Sooo, this weekend was the time for my first ever craft fair. I’ve visited quite a few times, and recognized some of the crafters, but it was my first time as a seller there. I came to sign up with them because last year was a bit empty, and they said they needed more new crafters. They still do, but now I’ve done my part, haha. I prepared a lot for this fair, and I think it paid off in the end, but let me just bramble about how it went.
Saturday was my first day, and we were late. It didn’t matter to them though, because crafters can just show up whenever they feel like it before they open. Some even showed up Friday to set up their stuff, because they had so much. We were shown around first, to see where there were available tables. Their plan was to set me up outside, but the weather was beyond horrible, so I had the choice between 2 buildings with each 1 free table. The one that was actually meant for me was in a room where I’d be sitting all alone though, so I chose option #2, even though the crafter who was usually there could potentially show up the next day (he didn’t). So I was seated in a room with a woodworker, and there was also some stuff from the sewing duo. I’m glad that I chose this room (or rather; the barn) because it was really nice to have someone to talk to, and outside was a no-go anyway, because my stuff would just blow away in the wind.
We found a big table and set it up, cleaned it and put on the table cloth, which made it look quite fancy at this point already. We only had half an hour left though, so I felt a little stressed, knowing that my mom would show up at 11 sharp. Most of it was set up properly before the fair opened, although I nearly lost my overview at one point. My boyfriend was very good at helping me out though, and it looked really good in the end. I tweaked some stuff throughout the day, but I found it to be a good overall setup.
But the day was slow. Really slow. We’re talking snail speed slow. The weather was awful, and of course it didn’t attract people, especially when a lot of the fair took place outside. I was told that there were 62 guests in total, and maybe 15-20 of them came inside, of which not that many visited my table. However, I got to talk with a lot of local visitors, and got to speak all of my 3 languages, so that was fun. In the end, I made 1 sale of 2 bookmarks to a teenage girl, and after talking with the other crafters I realized that 1 sale was exactly the same as they had, so yeah. I’m a newbie at this, but I did just as good (or bad) as the veterans.
Though they lock up everything by the end of the day, and most crafters were gone by the time the clock hit 16, I decided to take most of my stuff home again, seeing as it was very humid, and I’d not want to risk any damage to my items. This made it very quick and easy to set everything up again the day after, because I left behind the display items and just needed to fill them up again. We had some time left before they opened, so we went to have a look around, and I was told 3 times or something, that they’d not be open until 11, so I’d have to come back later… Although I was wearing the crafter badge. I guess that’s the downside of being new.
The weather was nice on Sunday though, and the first few people were visiting my table 10 mins before opening. It actually didn’t take long until I had to say goodbye to one of my favorite bracelets, but I made a woman very happy, so there’s that. During this day, I found out that my target audience was mainly small children, specifically 6-7 year old girls. Because yeah, I have a lot of colorful stuff, glitter and knick-knacks which they beg their parents for. I pity the one father who just gave up and handed me the money required for his girls to get the jewelry they almost just ran away with. I also pity the mother a little who had a girl who was roaming around my bracelets at least 5 times on and off within an hour, before begging her for a much more expensive necklace. But hey, my son does the same, so…
I paid the 10% commission fee and was satisfied with the profits I went home with. One of the girls came back with a broken necklace, but I gave her a similar one and will repair the one she came back with, so no losses, and as far as I know, nothing was stolen. The sewing duo had some small mice outside that were stolen, and went to tell everyone else to keep a watchful eye on their items, and since they moved the mice into the room I was in, I kept an eye on those too. The other crafters were all really nice and helpful, and I’m glad I got to experience this little event. I’m signed up to attend again next month in the middle of a week, but since it’s summer vacation, I guess everything can happen. I’ll get a sign outside that tells visitors what to expect inside, which is really nice, so I’m looking forward to yet another good fair.
What I learned at this fair was that it’s good to have fancy things to catch people’s attention, but it’s mainly the more simple stuff that sells. People came to look at earrings and bottle charms, but I didn’t sell either. What I did sell were bookmarks, bracelets, bagged necklaces and a magnet. But damn, I got a lot of small talk out of those bottle charms. People had never seen such things before, and asked what they were for, how I made them and WHY I made them. Some were very interested in them and thought about buying, but I guess they were just too weird for them, haha. I’m also very happy with the interest in UV resin, since a lot of people loved the things I had made, but were very surprised when I told them that it’s something I make myself, and not just some charms I buy in a store and put on a chain. People who visit a craft fair expect unique and handmade things, but I think I added some extra spice to this one by being overly unique with things they had never seen before. If it doesn’t sell, it at least sparks interesting conversations.
For the next fair, I want to change my setup a bit. I didn’t get my display done for keychains and straps, so they took some more space while just lying on a tray. This space could have been used for some teacup candles, which I didn’t get to show off because there was just no space left for them. From my many small talks, it seemed that people were interested though, so they need to be there next time. I also learned that small talk is a lot easier when talking about your own stuff, rather than just in general. When people come to your table, they are interested in what you have, and thus want to hear more about it. So I talk, and I talk… And talk some more.
Of course I also invited friends and family to come visit me, and most had the time to stop by, which was very lovely. It’s always nice to see a familiar face and get some pep talk throughout the day. I even got a compliment for my setup from a craft fair veteran who’s the mother of a friend.
The money I made today will be put aside to fund my dream of one day being able to work with sterling silver and Svarowski. But that stuff sure if pricey, so… Baby steps!
Right now I’m just glad that I don’t have to craft up a storm for the next fair, and will be able to write on my story again instead. I’ll probably make some more UV resin charms for necklaces and some tiny book charms which I’d like to display next time, but I don’t need to craft anything big, since not much was sold this time around.
That’s it from me. If you’ve got any questions or comments regarding craft fairs, I’d very much like to read them!