I still haven’t worked out who I want to be or what I want to do when I grow up, so on this blog please join me while I try and work it out while keeping child-like creativity alive!  Find home and fashion inspiration; travel and days out; photography, writing and more. Have fun looking around 🙂

 

00

To craft fair or not to craft fair (Part 2)

craft fair advice

So, if you’re thinking about selling at craft fairs, there is a lot to consider first. Think about the time you will spend on this – planning your stall, travelling to the fair and the setting up and packing up time, as well as the actual time of the fair….

Are you the sort of person who gets stressed easily? I find it quite stressful just worrying that I’m going to forget to take something. Last year was the first time in 4 years I was fairly relaxed – but then I forgot to pack the price tags and a few items were left unmarked, which is not good. It was also the first year I wasn’t so nervous about doing the pyrography in front of people. Consider how many trips to and from your car you will need to do in order to set up your stall. It takes me 4 . Not so bad at Castle cary where you can park right outside the hall; but many school halls are up and down stairs or nowhere near the car park. I arrive an hour before the fair is due to start and I am never done in time.

At my first batch of fairs my table didn’t have enough stuff – it lacked variety and interest. Over the next couple of years it got more and more elaborate and so high I couldn’t be seen behind the table! I think it got too complicated and therefore people passed by because there was just too much to look at! I’m not giving up craft fairs completely and when I do next do one, I have plans to pair down my table more and sell a reduced line of work. Just books and boxes. And maybe keyrings and Christmas decorations as they sell well. Oh dear; it’s going to be difficult! So after spending an hour hanging up all the signs, charms and carefully making my table display; oh how I envied the person next to me who walks in, 5 minutes before the doors open, carrying 2 suitcases. She sets them on the table, opens them up and voila! She’s ready. So not fair!

The research into your product and the fairs you sell at is vital. If you sell handmade cards, jewellery or cushions, you will almost certainly have competition, so you need to make sure yours have the edge. I recommend secondary school age private school fairs as teenagers have pocket money and Saturday jobs and no bills to pay! Also, parents come along specifically looking for presents to buy and are willing to pay more for something handmade and unique. Village hall fairs have a nicer atmosphere, but people come to do the raffle and chat with a cup of tea, rather than spend their money on higher priced items. Look out for fairs that are well advertised one year, so you know where you want to be the next. Also go and talk to the sellers and ask how they’re doing. (Though when I’m asked, I always sound like I’m doing better than I really am as I think they’re more likely to buy from a popular stall. No idea if this actually works!) Look at the prices people are selling at so you know if you can compete.

Unfortunately, a good proportion of stalls will be made up of people who are retired or who are looking for something to do whilst on maternity leave and who price their items in the hope that they may make a few pounds from their hobby. This is never good news for people who are trying to make a living from their craft. I have always done better at the £25 a pitch stalls, rather than the £10 a pitch stalls. (Look out for a post about pricing your items, which I’ll write soon!) Consider whether the fair will have passing footfall with people coming off the street on the off-chance, or whether it needs to be advertised well enough for people to come to specifically. You may be better off with the latter because people have some specifically to look for something to buy. I don’t recommend small primary school fairs, particularly if they are after school. Most parents have forgotten about it and only just have enough money in their purse for their child to see Father Christmas. I personally prefer to do fairs in the aid of a good cause because then at least if I do terribly, I can feel slightly better that my pitch fee went to a PTA or charity.

So test the water. See if what you’re selling is actually what people want to buy, and can afford to buy. You may be better off selling on Etsy (post to come about that soon). Take a look at my packing list for craft fairs here.

Handmade business,
00no comment

Other posts you may like:

YouTube new requirements
Should I stop vlogging?
January 14, 2017
You might already know that I had a go at Vlogmas last year (It feels weird saying ‘last year’!) on my You Tube channel. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, ‘Vlogmas’ is a You Tube challenge to put up a vlog (video log) (Just in case my parents are reading this!) every day of December up until Christmas. I reached as far as day nineteen and sadly I had to give up. Even though I use an external hard-drive for the videos to free memory space; my old laptop just couldn’t keep up. Whenever I tried to edit my videos the mouse would freeze or go really slowly and the whole thing became impossible. Well Chris has been telling me for a while I needed to upgrade, and I have been coveting the pink macbook and I have finally bought one. Hooray! I can get back to video editing! Anyway, the question is, now that Vlogmas is over and I’ve nearly caught up on editing the videos; should I carry on?
handmade thank you cards with zig brush pens
Zig Kuretake Clean Colour watercolour brush pens review & a handmade thank you card idea
May 30, 2018
After some research, I put the Zig Kuretake Clean Color real brush watercolour brush pens on my wishlist and was lucky enough to receive a pack from my cousin for my birthday. Ever since I was a little girl I have wanted brush pens like this! I think it must have been an episode of Blue Peter when they showed an artist who decorated narrow boats with beautifully crafted swirls that inspired me to recreate the style as best I could. When I grow up I want to paint narrow boats!….
Muchelney Abbey, Somerset – the story of the photographs
February 26, 2017
Last July my parents came to stay for a few days and as they are recent members of English Heritage, we looked around for local attractions near me in Somerset. Muchleney Abbey is (unsurprisingly) in the village of Muchelney on the Somerset levels with the nearest town being Langport. It’s in a beautiful peaceful spot, and the perfect location for a picnic, but as we didn’t come prepared, we bought ice creams from the little shop there, and then found a cute place for afternoon tea further down the road afterwards. Although the south cloister is still intact, sadly as usual, Henry VIII is to blame for the ruined state of the rest of the abbey. It is the Tudor Abbott’s house that can be explored properly….

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.