Why do we love craft so much?
Now really...don't get us wrong, we love being a topshop warrior as much as the next person. We love the shiny displays of the big budget high street chains and we get really excited when the carrier bag is almost as cute as our new purchased goods but the thing about craft fairs is the adventure.
When done correctly, a craft fair is a display of handmade talent. Its personal, there is variety all at one event and we love the networking and the feeling of appreciating how something is designed and made.
So you are doing a craft fair for the first time?
We've made many mistakes when it comes to what to take and what not to take to a craft fair. This is something that experience and high insight will teach you.
A great starter list based on an indoor event:
- Money. Now we don't want to seem crazy by listing this first but money is important. Selling your stuff is the goal. We advise a well managed starter 'float'. We often just get £20-£30 changed into a few £5 notes, lots of £1 coins too. Although it may seem quite nice at the time being handed £20 notes by 5 customers all within an hour this can be a nightmare without change. Some venues may offer change but just in case it is worth being prepared. Bring a handy box that is secure to store your money in- or if you're super cool wear a bum bag ;)
- Stock. Obviously. We always take our best sellers, some cheeky one off products and some extras. It's always better to take more products with you, you don't want to be sold out and have to pack up early.
- Packaging. Some people are fine without a bag but if we are honest we like to give every customer a bag. This is so we can take the opportunity to stamp our logo on to the bag, drop a business card into it and seem that little more professional. If your items are small such as earrings then take 30 seconds to wrap them in some tissue paper. Even if you don't have the budget, collect some carrier bags, pop into a local shop and ask for a few extra- putting a recycled twist on packaging. Bubble wrap may be something to consider too, especially if you sell ceramics or anything that might smash. Ebay is the god send for cheap packaging. You could even wrap little products in scrap fabric.
- Pens and Paper- you may need a last minute price change or a little jot down. Price tags would be handy too.
- Craft show details – starting time, break-down time, organizer’s contact info, etc.
- Calculator- just in case your maths is awful like ours :) We tend to get brain freeze when adding it all together.
- Socks, maybe some gloves or a little throw. Too many times we've been unprepared for the cold.
- Crafting materials. Knitting, tools, sewing needles. It might be quiet and you can occupy yourself or something may need to be repaired. I love the idea of creating something behind your table and then placing it on to be sold. It's like a 'fresh batch'.
- Water or a flask of tea. Remember to look after yourself and bring snacks. You are not your best if you're hungry, thirsty and cold.
- Battery powered lights. It might get dark. You may not even use them depending on the venue but if you have never been to the venue before you never know. People need to see your products and blind shopping is not cool.
Display is the most important part. The above being organised part is important too but the display is what makes you different and draws people to your stall. Although your neighbours at the craft fair may be lovely and their work may be stunning, a little competition is only healthy.
Here is a few pictures of some really cute and inspiring stalls that we have found on various blogs around the Internet! (We don't claim to have taken any photographs, made any of the following items of organised the events. We are sharing these images as admiration and inspiration to others)
Good luck with your future events. Craft fairs are what you make of it. It's important to be yourself. Craft fairs are very personal and it is important to interact with your customers and make connections. Help the promoters out by telling everyone about the fair, spread the word and the love. REAL craft fairs are dying out by made in china sellers and The Factoree think it's a shame- we need to fight back!