Become an Artisan

Photo of an crafters and artists selling in Sunnyvale CA. (Near Santa Barbara)  Similar Arts and Crafts Fairs are all around Orange County (cc) By Dharmesh Patel

This is a series of three articles which cover similar topics:  Swap Meets , Artisan Sales, and Farmers Markets.  There are a lot of items which can be sold at all three types of venues.  We had to split it up into three pages.


As with swap-meeting, there are advantages to this type of business.  Artisan fairs, art shows, Arts and Crafts festivals or whatever you want to call them have their advantages.  Communities will rent out public property at low rates because these types of things increase the status of their city.  It is their way of saying, “we are wealthy enough and sophisticated enough to appreciate this type of thing.”  While the swap-meet type people would be arrested for setting up in the local park; artisans are invited in.   Typically they are looking for something that is hand crafted and made by the artist and produced locally, but they will also let in items that are unique or cute.  The lingo is non-commercial items. As with the post on swap-meeting, we will discuss where to sell and what to sell.  We have added video links to show what’s happening at these events.

Where to Sell: art fairs, arts and crafts festivals, farmers’ market

  • Swap-meets will be more than happy to accommodate your table of art.  See the page on swap-meeting for more info about OC meets.


Monthly Art and Crafts Fairs

note: Most Farmers Markets encourage Arts and Crafts Vending.  See our free list of Farmers Markets


Huntington Beach Downtown Art Walk Every third Thursday from 6-9 PM in downtown HB.  They have live music, food vending, and performance art.  Artists set up on Main Street near the pier, and in areas owned by local businesses.  And some local businesses will sponsor artists.  Apparently they are looking for artist that will fit in with the HB vibe.  If you can get in, this is a great place to sell to tourists.  Prices are negotiated.  You can contact the Downtown Business District organization at or at 714.536.8300  See their webpage for an application
or call the office at 714.536.8300

The Groves Antique Market at the Great Park in Irvine (formerly held at Irvine Valley College)  According to their website, this event is held the first sunday of Every Month at the Great Park in Irvine info (949) 786-5277.  They accept arts and crafts vendors.  They do not have any vendor info posted, but when we contacted them a few years back they made it clear that they wanted only quality type of stuff and not junk that would appeal to Irvine shoppers and not “swap meet people.”  We found this video of what is referred to as the flea market but we think it’s the Antique market [video]  This was awarded the “Best flea Market in Orange County” by CBS Los Angeles [link]

San Clemente Village Art Fair  This occurs the first Saturday of every month except January and is put on by the Downtown Business Association.  They regulate the vendors so that there are not too many of the same type of item being sold, and to insure quality items are sold.  New space assignments are made every week.  To apply, you will need a resale permit from the state franchise tax board, a San Clemente Business Permit, photos of all the stuff you plan to sell, and a photo of your display as it will be set up.  Spaces go for $65/day, $165 for three days (that comes out to $55/day) and $300/day for a premium space.   When we checked the $300 spaces were sold out.  There are exact set up times, and you must move your car to a parking lot after you set up.

San Juan Capistrano Second Saturday Art Fair (Second Sunday of Every Month) Booths will cost you about $60 and your art & crafts items will need to be pre-approved.  Application package

San Juan Capistrano The Old Capistrano Certified Farmers Market and Craft Fair @ Downtown SJC–Yorba Street between Camino Capistrano and El Camino Real–Every Wednesday.   This established Farmers market has been going strong for more than 14 years and also has craft vendors and direct sales of unique specialty items.  Additionally they allow vendors to link to their website and Facebook page so that they can connect with people who have met them at the market.  The market is run by the Chamber of Commerce so they partner with you to promote your business.  SJC is a destination for higher income tourists, and you can connect with locals who visit the market every week.   All the applications are on their website  You need to have a Resale Permit and get a business permit from the city.  You can apply for the business permit online.

Dana Point Farmers Market (see Farmers Market Section) has a crafts fair the second Saturday of every months.


Annual Events:Arts and Crafts Fairs and Festivals


  • Costa Mesa/Santa Ana, OC Fair (July—August – this event is about a month in duration) Click on Fair if it doesn’t come up first.  Then go to General Information to see the vendor page.  This is the biggest one of them all.  Prices start at about $3,000 and go up to $7,500 plus a $50 application fee.  There is a variety of  criteria used to select vendors.  The salient point is that products must be unique (as in not sold by someone else at the fair or something you can find at Wall Mart) and the committee has to feel you offer value to the customer.  The quality of your booth is also a factor.


