My First Craft Show, and it was…

 
 

Just eh.  I mean, it was fun.  Fun to be away from my toddler for a couple of days.  Fun to hang out with an old college friend.  Fun to sit outside on a gorgeous fall day.  Fun to watch original Muppet episodes while not worrying about getting a little one in the bath and off to bed.  Still, the part about making money by selling things – well, that didn’t go as well as I’d hoped, or maybe it’s just that my expectations were too high.  I’ll know more after my next show, I guess!  Still, I had a great time and learned a lot!

 

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I spent some time with my friend Jenny from Charlie Thyme down in Jersey a couple of weekends ago, and we shared a booth at a local street fair.  I displayed some crocheted scarves, some baby hats, and the mess of friendship bracelets I had made.  Jenny showed off her awesome mason jar soap dispensers and the cutest mason jar lid pumpkins.

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Some thoughts for myself and for you, for the future:

 

1.  I love love love the stamp I ordered from StampOutOnline!  I didn’t have a graphic logo, so I just put my name and ways of contact, but the lettering was so crisp, it really made my tags look awesome.

 

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I also found a Thank You stamp at ACMoore the night before, and it was a perfect little addition to reflect my asian self!

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2. I had read to beware of putting the display table between you and your customers, so we had originally set up so people would walk under our tent while we sat to the side of our tables.  But it seemed everyone was hesitant to come within several feet and would just lean over and peruse from afar.  We inverted our L-shaped setup and sat behind the tables for the rest of the day, and that actually seemed to attract more people.  Potential customers would come right up to the table without feeling intimidated by us.

 

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3. We had this beautiful set up with our wares placed sporadically in eye-pleasing configurations, but again, I  think customers were intimidated by the set-up.  It was harder for people to pick up items and feel the construction.  Parents seemed especially nervous when their children came up to look.

 

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4. Be prepared!  Set up your table ahead of time and take pictures of it.   I was so excited and nervous and overwhelmed (and tired) when I got to our spot in the morning, I had really no idea where to start.  I’m so glad we took pictures of our setup the day before!  Oh yeah, and being organized in your packing is a good thing too!

 

So, do you have any other ideas or suggestions or advice for my next craft show experience?

Have you found certain table set-ups to be better than others, both the configuration and the displays?

Is it normal to have 90% of the people who stop by to admire not actually buy anything?

Do you negotiate prices, individually or for multiples?

 

 
 

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Comments

  1. says

    Congrats on your first craft fair! That in and of itself is something to be proud of, even if your sales were just eh. When is your next show? I’d be interested to read how round two goes, if you feel like a follow-up post

  2. says

    Congrats on your first show, even if it was just “eh!” Think of it this way, you got the first out of the way, learned a lot and now it will hopefully just get better from here!! :)

    I love your bracelets. I’m still figuring mine out!! I’ve figured out how, but perfecting them is the challenge. It is HARD to crochet with embroidery thread!!

  3. says

    Congrats on getting through your first one! I think it’s much easier after you get through that first scary one. I’ve only done very small ones at work, but I have more confidence with it now.

    Can I ask how you got the leaf garland to hang on your table? I love that!

  4. says

    Don’t get discouraged. Craft fairs can be so hit and miss. I’ve helped my mom prepare/set-up for several. She has sold out in a matter of hours in one craft fair and barely sold enough to cover the expense at the next. Your set-up is darling. Next time, I’d try grouping similar items (like all of the crocheted items on one table). You want the eyes to wander around the table. Too many different items (and sometimes too few quantity) can make for a choppy/distracting view. Get those cute hats on little heads as they go by. Even if the mom doesn’t want to buy it, someone shopping may see and think of someone it would be perfect for as a gift. My daughter put on a hat (similar to yours) at a booth next to my mom and when others saw her, the seller started selling her hats right and left. She asked if my daughter wanted to hang out there the rest of the day!

  5. says

    With craft fairs, i really think it’s about finding your venue and your customers. I’ve done a few, with mixed results, then finally decided to open a booth in a local store, and my stuff has been selling so much better there. And I don’t have to haul and pack and setup.

    Don’t be discouraged because your first show was just so-so. Your items are great; maybe the show you went to didn’t attract your customer base. Or maybe it wasn’t marketed well. Hang in there.

    Amy
    AttaGirlSays.com

  6. says

    I love the coffee cup holders but its a little pricy for fixed income for only i pattern??
    Ill keep checking as you do have lovely things. Susan M J

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