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Advice re: my first craft fair

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  • Advice re: my first craft fair

    Hi, I'm not really sure where to place this thread, but I hope you can help.

    I make kids clothes and other little fabric notions and have been looking into doing my first local very small craft fair. I've had no experience of selling my crafts at all before and I'm slightly nervous that I'm doing things right.

    Do I need some sort of insurance? I must say that I'm going to "try" the craft fair first and see how it goes.

    Help please.
    from an excited but nervous potential stall holder!

  • #2
    Some of the bigger fairs ask for public liabilty insurance so check first, if its a school or some other smaller affair you probably don't. Think about how you are going to display your goods in advance, its worth a trial run. Take a float of change, coffee, snacks etc if its a long stint and a chair. You usually need to take something to cover your table with. Price your goods clearly, smile and chat with your potential customers and away you go! Have fun, and good luck!


    • #3
      Some venues will require you to have public liability insurance, others won't require it but it can be a good idea to have it (especially if you're going to be doing fairs regularly). I also have product liability insurance.

      Do you know what size table you're getting? Or do you have to provide your own? Either way have a practice at putting your stuff out before you go and you'll get an idea of how it'll all fit and what looks good, etc. I use a large bit of black cotton fabric to cover tables - I got it big enough to cover an 8ft table though I usually book a 6 ft table (have found some events only have bigger tables or some are provide your own and I can fit an 8ft in the space allotted)

      Make sure you have some little bits available - lots of people looking for stocking fillers. Also let people know where they can find you/your products if they maybe want to buy at a later date - give out business cards if possible. I think this is especially important for your type of product as some people will have babies and may want something later on iykwim.

      Take plenty of change, including a couple of £10/£5 notes cos it's sod's law the first customer will only have a £20 note for that £2.50 item

      I take a receipt book (cheapy one from the market) to write all sales in as it helps with doing the books and if anyone wants a receipt I can give one (not happened yet though).

      Take a flask of tea or coffee - some places will give stallholders free tea or coffee (some let you have it all day, some let you have one, some don't offer it at all)

      In quiet periods chat to other stallholders - they're often great buyers and a wealth of info about other events in the area!


      • #4
        Thank you so much for your advice about everything. I'll ask whether the insurance is a compulsory thing, if not I doubt I'll take it out. Well, not at this stage anyway (seeing as its my first fair and I want to test the waters).

        Its in a church hall, run once a month as an antiques and craft fair. Its very quaint and maybe its not the right place to start, but I'll have a go.

        The venue provide all the tables, and they look like 6 foot tables, but I will ask if I can bring along a clothes rail too. Great advice about practicing setting up a table as to be honest thats an art in itself!

        One more piece of advice please, I've given my clothes a label (a name I just made up), do I have to register it or something? Sorry if I sound dumb.



        • #5
          Good Luck with your 1st craft fair...


          • #6

            If you are using a label other than your own name then that would be considered a "trading name" and as such you should probably check it's not already being used by someone else as this could cause problems.

            good luck with your fair!


            buy online:


            • #7
              Oh Elzi, these are the things that make me nervous about doing anything. Im planning on using the name "Sweetpea by Esther Fereres" so, its sort of using my name, but clubbed with what I would imagine is a popular name especially in the horticultural scene whereas I'll be more clothing. What do you reckon?

              I don't want to turn big or anything, its only a hobby.


              • #8
                To be honest I would say you are on pretty safe ground with a name like that at the sort of fair you are talking about. Don't stress too much, its supposed to be fun!!!


                • #9
                  Thanks janet, thats all I want it to be is fun. I'm going back to the sewing machine now. xx


                  • #10

                    I wouldn't panic unless you really get serious about it and decide to do it as a business. Up until you get to that point I'm sure it won't be an issue at all so don't worry!

                    It sounds sounds to me that if you are using it combined with your full name then it shouldn't clash with anyone anyway so I didn't mean to panic you.

                    If it's just a small craft fair and it's just a hobby at this stage then I doubt you'll have any problems so just relax and enjoy your first fair.

                    If it makes you feel better I realised 2 years after first using my trading name that someone else had been using it since 1987! However since we do different things at opposite ends of the country its never, ever been an issue - so really don't worry!


                    buy online:


                    • #11
                      Thanks Elvi, I do feel reassured now.

                      I'm so pleased I found this site as you are so nice and approachable. I'm sure I'll be asking so many more questions. x


                      • #12
                        Hi everyone!

                        I'm organising a fair in Penkridge, which is in between Wolverhampton and Stafford on Saturday 20th December, if your interested here are the details,

                        Penkridge Christmas Market
                        Memorial Hall, Penkridge (opposite Penkridge Market)
                        Table hire £20 all day
                        Saturday 20th December 2008
                        8am-6pm to crafters
                        9am-4pm for publice

                        It's going to be on the same day as Penkridge Market and as it's opposite, it will hopefully attract a fair amount of people!

                        Hope this helps,


                        [email protected]


                        • #13
                          For Estee - the law is, as a sole trader, you can trade under any name as long as you put your real name (and address etc) on your paper work - letter headings, business cards etc.
                          Its probably not a good idea to call yourself Disney and sell cartoons, or MacDonald and sell hamburgers as those two companies can get very upset. 99% of the remaining traders in the world seem much more laid back about people having the same name. I mean, it would be a nightmare if you were called Smith or Jones and took offence.......
                          I think sweetpea is a lovely name. the flower people won't care as you are not selling it's just check another kiddies clothes company hasn't already chosen that name....which is fairly easy to do with the Web.
                          Then - have fun