  • Anaheim, OC Greek Festival (May).   This is a huge church fair put on by St John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church.  It goes for three days in May.  This event is a great event to sell at.  Many people go just for the food, but it attracts Greeks from all over orange county.  And they have money to spend on art.  Even if you don’t make a lot of money, you get an excuse to eat greek food for three days!  You have to reserve your booth at least 6 month’s ahead of time, and it includes a canopy and a electrical outlet.  A 10′ x 10′ booth goes for under $550, and a 20′ x 20′ booth goes for under $1,000.   Vendors are required to have a resale license.  Your artwork should be special and unique, but it does not have to be Greek or Christian themed.  {This video from ’10 will give you an idea of what a big event it is.}


  • Anaheim Harbor Heart Arts Crafts Festival  (November ) Corner of Lincoln Ave & Anaheim Blvd, Anaheim CA 92805 Harbor Heart is a one-day craft, music and food festival benefitting benefiting My Safe Harbor a non profit organization. Event features high-quality crafts, live music, and food trucks! Approximately 100 vendor spots at a highly visible location at a major downtown Anaheim intersection. Vendors offering handcrafted items strongly preferred during screening, although organizers may accept a very limited number of commercial vendors. ??? Looks like this is no longer happening ???


  • Brea Country Fair.  (July-4th~weekend)  Held at City Hall Park 401 S Brea Ave.  They have a craft fair, rides, contests.  The theme can be described as “fun for the whole family.”   You will need to search their website for their most recent vendor information, or call the organizer  Pat Tremayne (714) 990-7771  The deal is that items must be approved, but space allocation is first come first serve.  Spaces are only $75.
  • Brea’s Nutcracker Craft Boutique (2 days in November)  The city website says they have over 250 Craft Vendors selling hand made crafts, decorations, and collectables.  It’s held in the Brea Community Center and had a “Holiday” theme.  Contact Pat Tremayne (714) 990-7771 at the city of Brea.  There is also food vending.  No details were available on the City’s website.
  • Brea’s Spring Boutique (2 days in March)  Another 250 vendor event at the Community Center.  This features Crafts, Gifts and decor items, wearable art, jewelry, floral items, baby items, tasty goodies  Contact Pat for more info(see above).
  • Brea’s Jewelry Show & Women’s Accessories (May)  “Just in time for Mother’s Day”  As the name implies, this 100 vendor event sells crafts, handbags… to woman.  It’s held at Brea’s community center.  Contact Pat for more info(see above).
  • Costa Mesa, Bella Boutique (November) This popular event no longer takes place.

Costa Mesa Piecemakers Country Store  1720 Adams Ave, Costa Mesa, Ca, 92626 (714) 641-3112  info: Piecemakers Country Store in Costa Mesa has been holding juried hand craft festivals in our parking lot for over 27 years. Our festivals always feature approximately 80 vendors with the best in artists’ hand work, along with a few selected antique/collectible dealers. There is live stage entertainment and great food, too.  Piecemakers is a complete gift, fabric, quilt shop with a school that teaches over 100 classes each quarter in all of the arts. In addition, we have a charming tea room, where lunch is served daily. We are in a 12,500 square foot building, and have an artists’ co-op upstairs as well as a “Barely Used” clothing shop. Many businesses have sprung up from the classes taken here, as well as from the vending opportunities we present with our Craft Fairs, Peddler’s Markets, and more. Our upcoming events are:

