Today is a super positive day because yesterday I did my first ever craft fair...and it rocked!
I have been to countless fairs, helped at other stalls but this was the first time my homemade beauties were on trial! There was about a 50% handmade things on our stall so we felt very scared to see the reaction. We are so pleased to say it was a worthwhile risk.
I thought I would share what I learnt.
If you want lots of coffee, you also want friends:
My stall was shared with my talented mother dearest. We had such a laugh and could share the uneasiness of asking someone to love your creations.
Something we also benefited from was cover for short breaks (peeing and wondering!). People are awesome and will cover your stalls but we saw a few sales slip through the net during covers. This might mean a sacrifice of relentless coffees. It just shows that friends are a win win :)
I stupidly didn't and I froze my tits off.
I had more layers than in this photo but it was little help. I can't empathise my new found appreciation for gloves. Next time I will be smuggling a hot water bottle up my jumper.
We were inside a cricket ground and the doors...well th
ere were no doors. Like many stadium fairs we were in the concourse area. We found ourselves doing the two step to survive. On the plus side it spurred a lot of conversation and we showcased some quality swaying action.
There are some fabulous people at craft fairs so get to know them. Some people assume that there is a dog eat dog atmosphere and this is not true at all the ones I've attended.
Other stall holders showered us with wonderful information. Sharing is caring seems to be their motto and we lapped it up. Even if you don't learn any tricks of the trade you can have a bloody good giggle with some like minded people - we did!
Price with your gut
This tactic kept me confident when people's eyes were heading over to the price tag.
When you have finished making your product, note down your gut feeling of how much it should sell for. You can then check this against other similar sellers. The longer you stare at the item, the wider your price will range. By the time you settle on a costing, you can forget your first impressions. Also get a 'gut feeling' opinion from someone with an interest in your products, and compare.
If you feel it needs to be a higher price for your pride and time, then price it higher. The right customer will come and rehome it. If you can't sell it for the price you feel comfortable with, will you be happy with that undercut quick sell? Most people surrounding you will be trading to make their living, and that may be you too one day so be careful with undercutting yourself because it is 'just a hobby'.
On the other hand, if you feel everyone else over prices their products, don't feel you have to match it. Some stalls zap out all appreciation for a product because they have whacked on an unrealistic price. Hopefully you are doing your stall because you love the art form so keep this in mind when you are pricing. It's about getting a fair middle ground.
Stick like glue
Unless you are selling something that has an expiry date, try to stick to your prices for the full day. You can then readjust for your next show if needed. You're not at a car boot sale selling your junk, it doesn't all have to go in one day. My advise comes from a dilemma I had with an item that was getting a lot of love but no sale. No one had said the price was too much, but I quickly questioned if it was. I decided to stick to my gut feeling, and hey presto, it found a loving home.
When products aren't selling you might be tempted to change your prices. By picking a price with your gut instincts, you will feel happy standing by that decision. It will be worth the wait when the perfect customer comes along.
Bring something with you
No one loves a hawk eye waiting for them to buy buy buy. Bring a little somethin' somethin' with you to keep you busy. I was sewing a flower and it worked well for distracting my hawk eye. It also highlighted my passion and it was easily dropped when a customer needed me. My super mother dearest even made things which could go straight on the table once done. There is nothing like selling a product which was only made 5 minutes ago.
I know it sounds patronising, and maybe it is but remind yourself every now and then. Some lovely people looked tremendously grumpy after the long day. Try the ABC game for hours that seem to be longer than ever before. The rules are simple; pick a topic i.e. films, songs, food or names, then take turns to see if you can both name something from that topic for each letter of the alphabet. On paper this seems naff, but when you are thinking of a
boy's name beginning with U, the time does tick quicker. It's also nicer for customers to hear rather than gossip about [insert name]. Bitchiness isn't beautiful and does stop people sticking around...unless they know [insert name] and also want the gossip I suppose!
It is odd for me to think that only months ago we were customers laughing about taking on a stall. Now we have a place to sell the craft we would be making already. If you have been thinking about it like we were then you should definitely make your gorgeous stock and just do it! If anything, it is something off your bucket list!