Hello wonderful people!
I've been meaning to tell you about my first craft fair I did at a little art center in Palmetto, FL. It was a great experience for me as I learned the ropes of selling homemade goods. I met lot's of great gals - one of which is participating in my blogiversary next week.
This craft fair was relatively small with an entry fee of $25. I highly recommend doing something on the small side first like this one. You can even try a farmer's market in your city. If you're starting off small like me, you'll want to build some inventory and see how it sells first. I learned the little barrettes you see below were one of my hottest ticket items.
Another great piece of advice is to stock pile good thrift store finds to showcase your work. I found this little wicker spice rack at the thrift store for $1.50. It was the perfect little house for all of my Christmas tags. I added miniature bunting on the front to give it a little somethin' extra.
If you don't have anyway of display small ticket items like these, make your own. All I did was create a square template in MS Word and added the description at the bottom. You can fit several of these on one sheet of paper. Make sure to use heavy card stock.
A crisp white tablecloth with a little bunting on the front gave my table a little personality. Try and iron it...unlike me. ;-)
This was my very first buyer...ever. I asked her if I could take her picture and then I gave her a great big hug :-)
We had entertainment all day and these guys happened to be my fav. They kept the place hopping to the sweet sounds of bluegrass.
Here's another spot in the art center where vendors set up and displayed their homemade goods. See all the great ways to showcase your things?
Here's a list of my do's for your first craft fair...
1. Scope out a few craft fairs or farmer's markets and take notes on ways to display your stuff. If you see something you like, write it down.
2. Go vertical. Find things that allow you to use as much empty vertical space as you can without blocking your view. The picture above gives you a little idea. I've seen people use anything from vintage tricycles to old suitcases.
3. Build up inventory. You don't want a halfway empty table at the beginning of your show.
4. Withdraw lot's of small bills. Unless you plan on accepting checks or you have a CC swipe attachment on your iPad, then you'll be dealing in old fashion dollar bills.
5. Wear an apron. This one I learned after the fact. If you can't make your own, buy a small apron with front pockets to store business cards, money, a pen, etc.
6. Keep track of what's selling and what's not. If you have lot's and lot's of little items like earrings, chances are you're going to forget which sold. I learned this one from my buddy Kymmie who sat next to me.
7. Visit other vendors' tables if possible. There's a good chance they will come back to see you and possibly make a purchase.
8. Make sure you know when and where the craft fairs are coming. The big ones will want you to enter months before the actual fair begins...another mistake of mine.
9. Smile. Even if they are just passing by, a genuine smile goes a long way.
10. Have business cards handy. Either display them on your table or stick them in a bag with the buyer's purchase. A little dish of chocolates next to your business cards is nice too.
11. This is one I want to try next time. Have a small giveaway at your table. Have people follow your twitter page or like your facebook page and leave a small comment about which item was their favorite from your craft fair. Then randomly choose a winner. It's great exposure and now you've built a bigger base.
12. Pick a good location if possible. Sometimes where you sit in the line of traffic can help or hurt you.
I have one small don't...
Don't get your feelings hurt if you're not selling as much as the people around you. I didn't sell much all morning and afternoon, but once the working crowd got off, I started selling my big ticket items. I think I only did $75 or so in sales during the morning and early afternoon, but I sold about four times that later that evening. It wasn't bad for my first fair!
Feel free to add anything to this list if you are a veteran at craft fairs :-)