Piecemakers Peddler’s Market – Saturday, July 18, 8am to 3pm, $55.00 per booth, Free Admission and Parking for the customer.  Piecemakers’ Peddler’s is a unique venue that combines everything from Flea market/Garage sale merchandise, to Antiques & Collectibles. Great food booths, live entertainment, exciting craft demos. Admission and parking are free. Held in Piecemakers Country Store’s  beautiful tree lined parking lot.
Vendor information, applications, and pictures of past shows can be seen on Piecemakers web site at
Piecemakers Harvest Fair – Saturday, October 3 9am to 4pm, $100.00 per booth, Free Admission and Parking for the customer.  Outside and nestled under the eucalyptus trees, over 80 venders share their finest in hand crafted arts and crafts, and antiques/collectibles. Kids, puppies and even husbands will enjoy shopping and visiting with these special artists as the aroma of fresh baked apple pie and the sounds of live music fill the air. Hand craft demonstrations, great food, and entertainment make this a fun day for everyone. This is a juried show.  The basic criteria is hand crafted by the vendor, and the only exception is pre-approved vintage/antique items.Vendor information, applications, and pictures of past shows can be seen on Piecemakers web site at
Piecemakers Christmas Fair – Saturday, December 5, 9am to 4pm, $100.00 per booth, Free Admission and Parking for the customer.  A whimsical holiday event that captures the magic of Christmas in a quaint village setting nestled under the eucalyptus trees. Over 80 venders share their finest in Hand Crafted Arts and Crafts, and Antiques/Collectibles. Live Stage Entertainment, Free Craft Demonstrations, and Great Food Booths. Admission and parking are free.
This is a juried show.  The basic criteria is hand crafted by the vendor, and the only exception is pre-approved vintage/antique items.Vendor information, applications, and pictures of past shows can be seen on Piecemakers web site at



  • Costa Mesa, OC Night Market (May and June weekends) This annual event takes place in the hanger building at the OC Fair Grounds.  It features Asian Art, Food, Performances.  They are looking for craft vendors that sell Asian Themed goods.  They also have DJ’s spinning tunes that appeal to a younger OC demographic.


  • Concordia University — Costa Mesa (November) In 1013,  the boutique is from 9:00 to 2:00 on Saturday, November 9th 2013 at the Hilton Orange County, 3050 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, CA. The vendor spots range from $75 to $125 each. For more information about the event and to register as a vendor to They attract a large crowd of affluent Christian women and they have a celebrity speaker at a prayer brunch which happens the same day.  Funds raised help support the university.  




  • La Habra, Citrus Fair. (April)  This three day event is put on by the La Habra Area Chamber of Commerce and the proceeds benefit local charities.  It has a Fair feel to it with a lot of booths, rides and live music.  The event celebrates La Habra’s agricultural past. You have to call the chamber for more info on this event Website: { Internet Commercial 2nd Commercial }


  • Huntington Beach, Art and Music Fest (September) This is a big event with a ton of customers.  Held in Downtown HB.   From their website “The event will  offer national marquee touring classic rock artist, classic hit and country plus a host of California’s own musicians.  Rib connoisseurs for the first time, will be exposed to the finest in barbecue from the leading national award winning teams straight from The BBQ Championships in Nevada; representing over 10 states and Canada. Additional activities to include Art, a wine tasting village, BBQ Showcases, local California “Taste of” cuisine from some of the top restaurants and a family fun zone.”   This is sponsored  by K-Earth and has some bands that were very popular a few years back.  So you will have shoppers that are a bit older (for HB) and with some money because it’s not a Free event.  According to their website, they hand select local venders: “Artists will be selected through a jury process–emphasizing quality, craftsmanship and presentation–in a wide variety of media, from jewelry to painting, woodworking to photography. ” And the price on a per day basis is very reasonable starting at $325-400!  ⇒ Feedback, people said the crowds were very small at the fest in 2014 despite their nice website and lineup of rockstars.  This was attributed to a high admissions charge.  Well we wish them luck next year if they put on another program.


