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calling all crafters!

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  • calling all crafters!

    Thinking of of setting up a fair and wanted to ask other peoples opinions...

    I firmly believe in no duplication policies for craft fairs so thats a given and based on my experiences as a craft maker and seller at fairs in the past.

    My thoughts for a craft fair would be as above poll, please take a moment to vote which you would prefer as a craft seller. Consider the possibility of attracting visitors and from your own selling perspective.

    Actually I was gonna do a poll but for some reason I can't Basically these were the options:
    • Craft fair for local area craft workers only
    • Craft fair open for all UK based craft workers
    • Craft fair for handmade craft workers only and in the same venue a fairtrade fair (so visitors get to pay admission 2 fairs for the price of 1)
    Option 3 has the possibility of attracting 2 different types of customer and an increased footfall...but what do you think?

  • #2
    Originally posted by girlfunky View Post
    ...please take a moment to vote which you would prefer as a craft seller. Consider the possibility of attracting visitors and from your own selling perspective.


    Actually I was gonna do a poll but for some reason I can't Basically these were the options:
    • Craft fair for local area craft workers only
    • Craft fair open for all UK based craft workers
    • Craft fair for handmade craft workers only and in the same venue a fairtrade fair (so visitors get to pay admission 2 fairs for the price of 1)
    Option 3 has the possibility of attracting 2 different types of customer and an increased footfall...but what do you think?
    IMHO...

    Option 1... realistic. I would say that distance is a major consideration when crafters select an event to exhibit at, especially in view of the fuel costs and effect of the credit crunch on potential disposable income these days. But which craft fair organiser is going to turn someone down for not being 'local'? I doubt that many organisers consider that as a massive issue, especially when compared to variety of work on show, etc.

    Option 2... I would say that this leads on from my last point. If someone is willing to exhibit at your event and their craft is suitable/not overly represented already, then they should be welcomed.

    Option 3... the 'craft and gift fair'. Not the most popular of options. You have worded it as if you could run them as two entirely separate events... in the same venue. I don't have a massive experience of such events personally, but there are many people who have posted on here about the combination of handmade goods and other areas. Perhaps someone else will be able to give you a more informed opinion? There often can be conflict if the price of one undermines the value of the other. Most of the opinions on here are generally based on people trying to pass off mass-produced goods as 'handcrafted', which does not usually fit in with Fairtrade items. In my opinion, a craft fair and a Fairtrade event both deserve their own attention on merit... I can't possibly say if they sit hand in hand at one event in this way.

    I'll open the floor to the next speaker...

    Si.
    Wood Tattoos
    Decorative Pyrography for all Occasions - Author of "Woodburning with Style" (2010) and "Learn to Burn" (2013)
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    • #3
      Hi Si, thanks for your comments I do see where you are coming from with the mass produced stuff but the fairtrade policy I am def gonna hae to br strict with ie only goods with the official fairtrade mark can be sold at the show - i dont want any mass produced tat at my show - only quality unusual items. When thinking of the fairtrade line Im also thinking about holistic therapies, alternative lifestyle and charities etc so its not just "pay to buy" type of fair. Id like it to be a fair for having a nice day out not just soley to go shopping I think that a relaxed day out type of fair would produce higher average spend for stall holders and its something I would look at for any type of fair be it fairtade or local crafts...

      Also another thing Im thinking of doing is some sort of workshop, where selected stall holders could do a demonstration of their craft for instance card making etc or how to wrap gifts at christmas oriented shows...what do people think of something like that?

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      • #4
        Hi. Can I add my two pennyworth please.

        Real Crafters do'nt make that much or charge that high that they can afford to travel any distances and still be ecconomically viable.

        I personally would attend a Real Craft Fair anytime but would never attend a production line gift fair.

        You may find it difficult not to duplicate your crafts or crafters when struggling to fill your tables but if sensible about it a little competition is not a bad thing.

        Understand that I am only speaking for myself and in no way am I suggesting that you are wrong, just offering my viewpoint.

        I am trying to organise a Craft Fair so know a few of the problems.
        Carol
        God helps them that help themselves.

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        • #5
          Stall duplication

          I make jewellery & as everyone probably realises there is a lot of competition. The fabulous thing about designing & crafting your pieces is that they are exactly that, your own. So while I wouldn't want a room full of jewellers, unless of course it was advertised as such, I have no problem with being one of 2 or 3. I am confident enough of my work that it will appeal (obviously make your own mind up here). Lets face it people don't stop shopping on the high street because there are a several clothes shops, you just pick the one that most reflects your style.

          I'm all for healthy competition

          Anita
          Silvergirl
          www.contemporarycraft.co.uk

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          • #6
            I agree with what the previous posters have said but there are two points I'd like to make . . . .

            If you don't want to duplicate crafts, are you sure you can raise enough crafters to have a successful event?

            My other point leads on from this - I am such a canny Yorkshire lass (roughly translated that means "skin flint") and I'd be reluctant to pay admission fees to a fair with only a few tables. It may just be me but I'm against the principal of being charged an entrance fee just so that I can go inside and spend my money. Asda don't charge me admission fees when I go to buy groceries IYSWIM.

            Having said that I do appreciate that organisers have to cover their overheads so I will pay the entrance fee but only when its a large event with lots to see and lots of choice.
            Auntynet

            Step-daughter's website selling hand dyed sock yarns www.knotanotherknitter.com




            ~ * ~ * ~ Of all the things I've ever lost, I miss my mind the most! ~ * ~ * ~

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            • #7
              Hi there,

              I'm new to the forum and I'm currently organising a local craft fair, which although quite exciting, there's a lot to think about!!

