Monday, 22 July 2013

10 tips for your first craft fair

I've always loved going to craft fairs and seeing all the wonderful, handmade and unique products on offer.  I often thought how lovely it must be to create and sell, but I never thought I was the person who'd do it.  But then I thought 'why not?', researched some local fairs, and found myself selling.

I did lots of research (an excuse to do a few hours of web browsing!) and got myself prepared.  But there's nothing like experience, and these are some tips I thought first time craft fair sellers might be interested in based on my own first few stalls.
craft stall layout
My very first craft stall!

My Top Ten Tips for First Time Fairs

1.  Think about the image you want to create for your brand and plan your layout keeping this in mind. Think about colours, where items are placed, which products you'll give most room to and what you'll display it on. For example, I use lots of shoe boxes covered in old book pages to go with my upcycling theme which lots of people have commented on.

2.  Take plenty of change, I was surprised by how many people paid with notes for small priced items.

3.  Think about which of your items might fall over, get knocked down or if you're outside could get blown about. Then take things to stop this happening - blu-tack, weights, pegs, string. For instance, I have paper gift bags stood up and put a few coins in a plastic bag inside them to weigh them down outside - which was very useful and much needed! (Thank you to Jackie for making me think about this!)

4. Take contact cards, lots of people take these if they like your work and might be in touch later.

5. Make clear pricing signs and stickers, sometimes people don't like to ask.

craft stall price signs
I made price signs to clearly show how much items were.  I added some info to some too explaining how the items were made.

6. If you need to, have explanation signs as well to explain a term or process.  For example, I always have a sign somewhere explaining what upcycling means.

7.  Make sure you know what is and isn't provided - do you need to take tables, chairs, table coverings, parking permits for a free parking space? Ever fair I've been to has been different.

8.  Give yourself plenty of time to set up until you get used to how long it takes.  You don't want to start the fair looking flustered!

9.  Experiment with different layouts and products to see which are most popular and take more of those to your next fair.  Keep doing it to see which works best.

10. Take a note book and pen.  Write down what sells so you can remember what's popular and what to take if you do the same or a similar event again.  It's also useful for noting down and useful information other stall holders and customers give you - I've been given ideas on shops that might sell my items; business networks; websites; useful people to get in touch with.

If you're reading this and planning your first fair, I hope it's been useful - and good luck!

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