  • Huntington Beach Concours d’Elegance aka Huntington Car and Motorcycle Show (June) This is a huge classic car and show.  They have live bands and art.  They are going for the more upscale car show audience.  It’s a two day event.  You can get a 10×10′ space with table and canopy for $350 and a 10×20′ space with canopy for $400.  That’s for two days.  There is about a $50 discount if you only want one day.  Website click on vendor form. { Video showing cars but not vendors }
  • Huntington Beach 4th of July Celebration and Fair. (4 days around July 4th)  Tons of people go to Huntington Beach for the 4th.   It’s their biggest down town event of the year.  The Celebration includes a parade, fireworks at night, music, and a 5K run.  Thousands of people show up.  The city rents out spaces  near the pier for art exhibitions and food vendors.  For the 4 day period, prices fun $1,000-$1,500 depending on where you set up–the parking lot off to the side is less expensive–and that includes insurance and a valuable parking pass for the lot near the pier.  The city will also rent tables and a tend to you for about $150 more.  They require a state resale license, city business license/permit, and if you hire anyone you need to get workers comp insurance  (It’s our understanding that you and your family members are exempt from this requirement as long as the family members are helping and not hired.)  We took this video of the event in the morning of July 3rd.  You can see the tons of vendors selling a variety of crafts.  It only gets more busy as the sun comes out.
  • Huntington Harbour Philharmonic Holiday Boutique.  (October) This is an annual event that occurs in October or November at the Huntington Harbour Mall.  Proceeds go toward teaching underprivileged children about classical (European) music and they also give a portion of funds raised directly to local schools for their music programs.  Contact the Philharmonic society at 714-840-7542 for more information.  No vendor information was listed on their website  Vendors sell arts/crafts, jewelry, and home decor items.
  • Huntington Harbour/Beach  International Tiki Marketplace.  This is in the former SAM’s place on PCH.  They have over 40 vendors and 400 customers at some event days.  The new restaurant  Don the Beachcomber has been putting this on for a while. They are bringing back the original spirit of Sam’s, with this hip vibe.  If you make this stuff which we used to call Hawaiian Art but now seems to be Oceanic Art.    Video For more info, see this facebook page.  And obviously they want art that’s locally made by the artist that’s unique.
  • Huntington Beach Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival  This is held each year in the spring at Central Park in Huntington Beach.  They are looking for vendors who serve Japanese/Asian food and sell Japanese style arts and crafts items.  The rent money goes toward’s Huntington Beach’s sister city program, and helps people visit the sister city Anjo Japan.
  • Huntington Beach Old World Christmas Market (December) This market is in the Old World complex behind Bella Terra Mall.  The complex caters to retailers selling European and Hispanic goods.  The event is managed by Blue Cats Events (no phone number or direct e-mail address)  They accept items that are at least 75% handcrafted by you, and they must be of high quality.  Video of the christmas entertainment at the event


  • Laguna Beach Art-A-Fair (June) This is more Art than Arts and Crafts—it’s for established artists, and they attract artists from across the nation.  It is run by a foundation, but they don’t have much on their website regarding what it takes for an artist to get in.  If you are interested displaying/selling your art, contact Ron .  Unlike the nearby Sawdust Festival, this one does not have a residency requirement.  In 2012 they had 128 artists participating almost 20% of which were new artists.  { 2011 video }


  • Laguna Beach Sawdust Festival this is for established artists in the Laguna Beach art scene.  According this OC Register article by Barbara Venzia, the entry fee is $2000 and the cost of building your booth.  She reports that the booth can cost thousands of dollars to build.  She goes on to say that there are more artists who want to display than the 200 spaces available, so qualified artists enter a lottery to determine who gits one of the coveted spots.  OC Register Reporter Richard Chang has also written a good article that goes into all the history and happenings of the festival.  There is a residency requirement for artists.


  • Mission Viejo Street Fair (Summer-July?)  Sometimes known as the Mission Viejo 4th of July Street Fair.   The fair includes rides, games crafts and gifts.  To be a food or game vendor, you must have a 501c.  To sell crafts, you need to have a business license and resale permit.  Craft Booths go for around $100, and they can provide electric.  Call 949-830-7066 or { Commercial }
  • Mission Viejo Holiday Boutique  (Nov or Dec)  This has been going on for more than 42 years.  Getting in is based on the uniqueness, creativity, and quality of your product.  You must submit one photo of you making the product and five photos of the products.  You can have multiple types of crafts at one booth.  Product judging is in June.  Booths go for about $100  { no videos found }
  • Newport Back Bay SoCalPapa Art Show  (July)  This weekend event has been going on for over 13 years.  It is put on by a not-for-profit group that helps painters and the Back Bay Conservancy.  You need to be a member of SoCalPaPa $85 to join and 35% of your sales money goes toward the Back Bay Conservancy plus there is a $50 entry charge.  You need to be registered a couple of months ahead of time.  This is for paintings of the Newport Back Bay.  You may also be recognized with awards.  Artists do not need a business permit or resale license since all the sales go through the Back Bay gift shop.  { no videos found }


  • Orange  Old Town Orange Holiday Boutique  (November) Saturday from 9am – 2pm with homemade items (table top display) and packaged food items for gifts or holiday baskets. $25 per table (6′ table space). Great event to begin a business or cameo a new product. Location is on St. Mary Magdalene Church grounds. The Holiday Boutique is a free admission event.  Contact


