Matsumoto Craft Fair 2009

 Looking around a big Craft Market on the weekend made me think about “crafting” and “marketing“.

All the crafts on display were topnotch. I wasn’t really interested in a lot of them, but I could appreciate the “craftmanship shape quality of all the vessles and other crafts present“.

The real difference was in the presentation/marketing.

Some artists displayed their stuff like cakes at a bake sale, while others thought a garage sale type layout might best attract attention and buyers.

bad display of a cool item

These things were cool and reasonably priced, but they looked like crap just lying there. Having them on little stands would have been a lot better.

much better angle

Maybe the artist wanted people to pick them up, but you could barely see what they were if you were just walking by.

handle makers are not knobs

Other artists really had a handle on the presentation situation.

There were many good techniques:

Cool Display Units 

cool display

 These would still look good sitting on a table, but the display unit made everything so much better.

What the heck's in there?

This one triggered my curiousity. There were lighting fixtures/lamp things inside. Yes, I did look in all 3 holes.


Expensive Cool Stuff Out Front

 cool hats ... but they sold out of everything but the hats

 I don’t think this person sold too many funky hats for $80, but they sold out of all the felt belts and pin-on corsage things that looked like flowers.


Grouped Things

Somethings just look better in numbers; lined up, grouped together, lying in bunches, or spread out.

solidarity in numbers

 United we stand, divided we don’t sell … or something like that.

photo opportunity to create interest

 20 together look cool, but maybe the effect will be different when you buy one and put it on your apartment balcony. These were the 2nd most photographed thing at the market. Having 10 people constantly buzzing around your display with cameras can’t be too bad.

colorful things get noticed

 Being colorful always helps.

nicely lined up is nice

Nicely lined up never hurt sales.

Why didn't they have these in the Elementary School Orchestra?

User friendly grouped musical things are begging to be looked at and played. (played term used loosely)

You better buy one because you're kid really likes it ... for 5 minutes.

Things made for kids can’t be too bad.


Craft Market people are crafty … sometimes.



note: the jury is still out on this one.

I've been looking for lemons on chairs!

These people were selling coat hangers made of twine or something. I guess they knew that their product wasn’t so visually stunning.
I think they sold them all though. (the coat hangers, not the chairs with lemons on them)


double note: ahhh! The most photographed thing at the Craft Market was …

The Pinky Girls!

The Pinky Girls working for Matsumoto City selling “2 Day Bus Passes“.
I was going to buy some … until I was reminded that I drove to the Market.


triple note: How not to sell your stuff …

These artists are sometimes tempermental

don’t sit behind your wares in total despair.


quadruple note: I never mentioned the ring/jewelry people because really they don’t need any presentation skills or other help to make people look and buy their stuff.

quintuple note: “location, location, location” didn’t work at this place. The best located stand was a rogue shop on the way to the Craft Fair that 75% of people walked by to and from the Fair.
They were selling crappy factory laquer ware stuff and didn’t get too many sniffs, bites, or second glances.

sextuple note:

a craft market could be a boat show
a carafe market sells vessles too!



7 responses to “Displaysment

  1. Wow. Some really cool stuff. I want to go there now. Especially for the bus tickets.

  2. I find it funny how the Japanese vacillate between cute and minimalist.

  3. I like the big nose statue/figurine thingys. I want one

  4. I used to do that. In another life, I was a potter. I have no idea how many craft shows I’ve been at, bored out of my mind… BUT YOU SMILE, SMILE SMILE! The grumps don’t make sales, that’s for sure.

    I did like the little kid shoes. I’d have bought a pair for Lulu Belle.

    -Turkish Prawn

  5. I would love a craft fair like that one but can’t be bothered to fly 23 hours to go to it.

    Cool stuff. You shoulda sold shirts. You might have made 1000 yen or so!

  6. Thanks for the visual tour. I recall when a Made in Japan stamp on the bottom of something rendered it cheap.
    That title now belongs to China.

    I saw more than a few things I’d like to have.

  7. Thanks for all the comments.

    Kelly Pettit: only 500 yen … for 2 days! what a deal!

    razzbuffnik: most houses I’ve visited here vacillate between small and cluttered. hee hee!

    Tony: they were pretty eye catching and only 3,000 yen too. I liked the one in the photo the best. … which is pretty obvious because I didn’t take any photos of the other ones.

    Turkish Prawn: you mean the artists were only being friendly to make sales!!! I thought they were really interested in the way I browsed. hee hee!

    S. Le: I wonder if I could sell blogs.
    I thought about the t-shirts when I passed the rogue stand outside of the actual market.
    Don’t forget the coffee cups and mousepads too! hee hee!

    Bonnie Luria: I liked a lot of the stuff, but didn’t buy anything.
    I did buy a very cool clump of cactuses (cacti) at a flower shop on the way back from the market though!
    Today’s mission is to re-pot the clump in a bigger pot. These are exciting days!

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