After months of planning and making, I had my first two craft fairs this weekend! The first was at the home of a friend-of-a-friend, and the second was outside at a consignment shop. I don’t have photos from the second fair because it was pretty darn cold — it actually snowed a bit, which is absolutely unheard of around here. Many of the vendors packed up and went home, but a handful of us stuck it out and we ended up having a decent afternoon.
Now that everything is wrapped up, I thought I’d share a few things I learned this weekend as a craft fair newbie.
Things I did well:
I was friendly: I found that many people stopped to chat when they saw I was genuinely interested in how they were doing and what they were looking at in my booth. I noticed a few other sellers didn’t make eye contact or even say hello when someone went in their booth, and it seemed quite rude. Striking up conversations with buyers helped me sell more than just ignoring them would have.
My booth was attractive: I used the apple crates to create some height and dimension, and I in addition to the crates I had some other rustic elements like my window and the wooden box holding the mug rugs. Many vendors have their stuff laid out flat on a table, which wasn’t as appealing. My stuff is also brightly colored, which meant that it was easy to see from a distance. My stuff is not for everyone, but it did bring in a lot of people to look at it.
I handed out business cards: I made sure everyone who seemed remotely interested got a business card and mentioned that they could find me and my handmade goodies all over the internet. By the time I got home, I had several new likes on FB and Instagram, and a lovely woman who bought a pillow from my booth commissioned a set of pennants from me the next day.
I consulted fellow vendors: I was next to great vendors at both fairs — Kallie from the Painted Yellow Chair at the first (this was her last craft fair — sad!), and Micah and Rianna from The Little White Goat Soap Company at the second. Both had a lot of really great advice on fairs they think I would do well at in the future, as well as other tips and tricks.
Things I’ll do better next time:
Signage was hard to read: It was too hard to read my signs, especially at the inside craft fair. My blog colors work well online — but not as well printed. I’ll have to print new signs for the next show.
My table was too low: Even though I managed to create quite a bit of height using the apple boxes, it still felt like people had to bend over too far to see what was on the table. Found out after the fact that my table goes up another 8 inches — I’ll definitely raise it the next time.
My table was hard to get to: The boxes with the pillows made it difficult to get to the table itself. Raising the table will help, but I also need to figure out a different way to display the pillows. I recently purchased an old wood ladder that I’m going to convert into shelving, so that should help.
Make more holiday products: My items are very personal, and I found that many, many people said they loved them but they were buying gifts for other people, since it’s the holidays. I’d like to to try for some spring or summer shows, when my bright and cheery things will be more attractive to people buying for themselves, and make some additional Christmas-themed items for holiday craft shows. I sold out of my Christmas pennants — I should have had more!
So there you have it! Everything I didn’t sell is headed for my Etsy shop this week! Stop by and check it out.
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