  • Orange  Covenant Presbyterian Church Craft Faire (November) 1855 Orange-Olive Road, Orange.  This is an annual event to benefit the church.  The event is held on church grounds so there are a lot of church members looking for holiday gifts.  They have a lot of vendors. The event also features Santa, lunch and a opportunity Drawing.  Booths can be inside or outside and only cost $25-$35–and Vendors there is no revenue sharing.  They are looking for handcrafted unique items.  All vendor offerings must be handcrafted, handmade or homemade.  This event is more of and outreach effort by the church than a fundraiser.  The church helps a lot of people through its various projects; so this is a good event to support.
    The Faire will be Saturday, November 3 2018 from 9-4.
          In 2017, we had about 82 vendors and 500+ visitors.  We have reorganized our floor plan to fit about 90 vendors this year.  For vendor information contact Michelle Adams


  • Santa Ana Patchwork Indie Arts and Crafts Show (May and Nov)  This takes place in Santa Ana’s thriving Downtown Arts District at Sycamore and 2nd St.  They are looking for local independent artists.  This is a big event with music, and over 100 vendors.  They also have a lot of clothing items.  Contact  website   It appears that artists are approved based on being independent.  You need to have a state resale permit to apply.  They provide a Santa Ana business permit form and the cost of the permit is included in the fees.  Booths are inside and outside and range from 4×6′ to 10×10′.  Prices are reasonable and range from $100-$150.   You provide your booth, table.. and electric is not available.  They also allow locally prepared food as long as it has been prepared in a certified commercial kitchen.  If you think you might want to sell in the future, get on their vendor’s e-mail list.  { video }

  • San Clemente Cinco De Mayo Fiesta (May) (Link not currently working.  Search City’s website which hosts the event for cinco de mayo.   If you are interested in vending  contact the City’s Recreation Division at (949)361-8264.  They will tell you what they are looking for.   Booth Fees were about $300. As you can see in this 2011 OC Register article, the city goes all out and has a lot of activities on this one Saturday.  This will attract a lot of shoppers to their Fiesta.  The event happens on a Saturday around May 5th each year. { video }
  • San Clemente Ocean Festival/Art Show (June, July, August)  General Info: This is put on by a volunteer organization that aims to increase safety and build community in the city.  The event appears to occur 9:00AM to 5:00PM on the first Sundays in June, July and August.  From what we can see, they have volunteer coordinate the Arts and Crafts Sale.  Their website does not provide any info on pricing or an application.  Contact a while in advance if you would like to sell arts and crafts. { video }


  • Silverado Spring Art Fair and Festival (April) contact for more info.  Vendor info not on the web.
  • Stanton SummerFest This is really a great event put on by a small city.  Not a huge amount of competition with other vendors.  Check the city’s website for more info. This is often combined with a car show and live music.  From what we hear, this has been canceled for the following year.
  • Seal Beach Arts and Craft Faire  (September)  This weekend event happens by the park next to the Seal Beach Pier on the weekend following Labor Day.  The cost is $220.00 which includes overnight security if you want to keep your booth up and the cost of insurance.   It is hosted by the Seal Beach Art Association.  It has been going on since 1977.  Video from 07  In terms of  tourist demographics, Seal Beach tends to attract a little older crowd than Newport and Huntington to the south.  Although the crowds will not be as large, shopping on Main St. is a major attraction of the town so you might find tourists who came to shop.  It looks like they like art that highlights to local area.
  • Sugar Plum Holiday Craft Fair.  This event is  designed to sell holiday (okay, we’ll say it–Christmas.) items and decoration.  It is held in two locations.  The parking lot of Buena Park Mall and on the OC Fair Grounds Fairground.  It is independent of the the people who run the OCMarketPlace Swapmeet, Farmers Markets at these locations, and the OC Fair so you will not find information on their websites.  It occurs during the height of the holiday shipping season–the latter part of November and the early part of December.  They have a wide variety of home crafted items sold including  Garden and yard  décor, beautiful jewelry, clothing for both the young and young at heart,  personalized gifts and ornaments, antiques and collectibles, palate pleasing dips, jams, candies, breads, scones …  You need to submit your product ideas early, and you need to have your resale permit from the California  BoE and city of Buena Park/Costa Mesa  business license ready to go.   They are flexible as to booth size, and actually rent by the sq foot.  The minimum starts at $75 + $20 lighting fee.   And this is a full day event ending in the evening.  This is a promoted event that attracts people want spend holiday money to have that authentic holiday experience. { Halloween Commercial }


