Monday, October 11, 2010

A Craft Fair? Do I Dare?


I think its time I take a leap of faith and attempt to sell my goods at a local craft fair! I sort of hate the term "craft fair" as it sounds like a bunch of knick-knacks made out of macaroni and popsicle sticks. BUT what can you do? This particular event will be held on December 4th in Florence, Kentucky. Yes, I realize that's two hours from me, but its minutes from my sisters home, so she'll be my assistant... and my mom also agreed to come and take care of Eli! I'll get a 10'x10' area to set up my domain, and hopefully have a fun day!

This would be my FIRST EVER craft fair and I have absolutely no idea what I'm getting myself into! Therefore - I need your advice! If you've ever participated in such an event, please share your top tips for success! I know I need lots of business cards, a visually appealing setup, a large variation of price points... what else?

These two lovely little stroller quilts may just be the first to go in my CRAFT FAIR pile... I'm also thinking of:

more stroller quilts
a few lap quilts
a few baby quilts
security blankies
burp cloths
coin purses
mug rugs
sewing machine covers
tea towels

16 comments:

zarina said...

Lots of items - let the customers be spoilt of choice.

A bargain box where they can get something at a low price (there may not work but here its a nice touch).

I just did my first craft show. It was a disappointment (wish we can have shows for actual crafters and not a 'normal person') on the selling front. However, I scored points in the networking area which was my main objective knowing the market.

Theresa said...

How about aprons? You could do grown ups and little people versions!

9patchnurse said...

How about some bags? Little zipper bags for makeup or toiletries or lunchbags. I made lunchbags for co-workers last xmas and included little freezer packs with matching covers. They loved them! Good luck.

Sue said...

I've been doing craft fairs/markets for years and I love the face to face contact you get. Keep a big friendly smile of your face and be welcoming (that's easy to say after a long day of chatting). Good luck!!!!

Sarah said...

Gosh, I have no advice for you sorry. I just want to say "You go girl!" Have fun!

Contented Caroline said...

It depends what you mean by 'Craft-Fair' are you talking school fair or huge high-end (expensive) craft-fair? I've generally found that small craft fairs are disappointing - people go to buy small items that cost merely pocket change - very few carry wads of cash for expensive items that are deserving of the cost. Just be prepared for it to be a pro-motion of the service you can offer and don't feel that you have to justify the cost.

Elena said...

Omg, I totally get your anxiety! I'm doing my first vendor fair next Tuesday! I've been planning for months and still don't feel like I have enough stuff made. I'll send you some pics and advice after the show. Maybe you could offer custom orders for Christmas delivery.
I also got a credit card service thru Square Up. It's on my iPhone, comes with a free swiper, and they're free except for 2.75% and 15 cents per transaction. People might spend more if they can just swipe!

KerryQ said...

I'd love to learn from your experience. A little craft fair 101.

Tracy said...

Since I am East of Cincinnati you MUST tell me where you will be! You may already read this blog: http://thepleatedpoppy.com/ but definitely check out her old posts for how she sets up her booths. She also has home shows w/ other crafty friends and shows their displays too! Good luck. Tracy

Jen said...

Good luck! They are fun. I have no tips. I've participated in a couple very small ones. One of them I sold nothing, the other I sold about $25 worth of stuff. I was a bit disappointed, but it was fun. Last summer, my Aunt participated in several (I think around 5 or 6)that occurred over all the summer months and unfortunately only made about $5! She had various priced goods and what sold were some $1 bookmarks she had made. She's a sewer, knitter, crocheter, and scrapbooker. So she had lots of different items.

I personally love craft fairs and love going to them, but from family members and friends that have participated I've realized (in our experience) not much sells. But I don't mean to discourage you. It may be completely different for you and I hope you sell lots of your beautiful work. And like I said, they are very fun to participate in so I'm sure you will have a great time. And you ALWAYS meet great new people! Good luck and I'm anxious to hear how you do! I know I'd buy something of yours!!

Stephanie said...

I had my first craft show this past June and my second is the same day as your's. I did well at my show but the craft show was directed to the right people. (Also the same indie craft show for my December one, this is just there bigger show for Christmas). I just recommend having a very eye catching display and lots of different prices. Unfortunately my quilts didn't do well at all, but it was summer and I think people weren't looking to spend that kind of money. But between totes, bibs, eye pillows and table runners I made $300. Best of Luck, you have nice stuff, I'm sure you'll do well!

Sunshine said...

Well, I was at a christmas craft market last year and wish I'd have had some of these tips. Having small price items is a good one (I sold baby quilts for 60-70$, they were dirt cheap, but nothing else). While I did sell one quilt to a friend (which got me into the black), the advertising I did beforehand (home-printed posters at malls, the university, bus stops and community notice boards) got me a customer a couple of months down the road :)

One big tip for noticeablity: I had a booth across from me with a light chain. I'd literally watch the eyes of browsers go zigzagging along the booths on either side, and they ALWAYS were drawn to the lights and then missed me by zigzagging to the booth AFTER me! So have something noticeable yet tasteful, like a white mini lights chain draped around your area or a quilt rack!

Cheers,
Christine

Cherries and Hearts said...

Craft fairs can be hit or miss. If the fair is well advertised, or is an annual thing, this helps bring in the crowds.
It can, like others have said, be a great networking thing. Bring smaller items along with big ticket items.
One thing that helped was saying hi to everyone who caught my eye, being super chatty and friendly. It's a great chance to get your stuff out there in a different way.
Good luck, let us know how it went!

XUE said...

Hi Cristin,
I am sending you an email with the list of things that I usually bring. Hope that will help. I wish you good sales & warm wishes from Tokyo, Japan!

kait. said...

I'm also going to do my first craft faire in December and I'm kind of terrified. So I definitely appreciate everyone's comments, too.
You'll do awesome, I'm sure!

Aunt Spicy said...

I so love that you are doing this! Another idea is to team up with someone who makes different things and share a booth. Your blankets are fabulous! I keep meaning to make a bunch of Scotty Dogs for a craft fair but you are braver than I am!