Thursday, November 8, 2012

Adventures in Craft Fairs!

I had a really great experience at the Basehor Craft Fair last weekend.  Here's a good shot of my booth...

The booth space was pretty small and we were awful tight together in that gym...but I think it came out pretty cute!  I used the same peg board display that Mr. JG created for me using these instructions from Sugar Bee Crafts as a general map:  I also reused the same sheets for the tables and handmade paper bunting (to make it look less like card tables covered in sheets).

I still stand by my Craft Fair Do's and Don'ts...however here are a few more lessons...

Make stuff for kids!  At my first craft fair I had nothing really made for kids so not a ton of sales.  This fair...I made my I Spy bags and put them right on the front edge of the table.  I made around 30 of them and they were sold out within the first two hours.  I got additional orders that day (and a few since then) for some more I Spy bags. crafts sell big!  (make sure you have enough of them!)

Along those lines, have inexpensive items.  Birthday boards are my bread and butter, but they are expensive and are a larger purchase.  I've realized that people are more apt to just spend a few bucks so you can manage larger profits with have a lot of small items.

Once again...I was glad I had a credit card reader (I use the Square reader).  While most people at this large fair were ready with cash, a few people wanted to place larger custom orders which made a credit card reader essential.  I love my square's really easy and I can email people a receipt right on the spot.

Include taxes in your price.  Double check to see if your state allows you to include sales tax in your total price, and if they do I highly recommend it.  When you're at a craft fair and something says it's $5, you just want to hand a $5 bill...not have to come up with additional change to cover tax.  So I just include sales tax in my price and keep a clear log of everything I've sold so that I can pull the taxes out of my totals later.

Have bags!  I wish I would have done a better job with this.  I just had lunch bags which worked for smaller items, but wasn't very helpful for larger purchase (and don't really have good handles).  So before my next craft fair, I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for some inexpensive bags with handles (I really don't just want to use old grocery sacks).

Be signed up for future craft fairs and know which ones so you can tell your customers about it.  I had a ton of people ask me which fairs I was doing coming up and I don't have any on my schedule.  Soooo...I'm looking at signing up for more in the future but I wish I would have had a solid schedule to tell people "come see me next week in Lawrence" etc.

Make friends with your fellow crafters.  I bought some amazing hand-woven baskets from a woman named Sue that was just across the aisle from me.  She has been crafting and doing fairs for nearly 30 years so she had a lot of good advice and it was also a good opportunity to see what a really nice looking booth looked like.  You can learn a lot from your fellow crafters, so don't be too intimidated to say hello.

Bring a friend.  I had my mom with me this time and my mother in law at the last fair.  It's really helpful for setup and tear down of your booth AND if you need to use the bathroom or just want to walk around and look at other booths (and befriend other crafters).  Even if you just get someone to help with setup and tear down and then stop by for an hour or two...that's better than nothing!

Good luck!  Let me know how your craft fairs go!


  1. Rachel is hosting an RV Parties table as part of an early Christmas shopping event in Virginia for mothers of preschoolers. We've been SO disappointed because they didn't give moms enough time to shop! 30 minutes the first day and 44 minutes the second day. You need time to pick stuff up! And make decisions! And spend money! But she also loved her Square Card Reader. (I may have to send all those extra gift enclosure card sets to your next craft fair with you.) This looks great Rae!

    1. Yeah - 30 to 45 minutes definitely isn't long enough! The Basehor Fair was 8-4pm...a long day but we were pretty busy the whole time.

      I'll keep you posted on my next fair. I'd love to have a little RV Parties section of the booth if you all want me to sell any of your awesome stuff!

  2. If you're still looking for bags, Uline has their paper bags on sale right now!