  • Sunset Beach Art Festival (May–around Mothers Day) Booth go for about $200.  This has grown into a really big event.  It’s held on the Greenbelt in Sunset Beach (now part of Huntington Beach) is located between Seal Beach and the higher income part of Huntington Beach know as Huntington Harbour.  They have about 140 artists and crafters presenting their work on the lawn, and have a Fire House Art Gallery in the former fire station which displays paintings for sale, and there are also food vending opportunities.  They also have live music and food.  There are tons of people looking–and quite a few people buying.  It is not possible to walk at a normal pace because of the crowd. { City Video }


  • Tustin Tiller Days (April) For vendors selling commercial items, booths start at $500.  For Hand Crafted Vendors booths start at $100.  Apply early and describe your product.
  • Westminster Spring Festival (April)  The City of Westminster, Community Services and Recreation Department, takes applications for vendors (craft, food and commercial) for the annual Spring Festival held on a Saturday in April.  (for 2014 it’ll be on the 12th from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.) at the Westminster Civic Center. In addition to vendors, the event will feature a pancake breakfast provided by Kiwanis Club of Westminster, entertainment, games, children’s activities, and a visit from the Easter Bunny!  For more information, or to receive an application packet, please call the Community Services and Recreation Department at (714) 895-2860 or visit our website at
  • Westminister,   TET Festival (February ??)  This three day event is probably one of the biggest events on this list.  It’s put on by the Vietnamese residents of the county and has a huge draw from all over Southern California.  Commercial boots rent for between $1,000-$1,300.  Plus another $100 trash fee.  They have over 200 food, game, and vendor booth spaces available.  It’s a good idea to apply early as there are a lot of vendors trying to get into these booths.  They are open to non homemade goods.  Language is not as much of an issue as it used to be as most of the population speaks English.  This video show how huge the event is

Art Fairs and Festivals Near Orange County that are worth the drive

  • Hermosa Beach Fiesta Hermosa (September–Labor Day Weekend & May–Memorial Day Weekend)  This is a huge event in busy Hermosa Beach.  Big crowds.  They even have two stages for live music.  They have opportunities for artists, commercial vendors, and food vendors.  Pricing is based on location and what you are selling.   Commercial 10×10′ spaces start at $1,600 and go up to $2,600 if you want a good location on a corner.  Commercial Vendors need to apply early!. Patch Article and video Artists get in for about $600.  You need to submit the items and have them judged by a committee.
  • Long Beach Patchwork Indie Arts and Crafts Show (June and Nov )  This takes place in the Upscale Belmont Shores area of Long Beach about a Mile or two north of Seal Beach.  They are looking for local independent artists.  The event has an emphases on environmental responsibility with a solar powered DJ boot, a bike valet service, and environmentally sustainable gift wrapping station at the Fall event.  This is a big event with music, and over 100 vendors.  They also have a lot of clothing items.  Contact  website .  It appears that artists are approved based on being independent.  Booths range from 4×6′ to 10×10′.  Prices are reasonable and range from $100-$180.   You provide your booth, table.. and electric is not available.  They also allow locally prepared food as long as it has been prepared in a certified commercial kitchen.  If you think you might want to sell in the future, get on their vendor’s e-mail list.
  • San Pedro Crafted at the Port of LA Just North of the Vincent Thomas Bridge across from where the big cargo ships dock.  The craft fair happens every day in December and every weekend of the year.  It’s held in a huge WWII era warehouse next to the USS Iowa Battleship.  They want you to sign a one year month lease, but it looks like you can negotiate a six month lease.  The cost of a 10×01′ space is $500/month (weekends days) and more for December.  They also charge you and additional $8 for property tax, $25 if you need to use electrical, and $20 to use wifi, $155 LA city business permit.  So assuming 8 weekend days in a month that’s ($500+5+25+20+155)/8 = $88.50 per day.  You also need to get a City of Las Angeles business licence and pay an additional 0.127% gross receipts tax, and have a resale permit.  LA is spending at least 1.2Billion to turn this area into a tourist destination   The question is will they bring enough business in to make this a profitable operation?  This could be a good opportunity for the future.

