Craft · crochet

5 Things I learned From My First Craft Fair

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.

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Maybe I should have bulked this out with tinsel or something, it did look a tad bare!

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.

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I took the photo before putting the battery cover on, whoops!

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.

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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.

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62 thoughts on “5 Things I learned From My First Craft Fair

  1. I did a few craft fairs a couple years ago, I remember the first one being really scary. And it definitely is hard to not compare yourself to the others around you! From the pictures, looks like your displays were really cute! I really love that you poked the tree into yarn, it’s perfect

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow – it must have been a huge experience! Congratulations on your debut! I never sold my items – I gave them out as gifts and donated some, but even those took quite a bit of courage for me at first. Your items are lovely – I especially like the one with the earmuffs (or headphones, which would be just as adorable.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I too am undecided whether that snowman is wearing ear muffs or headphones! I give quite a lot as gifts too, and some of my leftover snowmen are being sent to new homes with Christmas cards.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Love to know what sold and didn’t sell so well. Congratulations on doing it. I have only been a buyer and lack the courage to be a seller. Couldn’t bear it to sell nothing. I think having been to so many fairs that jewelery really is the best seller.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for sharing your experience. I believe you have to attend your first one in order to learn what’s what for the next one. 🙂 I love the yarn in the flower pot idea. I’d keep that going next time and maybe even expand on it somehow. 🙂 I love the items you were selling. Very cute stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well done on biting the bullet and having a go. It’s easy to be hard on yourself, so remember every one of those sellers you felt in awe of started way before you do – when you look back in a year’s time you’ll have come on leaps and bounds. Well done!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations on your first fair. I have done a few – and display seems to be everything – make it look pretty, even if you have a sparse collection of items to sell – and it draws people in. Be friendly, stand up and interact with customers but don’t be too pushy – and make sure you take lots of change for those sales when everyone has a £10 note! It sounds like you did ok, and we all learn from everything xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for sharing your experience, i have mine coming up on the 3RD and i don’t have much made really as stuff has got in the way. But i think ill get some bits from the poundshop and decorate the table LOLOL – What kind of pricing did you go for? x

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love your tree! Glad to hear you had a good day. I can imagine how stressful it was seeing the seasoned stall holders setting up.
    I for one have done a few craft markets/stalls here but I wont be rushing to do again. I feel in our market you need to be consistent stall holder not the once off type. That could just be my interpretation of the Aussie market. As I can’t committ to say a market once a month due to family committments I will have to stick with other methods. Hoping my Etsy store gets a sale soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I hope you enjoyed your fair. I’ve sold at a few, and I find them totally stressful and terrifying, but fun; the unpredictability is so hard, sometimes people love an item so you prepare more of it then nobody even glances at them the next time

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I remember at my first not knowing the etiquette of how to go to the toilet! His Lordship came mid morning and I got my wee. Then my neighbour asked me to keep an eye on her stall while she went to the toilet and it all felt less scary

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Playing catch-up … sorry for late arrival to this party. The traffic was dreadful. (at least … that’s what I’ve heard people say when they’re late).
    It was your first and I’m hoping it won’t be your last. The first one is always a nerve shaking, headache making worrying episode …. but you did it!!! You wonderful, fantastic, crafty woman, you DID IT! That alone requires a medal. But … going back for another one … that is what’s called A PLAN!
    Now you’ve been bitted by the bug, you can now plan to perhaps make something once or twice a week (depending on size and length of time to make) so that you have a comfortable stash of products building up in the background all the time. And every now and again you can make one special item in a week – somthing bigger, which would carry a bigger price – and that way you’ll build up an ‘across the range’ price point for your table.
    Things will just get better and better. You’ll see. You’ll be able to have a stock of (what I call) pocket money items – because when people come to these craft fairs they might not come with a ton of money to spend, but they do come with money and they want to spend it. So having something in their price point is wonderful for them.
    I know this sounds really daft but … I am SOOOOOOO proud of you. I feel like I should be your mum … or maybe your sister. Yeah … Sister. Older, Proud as punch Sis. lol.
    Well done you clever thing! ~ Cobs. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Congrats on a successful first fair. I love the ball of yarn stuck in the plant pot to hold the tree up. As you know I did a fair the other week – I was terrified and anxious all at the same time. You are spot on about not comparing yourself to others and that you will never feel as though you have made enough. I spent the first hour feeling like an imposter but once I got the hang of selling my makes I realised that I am never going to stop being an imposter unless I throw myself into it and become part of that crafty selling community. It’s hard but worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I loved reading about the craft fair. Just think.. You have a full year to prepare for the next Christmas craft fair. Maybe do alittle at a time and build up an inventory. I loved all your items. Your idea for yarn to hold the tree up was very creative!!!! I hope you will do another craft fair. Have a fabulous day!!!! =)

    Liked by 1 person

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