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To craft fair or not to craft fair? (Part 1)

This is a question I have been pondering for a couple of years now. The problem is about craft fairs: they are full of lots of lovely wonderful things that no-one needs….

Now; I did the cheese and grain craft fair in June a couple of years ago and this is what happened: The pitch cost me £10, which was really good considering most lately are £25. However, I had one customer for whom I spent about 20 minutes writing on charms and keyrings totalling £7.40. And that was it – I sold nothing else. There was a lady selling wonderful hats who did really well and the person next to me selling jewellery didn’t sell much, but was happy. I heard another seller say that before the recession she made 4 or 5 times what she makes now. This may be my ultimate problem; I started this whole craft fair thing just when the recession hit, and it isn’t over yet.

At the Bruton School craft fair a couple of years ago, I was next to a lady selling Christmas decorations in the shape of Christmas puddings. She told me she usually makes £200 – £300 per craft fair; however at that one she only made about £100 and wouldn’t be doing it again as it was too quiet. Wow! What I would give to make £100!

I must be selling the wrong thing. Anyway, having now had a bit of distance between the last lot of Christmas fairs and now; I’ve decided not to do them this year. It just isn’t worth it, and the annoying thing is Christmas fairs have to come at Christmas time, when I’m busy getting ready for Christmas! And this year we have family coming to stay, so I’ve decided not to have the extra stress of craft fairs.

There are plus-sides to craft fairs – I sell a lot of small, low-cost items such as keyrings, charms, gift tags and Christmas decorations. These just aren’t worth selling individually on Etsy as the time spent on photographing; describing, measuring and listing, and then wrapping and posting, isn’t worth the £1 – £2.50 they cost. So, it’s a good way to sell these things that I’ve had for a long time now.

It’s always an ego boost. Even if people don’t buy; I’m given plenty of compliments on my work, which is just lovely! Whenever I’m shopping at a craft fair or market; I now make sure I say something nice to the seller if I like their items, even if I don’t buy anything. My daughter on the other hand worries that the nice comment might make them feel more disappointed if you don’t buy!

Right, this post is taking longer than expected, so I’m going to split it into two parts. See you soon!

 

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Writer, pyrographer, renovator, crafter, photographer and maker of bohemian clothing and costumes.

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