              You want to keep both stallholders and customers happy so adjust the '1 stall per craft' rule accordingly, depending on the size of the event and how many stalls you have available.

              I am hoping to do this as my event is quite small with 10 indoor stalls, 6 outdoor and 3-5 stalls in a marquee dedicated to childrens arts, crafts and entertainment. However, as one lady said, people create different styles and the choice of having different styles of say, jewellery, may appeal to your customers.

              I won't be charging an entrance fee to the event as I don't feel it's fair to customers, afterall they don't charge you to enter the high street shops! Instead I'm having a tombola, a children's game and we'll be serving refreshments, scones (with cream & jam of course!!) and food at lunchtime. Hopefully, along with the bouncy castle, these will cover any overheads and be some money left to donate to my chosen charity - Manorlands Hospice and the Church itself.

              I suppose my tip would be know your area. As there are a lot of children in my area, I'm opting for the children's craft area/marquee. We're hoping to get face painters, temporary tattoo artists etc and have children do bracelet and key ring making. With a bouncy castle and kiddies craft stalls, I'm hoping the marquee will help keep the boredom at bay and give adults a chance to wander around the fair at their leisure!

              Also know how much (roughyly) customers are willing to pay. There's nothing worse than selling high-end products at a community centre based in a poor area (I did once and didn't take a penny all day!). This way you can advise stall-holders on what may/may not sell dependant on price ranges.

              Sorry for waffling on there, I didn't mean to - honest!! I'll have to learn how to keep things short and sweet!! he he
              Carrie xx

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              • #8
                Hi,

                I fully agree with Carrie (Hi and )
                KNOW your market!!

                If you are holding the event in an affluent area, then yes go for the full price side, but if the area is relatively poor, then there is no point in having items that are high priced and that should be made clear to stall holders.

                Variety is the spice of life so they say, and healthy competition is good as said before.

                Also bear in mind that one of your biggest expenses should be advertising. And always include a sign or 3 for outside the venue on the day!
                Rach

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                Folksy

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                • #9
                  An organisers should know what sellers they are accepting as you can't limit a fair to one jeweller, one card-maker, etc. The scope available in each field is almost limitless so an organiser should be looking to see what each crafter spe******es in to make the event as diverse and exciting as possible for the customers... something for everyone!

                  Si.
                  Wood Tattoos
                  Decorative Pyrography for all Occasions - Author of "Woodburning with Style" (2010) and "Learn to Burn" (2013)
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                  • #10
                    Visitors

                    I feel that I must add my bit to this debate. It's all very well setting up an event but where is your money coming from to pay for all the cost it entails i.e room rental, possible hire of tables and chairs, advertising both in papers, magazines, flyers, posters and signage to ensure a successful but professional event. You cannot put on a successful event which attracts visitors without spending. May I also ask what vetting procedure will you be putting in place to ensure your quality of stall holders. As a visitor to fairs now rather than attending them I like to see quality and not filled with badly made tat.
                    Woodenlady

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                    • #11
                      Good luck organising you event. i hope it goes well for you.

                      As someone who organises them myself, i like to have crafters who make the stuff themselves and not bought it in, but saying that one or two stalls are fine as long as they fit in with what your doing. It's very difficult to get enough stalls to only have one card stall, one jewellery, one bag, etc. You get to about 10-12 and then struggle to get diiferent crafts.

                      And i never charge people to get in, I have a good raffle instead. I do go to fairs where you have to pay to get in, but it always annoys me and i tend not to go back to the next one. The cost of venues can be quite high, so make sure you charge enough for your tables!!

                      Good luck
                      Quirky items from a MAD family.

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                      • #12
                        I am not in the right area to take part but would like to just add my opinion. Firstly, and forgive me for this, you are very new to the forum so perhaps it would help if people knew a little more about you and what experience you have in the crafting field and whether you have ever organised any other type of fair or event. As a crafter it is important to find the fairs that are going to work for your particular craft, and this is obviously affected by who else is exhibiting. I think you will struggle to stick to one of each type of craft but agree that no more than two or three of each is about right. In any case I wish you well and hope that you have a successful fair.
                        www.littlebead.blogspot.com
                        www.twitter.com/littlebead

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                        • #13
                          • Craft fair for local area craft workers only

                          Yes if possible as this way customers get to know you locally and do not seem to mind contacting you for repeat orders, if some distance there has to be built up a trust aspect

                          • Craft fair open for all UK based craft workers

                          Yes

                          • Craft fair for handmade craft workers only and in the same venue a fairtrade fair (so visitors get to pay admission 2 fairs for the price of 1)

                          No. As I think some visitors, not all, would go to the craft fair then to the trade fair to purchase product and copy, well sort of. This means the trade show are getting free advertising from the craft workers and possibly demonstrators. A trade show should be for trade only, not the public otherwise this makes things even harder for the maker.

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                          • #14
                            Sorry misread option 3 but I do not think it should be combined.

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                            • #15
                              I went to a small fair last month and there were three other jewellery makers, however, we were all quite different in our style, materials and price ranges.

                              I think you need to have more than one table there of each craft so there is a choice, I personally could have bought an item from each stall at the one I went to last month.

                              You could have an optional donation to a charity at the door if you are doing the fair on behalf of a charity, say gold coin donation for xx cause, I generally always try to donate in these circumstances.

                              Then of course there is the stall fee, the costs of the fair should be split equally between the crafters, we always expect to pay something to attend. Big event = big hire costs = large stall fee.

                              Small event = smaller costs = smaller fee

                              I also appreciate how hard it must be to co-ordinate all the crafters and organise everything and how much time it costs

                              may be a little off topic there, sorry
                              www.beadlab.com

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