Monday, 12 August 2013

Tips for your first craft fair

Your first craft fair can be a daunting experience but don’t be under the impression that everyone else there is the Queen of Crafts and will cast a shadow on your own work. Everyone there is in the same position. It is quite nerve wrecking waiting for the first customers to arrive but once you get chatting to the first few customers you’ll flow into it. Be friendly and attentive and just be yourself. You know your stock better than anyone so be prepared for any questions a customer may have.
Setting up
  • Check what is provided for you, such as a table, tablecloth and two chairs.
  • If you need a power socket you will probably have to specify this to the organizers beforehand .
  • Wheelie suitcases are ideal for transporting your stock.
  • Find out the access to the room, if a lift is available, you might not want to drag two suitcases up two flights of stairs. (I know!)
Your Display
  • Bring your best products. Ask yourself, “Would I buy it?”
  • Plan your display. this is your “shop”.
  • It has to be attractive and eye catching. It has to draw customers in like a moth to a flame :) 
  • Research the internet especially Pinterest for craft display ideas. 
  • Start looking around the house for props. pretty display baskets etc. search 2nd hand/charity shops
  • Its a good idea to have your stock at different levels, eye level will attract attention. Pretty boxes can add height or place ordinary boxes underneath the tablecloth. 
  • Display your business name with banner and business cards.
  • Display a portfolio of previous work you’ve done. Maybe you can personlise items? Show the customer all their options.
We love this idea from Belle Bijoux Creations of using a framed display instead of a banner.... very clever

Show your Prices
Personally I think you should put price tags on everything. even if you don't price individually, your prices should be clear and visible. As a customer myself, I hate asking for prices on items and I would probably walk away if I cant see how much things are but that's just me.
  • Have a multi buy deal e.g baby bibs €3.50 or 3 for €10
  • Special offer e.g today only €8 (usually €10) 
everyone loves to feel like they are getting value for money. 

Make a list
Not only do you have to think about bringing stock, its always a good idea to bring with you the following:
  • table cloth (if not provided)
  • scissors
  • pen at least 2
  • notepad 
  • order book
  • cellotape/sticky tape
  • twine
  • price tags
  • calculator
  • carrier bags/packaging
  • business cards
  • money bag/belt with float of course (plenty of small change if your items sell for low/medium price)
  • sign with your name on it e.g banner or large table sign
  • mirror, customers like to try on jewellery, hats , scarves etc.
check all these off the night before. You may not need all listed above.

Also take with you
  • snacks/packed lunch/water/flask of tea/coffee
  • appropriate clothing for given weather even with indoor fairs and comfortable shoes ... cant stress this one enough 
  • headache medication, lots of crafters mention this one if asked ...... it can be a long day

Prepare your morning and plan your route
Even if you don't want to pack up the car the night before have absolutely everything checked and waiting to be literally put into the car on the morning of the fair.

Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. especially if its a bit of a drive. Get there a good hour and half before kick off to give yourself plenty of time for set up. I think it looks very unprofessional for you and the fair itself if there's vendors rushing in 10min before the opening or worse when customers have already started to arrive. but that's just me, I'm a stickler for punctuality ;)

SMILE and be friendly 
This is a vital part of selling any product. I have met many vendors over the last year both as a customer and as a fellow seller and I can honestly say that its the bubbly friendly crafters/exhibitors who will be the most successful on the day.
As a customer there is nothing that will send me straight past your table than someone who seems disinterested in the public or is hiding behind a book. I've often had to drag information out of sellers "hello I'm interested in your products, tell me more!"
a simple "hello" works wonders and you'll soon know whether the person is up for engaging in more conversation

All the above are aimed at indoor fairs only
Enjoy the day, its a great experience and you'll meet some fabulous people 

Check out these lovely displays from out recent 
Crafty Craft Fair in Stillorgan Park Hotel, Dublin 
Little Snippets Craft Supplies
 Wrap it


  1. These are great tips! =) I've thought about entering craft fairs... I'm pinning this to come back to if I decide to go for it! Thanks for "introducing" yourself on my Facebook page! Your blog looks great!


    1. Thanks so much for stopping by Danielle :)
      We're hoping our blog will grow to be a great resource for crafters everywhere ;)
      Gillian & Sinead