Local Craft Shows

Meet with local vendors and take classes.  This organization holds craft shows in Tuscon Arizona and Costa Mesa California.  At their local Costa Mesa Show, they have about 300 vendors and a lot of free classes–teaching you how to craft.  It’s not free, but if you make a couple of good connections it might be worth the trip.

Click here for more information.

Exploring Art & Handcraft at Costa Mesa Bead & Design Show




Selling Your Art over the Internet

When you are at these events, it is important to let customers know that they can re-connect with you to buy your products.  You should have a presence on the internet even if it’s just a photo album and contact information.  One place where artists have been selling their art is Etsy.  This site focuses on handmade crafts and art.  So it is not everything to everybody like Amazon or Ebay.  (It’s also a good place to get supplies.)  Once you have registered as a “shop” and uploaded images of your work, people can find you buy searching for your shop on Etsy.  Unlike E-bay, this will allow you to build your brand as people can see what you have done.

Selling on Etsy.  This popular book outlines how to use the site, and profiles several successful artists.

For $11/yr you could buy a domain name, like on a service like, and have it forwarded to your shop on

Etsy.  (We have been impressed with their patient English speaking customer support located in Arizona.)

If you want to sell directly, and avoid being lumped in with other merchants, you could build your own website.  Unless you have a lot of orders, it would be best to just display your art, and have people call/e-mail you if they want to buy it.  Again, can help you set up a website with your name, or you could have someone design it for you.  A lot of artists believe, and for good reasons, that they need to have a really good looking site to project an image.  Just point to this site, and tell your web designer “make the opposite of this site.”

You can license the right to use your images, footage, or music on sites like Getty Images and IstockPhotos.  As their names imply both sites started out with photos, but now they also do music, videos, digital art, and logos.    Businesses buy images because it’s cheaper than hiring a crew to produce their own images.  Just think about all the images, clips, and music you see every day in Newspapers, Magazines advertisements, TV commercials, stock footage on news programs, music in TV and web commercials and websites.  All of that art has to come from someplace.  Most if it is freelance stuff that people put up on sites like this; and when needed producers pay for it.

Protect what you’ve created  

Worried that if you sell you art someone will copy your work and sell?  You can protect your intellectual property by registering your Copyright work with the Copyright Office.  If you file on-line, it costs less than $40.  To find out more about Copyrights, see the second half of our page on Protecting your Rights: Trademarks and Copyrights.  

What to Sell if you don’t Handcraft it yourself

It’s hard to say what you can sell.  If you are handy, that’s great.  We have a little more info on our discussion of crafting projects.

Imported Goods

This is included in the interest of being complete.  One possibility is to get imported items that are/look hand made.  You will have to scrape off the Made in China stickers.  (If you are reading this in China, a tool to help scrape off your stickers would be an additional product to export to us.  Sometimes it can be a pain to get them off.)  For xenophobic reasons, stuff handcrafted here has a much higher perceived value than imported stuff even if it is also handcrafted.  (For instance, I know someone who purchased an expensive quilt.  They talked about the stitching, fabric, backing….  It was the bargain of the century on a handcrafted piece of Americana until they noticed a small made in Bangladesh tab on the back.  Then it was a big-time rip-off.)  See the post on swap-meeting for info about how to score deals on wholesale goods.

Seriously, you can get away with imported stuff if it’s from your homeland.

One site that looked interesting was This is a directory site which lists exporters.  Unlike e-bay, you have to contact them directly and negotiate prices.

Framed Lithograph Prints

A lot of times you see framed prints and other products.  Where do they come from?  A company called Lantern Press. They sell 12″x18″ prints for less than $4.00 and 2’x3′ posters for around $10.  If you can get them framed, you can sell them for quite a bit more.  If you can make it look nice by adding a border or add some memento that people would appreciate.  Or you can sell them with out a form for a nice markup.  You have seen them at art shows.  They offer prints of:

  • Old Black and White Photos
  • Magazine Covers
  • Artwork lithographs
  • Old maps
  • vintage pin-up girl posters.
  • State and City photos
  • Old trading cards
  • Fruit box labels
  • Posters of sports stars

They own the copyrights to a lot of stuff.  You won’t realize how much they have until you have searched around their site for a while.  See our section on framing to learn how you can put these in frames to upgrade the product significantly.

© 2011