna.  I can whip out a piece in 5 minutes or so and it makes more $$$ than the pre-priced henna.  Proper signage and a good booth babe is essential for increasing your income at a festival too.

Victoria

Heather
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Last seen: 5 years 1 month ago
Joined: 2010-05-12 17:56
Re: Fairs/Festivals

$400 is average for an average festival... so I say weed out the average festivals and instead fill your schedule with AMAZING ones as much as possible! This takes years (perhaps a decade) of trial and error to figure out...

Wouldn't recommend quitting your full time job until you know the income you'll make off of henna will be enough to replace it...

The other thing to do is to get *fast* - I find this a better solution for long lines at busy festivals than working with another artist... the risk of having to split a small amount of $ on a bad day with someone else isn't really worth it, for me, compared to the possibility of just having to work my butt off and be super fast to deal with the line.

 

(post trimmed back quite a bit to correct my tendency to overshare :)

pinksiva
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Last seen: 6 years 2 months ago
Joined: 2010-08-04 15:04
Re: Fairs/Festivals

Thank you all for your input and your advise. I REALLY really appricated. I'm learning which festival brings me the most money after the booth fees, traveling, ect and keep track of what I made at each festival. I plan on selling some of my artwork that I have painted and draw and I have made bunch of henna designs cards as well. I found a crytal shop that is willing to sell my henna design cards as well. Ths crytal shop sells local artists stuff, promoting local artist and business. I have had the Museum higher me for their opening/closing of exhibit...and made pretty decent money since the museum paided me but did henna on about 50-60 people in 5 hours and got to do my more expensive designs since they were free to the visitor for their opening/closing exhibit....

So as everyone shared...I would have to do more then festivals/fairs to make a living as artist....hmmm,ok!~

So far, henna has made me pretty decent money and I really can't compline!

Thanks again for sharing...

Love and Light

Pinksiva

 

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