In a couple of weeks I will be attending my fourth craft fair as a vendor. I learn a little something new every time, and always have a lot of fun. During the past few years, I have had fellow craft-sellers contact me asking for tips and advice and suggestions about the “how to’s” of craft fairs. I could probably write books from everything that I have learned about the art of showing crafts…however most of it would be copying from the greats that have gone before me. I definitely do my research when embarking in a new adventure. So, obviously, you should know that I am going to break this down into just five easy-to-follow steps for everyone.
1. Find a craft show to be part of. There are a couple of in-town craft shows that go on every year, usually in the fall, and I’ve checked out all of them. There’s one that is an annual tradition that I always enjoy being part of. I do not have the resources to tote my display around the country, so my options are limited to whatever I can find locally. And if my rinky dinky west TX town has several in-town craft shows, I bet that yours will as well.
2. Create the inventory. I have had different products for each of my craft shows. Usually, I just want to get rid of the product that I have sitting in my house. See, with pattern writing, I have to create at least two of every pattern that I write (it’s all part of my process), and after so much time those just end up stuffed in the closet and collecting dust.
How much inventory should you have? Different people are going to suggest different things. I’ve heard that you need twice as much as you think you’ll need. But crochet takes time. For my first craft fair I created a TON of stuff: hats, scarfs, purses, whatever I could find that I could stitch together in as little time as possible. That inventory has been enough to carry over each and every time. It has slowly dwindled throughout the years, but I still have way more on hand than I would like. This time, I will have about 15 crocheted dolls (those sell really well for me), some pokeball hats (in every size) and pikachu hats (in as many sizes as I can make before the show). So not nearly as much as some sellers will suggest, but I think it will be plenty to make a profit and get rid of my stuff!
3. Have an eye-catching display. Use the space that you have. Since I am not going to have nearly as much this time, I am going to split the booth with my Mother-in-law (she collects “junk” that seconds as antiques). Have your table (or two), and then build upwards. Use boxes, bowls, shelves, and don’t forget the space in front of your table. If you are trying to sell little kid items, put those items on their eye-level. Their reaction to your products are going to sell to the parents. Unify your style and colors as much as possible. Recycle when you can!
4. Dress the part. Don’t dress like a slob, but dress comfortably. Think functionality. An apron is never a bad idea to keep pen/paper, business cards, and money on hand and within reach. Be professional.
5. Act the part. Be friendly but not pushy. One of my favorite things about crochet is how many people are capable of the craft in one way or another. A lot of people have stories about being taught, and the quality bonding time they might have spent with someone. People come to a craft show to hear stories and to buy experiences, so make sure you share that with them. They aren’t buying wal-mart brand mainstream, they are supporting you and your family!
And there you have it! 5 fairly simple steps to participate in a craft show 🙂