Friday, December 14, 2012

Craft Fair Critique

Whew! We actually survived our first craft fair. Even better, we discovered we enjoyed it!

And we definitely learned a lot along the way.

We had a 6x4 "booth", which was essentially a six-foot table and a little space to sit behind it. At one point, I worried that it would be too much room, but it turned out to be pretty tight.

See? Scott's wood pieces went on the right, and my bow board on the left. In between, we squeezed Ellie's art cards, the magnet spinner and a spinner with ponytail holders on it. Oh, don't forget the fuse-bead bowls holding chocolate and business cards! The clipboard to capture email addresses got taken off the table to try because it was just too full. 

Other things I learned and mistakes I made:

***I should have organized (and labeled) the bow board so the brooches were together and the hair clips were together. People looked at the board but were reluctant to try to take anything off it. If I'd had more table space, I would have put more of them flat on the table in front of the bow board, where they would have been more easily accessible to shoppers. 

***Ellie's art cards were the biggest hit of our table. It would have been nice to have enough space to put one of each design out for people to look at. Next time! 

***Of course, it would have been nice to have been able to put out more than seven of Scott's pieces! 

***I need to figure out a system for keeping the cash accessible. I brought $200 to the show (20 $5 bills, 60 $1 bills and four $10 bills) in an envelope from the bank. I stashed it in one of the boxes that I had bags, handmade boxes and tissue paper in, but it was so awkward to pull change out. 

***I somehow waited until the night before the show to figure out if I had a working system to accept credit cards. And I really didn't. But it turned out to be a moot point because no one even asked if we accepted credit cards (despite my sign on the table) -- we received two checks from people we knew, and the rest was cash. 

***I made up these great inventory sheets of virtually everything we brought. Except the magnets. I didn't even remember to count them before the craft fair. Oops! :)

***Probably the most valuable part of the craft show was meeting the other vendors, who were generally very friendly and kind to us. They gave us advice on the various shows they've done this year and previous years, and whether they were worth applying to next year and which ones to avoid. 

***I'm pleased with how the table covering worked out. I took someone's advice and bought some crushed velvet panne, and it was perfect. I noticed several other tables with wrinkly tablecloths, so I appreciated that ours doesn't show wrinkles. And I didn't even have to hem it! :) 

I did like the way my makeshift risers for the wood vessels worked out. I took advantage of the holiday season and used fancy foil wrapping paper to decorate empty boxes. It looked festive, didn't it? 

Scott got lots of well deserved compliments on his work!

The magnet spinner was set too far back, which made it harder for shoppers to reach and check out.


  1. Very nice!!! Thanks for sharing your tips with us. I'm glad you did well!!!

  2. Thanks, Silk Mandel! It's kind of exciting to get into the craft show part of things. :)