I’ve been doing craft fairs for nearly a year now and I have seen and learnt so much in that time. The way I set out my stall has evolved and changed over the year. I have bought props to help make my stall stand out from the rest. My favourite have got to be the vintage French apple crates bought on t’internet. They provide storage for stock between fairs and also for transporting to the events. Once I’m there they also provide much needed height and interest for the table. Although, some people do not seem to appreciate their rustic charm as I was once asked why I had fruit boxes on my table and that she had some back home on her farm and wouldn’t dream of using them for decoration. Takes all sorts I suppose, she could give them to me!
My display layout is still evolving and think it will always continue to do so. I haven’t cracked how to display bags to their best advantage but I have some ideas to try out at the next event I go to. And I definitely need to tie my lengths of bunting differently so that I don’t have to refold them each time a customer rifles through the pile!
I have found that you cannot predict how the fair or event will go. The ones where you think you’ll do a roaring trade, you find yourself totally doubting yourself and wondering why you haven’t done as well as you’d hope. Then there’s the small event where you do really well and equally wonder why. Like the one on I did last year: a winter’s evening too close to Christmas for comfort, icy roads, hardly advertised, small room, hardly any tables but everyone that came in seemed to buy something. That’s the kind of event I like!
The comments you receive and the direct feedback can be amazing. You feel that all the time and effort that has gone into your work is appreciated when people tell you how nice your products are. Although you do have to develop a thick skin for the odd comment that may sting a little! Some people cannot help being a little too loud when talking to their friends, don’t they realise you can hear them! Older ladies love looking at my stall with the bunting and vintage tea cups. They often start to reminisc about sewing in their younger days and are pleased that people are still sewing as so many people don’t do it these days.
It is always nice to see which traders you are next to at each event. Most traders are lovely people and all out to help each other out and support each other. I have had chairs lent to me, my stall looked after while I have a quick trip to the loo or a sneaky look around the event and help to redo my stall when it blew over many times at an outdoor event recently. The networking possibilities are great at each event, there is always someone new to meet.
I have seen some sights over the last year too. Like a small, excitable child grabbing a delicate item off a table and running across the room to show her mum. My heart was in my mouth as I rushed over to suggest I took it off her and put it back before the stall holder came back! And let’s not talk about the stallholder sipping from a vodka bottle throughout an event!
So, I have another new event for me this weekend. It’s a vintage fair so I need to make the stand look vintagey if I possibly can. Maybe I’ll take my old Bakelite rotary dial telephone as a display item. I’ll have to put a ‘not for sale’ sign on it though!
I’d love to hear comments from people about their craft show tales. Have you cracked out to display your products? If you have please spill the beans, new tips are always welcome!