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Finding good craft fairs - advise needed.

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  • Finding good craft fairs - advise needed.

    I just completed my first fair on Saturday at Stow on the Wold organised by Julie of Apple Tree Crafts. Despite the fact it was quieter than everyone hoped and I didn't take much money, it didn't put me off and I really want to sign up for more fairs both through the Summer and leading up to Christmas. The thing is that I don't know how I find out in advance about booking for good fairs. I was very pleased with Julie's organisation and hope to do more of her fairs but as I'm based in Surrey/London borders currently some of her fairs are unfortunately too far away.

    Can anyone offer any advise on finding out about fairs? What type are best. A friend took some of my things to a really big fair before Christmas last year but it turned out to be not a genuine craft fair as there were lots of stalls selling imported items, so I think perhaps the smaller fairs are better? Someone also said to me that the sort of fairs organised by charities can be good as people go to them really with the intention of selling.

    As a newbie around here I'd really appreciate any advise anyone can give.
    Thanks
    Fiona x

    My blog: http://nonnie.typepad.com
    My little shop: http://nonnie.typepad.com/nonnie_home
    My etsy shop: http://FionaHornby.etsy.com

  • #2
    It can be really difficult finding true 'craft' fairs. I've found that the ones where organisers actually ask you about your craft, on the application form, are usually for proper crafters. Also, don't be afraid to ask questions before you book a fair. I've found searching on Google to be a good way of locating fair organisers - I'm not allowed to post URLs but two sites that I've found helpful are - Creative Craft Association and Craft UK. If you attend a fair, other stall holders are quite often a good source of information, I've found that the 'real' crafters are only too happy to share info. about good and bad fairs.
    Jayne


    "One must have chaos in oneself in order to give birth to a dancing star."

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    • #3
      Fairs in Staffordshire

      There is a lack of fairs here and many of the larger companies have tried but there doesnt seem to be the interest here as there is in other places maybe there isnt the money in the pockets of the buying public . I have looked into it myself and may get something up and running for spring as I was going to in the Autumn but ended up in hospital 3 times.
      I do large shows all over the country for a living and this year has been tough and the shows arent full of pure crafters anymore the organisers are taking other exhibitors in and there is a large amount of imported goods now, this is apparently down to the multi cultural society we live in which I can understand as they need to fill the marquees and on average at £300.00 a stand and ground rents at thousands often 10s of 1000s I guess you have to go with what youve got.
      Having booked one show this year later than normal I was offered a place in the gift marquee I did well but there was 2 people that shouldnt have been there 1 selling nail art kits and another magic cloths but the magic cloths where selling well as they where doing the good old Buy1 Get1 free so I guess its the culture weve come to accept but I believe that the public are still looking for different things but the quality of customer has changed they all want bargains and thats why the £ shops are doing so well so its up to us all to change that with good quality products at fair prices and convince the public that they are getting the best.
      So lets all have a good christmas and then plan how to tackle the new season as I am open to ideas!

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      • #4
        i hate to break it to you but the only way to work out if a fair/market is good is to try it yourself with your stock as until then you never really know. be prepared to have to a few crap experiences but then it is all good experience generally and you will get a feel for where your stuff sells best.
        there are various things you can do before booking to figure out where you want to go. visit the fair first, check out what is selling, the prices and customers, don't be afraid to talk to other exhibitors, tell them you craft yourself and ask how they are doing and what they think of the fair/ customers/value for money. some might not want to tell you but most people are friendly.
        every fair you go chat to the other stall holders, ask them where else they go and if there is anywhere they reccommend.
        personally i've never had a problem fighting with competing with bought in stock, maybe it is particularly a jewellery issue? (i could see that selling handmade jewellery next to stuff that is made for £1 in china might be a problem...) i have a big sign on my stall that says I make everything myself, my stuff is very locally orientated which means I cannot travel far to stalls but it does mean that i'm offering something that bought in goods cannot compete with.
        good luck!

        portfolio: www.suzielda.co.uk

        buy online: www.mooart.com

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        • #5
          As a crafter myself, selling photos, and as an organiser of craft fairs in Nottinghamshire, the main things I ask when doing someone elses fair and what I always tell my crafters is about advertising. It is all well and good attending/organising a fair, but if the organiser hasn't done mega advertising then you aren't going to get the public in. As people before me have said, other crafters are a good source of information, although if they have had a couple of bad experiences at one fair, they tend to be quite negative about it. Fact of the matter is, the public just aren't spending as much at the mo. Good luck for 2009 though. Have a brill christmas.

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          • #6
            Hello

            I have been crafting for 6 years now, When i started all those years ago i had one tiny Fair, by talking to the stall holders i then had 10 booked in for that year, fter attending the next few i booked a few more in and so on. Now 6 years later i often have one every Saturday and Sunday. and more often or not have too many s that my partner and i have to go seperatly to the fairs. IO am a craft supplier selling both handmade supplies and the normal jolees ect. But because i source my products well i can reduce the prices i sell my high quality stock at which is ideal for the Customer is this climate.
            So deffinitly speak to oher crafters, if the are proper crafters they will be happy to give you numbers ect. If you cannot getinto a fair as a stall holder then go along and have a look anyway, Speak to the organiser and see if tey have any others they can add you onto the mailing list fr. I arrange my own fairs now and have many people come up to me at each fair requestin information. Feel free to contact me for info on my fairs which are in and around norfolk
            Sparkles Events
            www.sparklesevents.co.uk

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by katier60 View Post
              Hello

              I have been crafting for 6 years now, When i started all those years ago i had one tiny Fair, by talking to the stall holders i then had 10 booked in for that year, fter attending the next few i booked a few more in and so on. Now 6 years later i often have one every Saturday and Sunday. and more often or not have too many s that my partner and i have to go seperatly to the fairs. IO am a craft supplier selling both handmade supplies and the normal jolees ect. But because i source my products well i can reduce the prices i sell my high quality stock at which is ideal for the Customer is this climate.
              So deffinitly speak to oher crafters, if the are proper crafters they will be happy to give you numbers ect. If you cannot getinto a fair as a stall holder then go along and have a look anyway, Speak to the organiser and see if tey have any others they can add you onto the mailing list fr. I arrange my own fairs now and have many people come up to me at each fair requestin information. Feel free to contact me for info on my fairs which are in and around norfolk

              Look at the date of the thread you are posting on, it's two years old!
              Diane
              Reach for the moon-if you miss-you'll still be amongst stars




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              • #8
                Hi Fiona,

                Check this out, if you are interested email me on [email protected]
                You can find us on Facebook under Groups as K & M'S Crafts

                Have you got a talent for handcrafting, book yourself in for a table to show your wares.... We are interested in crafters looking to sell on the 10th of Dec @ Waltham St Lawrence Christmas Craft Fair.Neville Village Hall, opposite the Bell Public House. Large tables £20.00 small tables £15.00. PM me if interested!... Family and Friends welcome... Free Admission ** FREE PARKING...

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                • #9
                  Fiona

                  You would be better starting a new thread than tacking on to a thread started in 2007. I would also mention that it is in Berkshire.

                  Best of luck with your show by the way.

                  Roger

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                  • #10
                    Oops! Ta for that x

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