Today I attended my first ever craft fair as a seller. I’ve been to tonnes as a buyer, but today was a totally different experience. I thought I’d share what I found out from my day. It wasn’t a great big fair, just a small charity fundraiser in the village hall. I don’t think I’m quite ready for a larger event just yet, but I’m sure some of these things would still apply to larger fairs.
1) You will never feel like you’ve made enough
If you’ve followed my blog posts, you may recall me mentioning my craft related injuries, and the resulting worry about producing enough stock. I have worked really hard in the last three weeks (since being ‘fixed’) to make items to sell whilst not pushing myself too far. I made a lot, but still didn’t feel I had quite enough to fill a stall.
2) Don’t compare yourself to others
When I arrived at the village hall, I felt slightly overwhelmed. There were sellers with elaborate display stands, stock literally overflowing and they all looked stunning. Then there was me, with my one enormous Lidl bag containing my items for sale, drinks and snacks, a tablecloth and two Christmas trees. As I looked around, I felt even more like an amateur than I had done at the start. I set my table up and it looked woefully bare. I texted my husband in a panic about the state of it; at that point I was very tempted to turn around and go home. (Fortunately, I didn’t!)
It’s only natural to check out the competition, but at the same time, you need to focus on your own stall. (This was what I told myself when I felt like going home!) There were people there who were seasoned professionals and who knew exactly what they were doing, and this was my first craft fair. Of course I wasn’t going to be on their level, but I was establishing my own baseline to work up from.
3) Talk to other stallholders
It’s all very well just sitting and looking at your phone (or whatever else you might do), but during the quiet times it is useful to make connections with other crafters. The lady just behind me was lovely, and we have both liked and shared each other’s Facebook craft pages. It also made it feel a bit less lonely! (Mr C arrived shortly after to keep me company, and to provide moral support after my panic text.)
4) Take lots of change
I thought I had more than enough, until I was paid with £10 notes several times over. Luckily the lady behind me changed a £10 note for me! I think that if I ever do another craft fair I will collect change in a box from the day I sign up so that I’m prepared.
5) Make a wide variety of items
This was true for me, but I guess it depends what you are making and selling. The two items that I only had one each of sold very quickly! I wish I’d made more of them, rather than focusing my efforts on two or three main items.
I’m also sharing this photo of my (slightly ropy) presentation as I had to think fast last night when getting my final items together. My poor tree had lost it’s stand, so I fetched a flower pot before realising I had nothing to hold the tree up. One ball of yarn (which resembled garden twine to knit with) shoved in the pot with the tree poked into it made a very DIY display prop! It’s not really a tip, but I was pleased with my idea.
Have you ever sold at a craft fair? What was your experience like? I’d love to hear about it, and any more tips you may have.