Arts/Crafts Business/Selling Art


Hi, I am photographer looking to sell my photos in some public/booth area in Los Angeles. I don't know much about business. I just focus on my art. Where should I begin?


Begin by finding out if you need a business license in your city, county, and state. As well as what special event permits are required in your area.

Read Starting Your Art or Craft Business-Legal Requirements to Start Your Business at It contains a link to a checklist from the IRS about what you need to do to start your business. It points you to the post regarding getting business licenses.

Get these things and register with your state as DBA (Doing Business As). Get a business checking account.

Set some goals, establish a marketing plan to accomplish those specific goals.

IF you want to create Internet sales set goals specific to this area. For example you might want to create your own website, blog, etsy or ebay store. Then you want to collect the names, addresses, phone number and e-mail and even birth date of the people who are visiting your stores. Offer them something they want in return for giving you that information. Offer to send them a birthday discount for signing up for your Birthday Club, or to send them a coupon for a free product at the next show they see you at etc. Send them mailings about new product releases, product care information, special offers, discounts, and places they can find your product online and off.

Your offline efforts should encourage online sales by including the address of your web stores or websites on your business cards, fliers, mailers etc.

IF you want to create offline sales then you want to explore arts and craft shows, flea markets, fairs and festivals and farmers' markets, as well as local specialty shops.

Find local art fairs and craft shows read Places to Look for Art & Craft Shows-A Getting Started Guide for Beginning Artist or Crafter at

The key to a successful business is to KNOW WHO BUYS your product and what goals you want to accomplish. Then work towards accomplishing those goals, and not expect one thing to make your business successful.

You have to plan to accomplish YOUR goals which will include many different marketing ideas.  For instance create your own website, create your ebay and etsy stores, go to art and craft shows, and take your items to specialty shops.

Have a business card that contains your contact information but also functions as a coupon for your product and contains your website information as in Craft Festival Vendors Make Your Business Card Do Double Duty at

Use each and every thing you do to build a relationship with your customer. Give customers information on your product or new products, where to find your products, product care, and on other places they can find your product. Collect contact information then follow up with any one who showed an interest in your products (they are known as your prospects).

Many artists and crafters go to craft shows and expect to sell out of their merchandise. This rarely happens and they don't make any effort to collect the contact information of the people they see at the show, so they go home disappointed and disgusted at the show promoter. See Attending Craft Shows Isn't Just About Selling Arts and Crafts at for more information.

Let your customers know they can see your product in person at upcoming shows before they happen. Keep an updated show schedule on your website at all times.

Last but not least: Don't forget the person who is most likely to buy from you is the person who is currently buying from you. NEVER forget to offer them an additional complimentary item to the one they are buying, and sweeten the deal with a small discount.

Good luck with your business venture,

Shasta McLaughlin
The Extravaganza Craft Productions

Arts/Crafts Business

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Shasta McLaughlin


I can answer many questions about the art and craft show industry. I can help with booth setup, advertising and marketing, increasing sales at shows, where to find shows, how to promote an art or craft show, and much more.


I have always been an artist/craft person since I was a child selling crafts at shows with my mom. I have also promoted several craft shows, and publish a newsletter for artists and crafters.


Salutatorian of my graduating class. Associates degree of Graphic Design.

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