Craft fair success – PART 1

With craft fair season well underway, some of you might be wondering if you can give this craft fair lark a bash. You most definitely can! This is part one of a series of blog posts I will be writing about craft fairs. They will be broken down into sections. 
What you need for a fair
This post will include all the essential items to take with you, things you may and might not have thought of.
Stock
How much to take? What to take? What kinds of items sell well?
Display
Some of you may know that I used to be a visual merchandiser before this crochet gig. So display comes naturally to me, but I know for others this can be on of the hardest things. So here are some of my top tips for displaying your wares at craft fairs.
Pricing
How much is too much? How to label? How to price? 
Marketing and advertising
How to market yourself and your items at a fair.
At the fair
Surely you just sit there? WRONG, this post will help you to engage with your customers and offer great customer service, as well as note taking and inventory.
So let’s get started! 
What you need for a fair

1. Public liability insurance. Most craft fairs will insist you have this before booking yourself a table. When selling a member of the public goods or services it’s a really good idea to insure yourself. There are lots of good insurers out there for crafters, make sure you get a policy that suits your needs.

2. Display materials. I will touch apon this more in the display post, but check with the venue if you need to take a table, and don’t forget any display props. 

3. Tablecloth. It’s a good idea to invest in a branded one if you have the budget. If not a plain colour table cloth will make your product stand out, and keep your display looking crisp and clean.  Mine was made by bumblebee lane. You can find them on facebook.


4.Change. It’s a good idea to have plenty of change, most post offices and banks can provide you with change.

5. Card machine. Granted not essential, but will make you look more professional, and will ensure those higher price pointed items are not out of reach for the customer that only carries a £10 note in their purse. There are many great machines out there these days, I use a paypal machine.


6. Packaging and carrier bags. It’s really nice to be able to hand over your items with a little bag or wrapped in some tissue paper. I use plain brown takeaway bags I bought from ebay, they match my price labels and look so much nicer than your recycled sainsburys bags. This is after all a craft fair, not a car boot sale.

7. A notebook. It’s a good idea to write down those positive comments, and the negatives too, including anything lots of people ask if you make. This can be inspiration for further makes and what might be a good idea to take next time. Also, take note of what you sell, so you can keep track of your sales/profits.

8. A work in progress. Something to keep you busy at quieter periods, but don’t just sit there and ignore your customers!

9. Lunch. Don’t spend your change on food, plus if you’re on your own, you might not be able to go and purchase food. Pack something yummy and take a flask of tea!

10. A portfolio. With my crochet, I make a lot of commission orders so I take a portfolio of items I have made to showcase what I can make, this is also good if you make custom or personalized items. It’s also a great talking point.


And most importantly your stock! 
Look out for the next blog which will be all about your stock.




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