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Thinking about trying a fair. Advice please?

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  • Thinking about trying a fair. Advice please?

    Heard about a local fair coming up in the next couple of months. I'm extremely tempted to put my name down for a table but as I've never even been to a fair before, I have no idea what I would need, how much I would need...etc.

    So far I've got listed

    Plain table cloth
    Some sort of packaging...boxes, paper bags...
    Leaflets or business cards or both.
    Change for the float

    How would one go about displaying jewellery such as earrings and bracelets and also art prints and portraits? Just flat on the table?
    How much stock would you need for the fair...
    How much packaging and which is best...

    Any info to help me make up my mind would be appreciated, I'd hate to agree to it and turn up not knowing my backside from my elbow.
    Handmade Ceramic Beads & Jewellery
    Grubbi On Etsy
    ~ Facebook ~ Artisan Whimsy

  • #2
    I always think the best thing for anyone who wants to start attending fairs is to go to one (or more!) as a visitor. Don't just browse around - look at the stalls critically, decide why some attract you and others don't. Note how the stallholders behave, which stalls look busy, which stalls look boring. And look at how the different jewellery stalls display their goods. Most stallholders are more than happy to chat to you and if you are new to the game we're a very friendly bunch more than happy to share hints and tips.

    The best piece of advice I could give to you for a first fair is to set your stall up on the kitchen table so you know what to do when you get there, and to be prepared to learn a lot even if you don't sell a lot. Once you've done one, if you're like the rest of us you'll realise all the things you should have taken and forgot! Make sure you've got a notebook.

    There have been quite a few postings in the past few months containing lists of things you need to take, and I'm sure you'd find them useful if you browse the craft fair category to find them.

    Best of luck!
    Kate
    www.cuckoos-nest-fairs.co.uk

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    • #3
      Get there early to give yourself time to fiddle and get it looking right. Display things at different heights. If prints etc are flat on the table they can't be seen until you are right on top of them, and you want to catch people's attention across the room.

      HTH a bit!
      Ballderdash & Bunting
      Twitter (Ballderdash & Bunting)
      [B]The Ark Man
      [FONT=Comic Sans MS]I am Ballderdash, the blog[COLOR=#0000CD]

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      • #4
        My advice would be to go for as advised before have a trip out to a craft fayre to get the feel of it.

        Set up early so you can rearrange if you're not happy. Bags for your customers aren't a neccessity but are a nice added extra that will give you a bit of free advertising.
        Take along a few things to enhance your display that wont be for sale.

        Be ready to talk to your potential customers to explain about your craft or whatever they may be looking at at the time, not in with the hard sell or anything but just approachable and chatty, sometimes I see stall holders just sat on a chair behind their stall not interacting and looking very bored.
        Debbie
        Please visit my facebook page
        http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Pre...4922514?ref=ts

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        • #5
          Good advice from Kate of cuckoos nest , but also as professional organisers could we suggest lighting. Everyone tends to forget this when starting out but it really is necessary for jewellery.
          Ann (www.penninefairs.co.uk)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Jonesi View Post
            Heard about a local fair coming up in the next couple of months. I'm extremely tempted to put my name down for a table but as I've never even been to a fair before, I have no idea what I would need, how much I would need...etc.
            Hello,
            here is a list I send out to first time stall holders which I hope they and you will find helpful.
            Table cloth which covers the table to the floor
            Business cards and or leaflets (a must - they may not buy on the day, but if they have your details its amazing how many times you will be contacted weeks or maybe months later wanting to buy, it is also another way to get your name out there)
            Paper bags & tissue paper or bubble wrap if you need it.
            Lockable cash box, or money belt with a cash float (many a time your first customer will present you with a £20 note for a small item)
            Note pad to note down sales and commissions
            Pens, Receipt book (some customers request a receipt)
            If you need Electric. Extension leads, spare bulbs for your lights)
            Cello tape, blue tack, scissors, spare price tags.
            There are probably other things; this will depend on your craft.

            Don't worry if you forget something crafters are a friendly bunch and are usually more than happy to help out if you have forgotten something on the day.

            As for display it is a good idea to have items at different levels as it will catch people’s eye as they walk past and draw them to you stall. If you have all your items flat on the table you will lose impact. It will probably take several craft fairs before you find a display that you feel happy with and works for you.
            You are more than welcome to check out my blog below where you will find lots of photos of craft stalls that may help you with ideas for your stall. And here is a link to photos of lots of stall at one of the markets i run http://tiny.cc/twqfv

            And as mentioned before if you do have the time it is a good idea to pop along to a craft fair as a visitor and look at the stalls and note which ones draws your attention making a note of how the stall is displayed and incorporate it into your display.


            But please respect the stall holders, do not copy the stall outright and only take ideas from the displays. They have probably spent months even years getting their display how they want it and it will be part of their craft identity.

            I hope you find your first craft fair a good experience and remember to try to relax, keep smiling and enjoy the day.
            "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."
            www.dnk-artandcraftfairs.co.uk
            http://dkcraftfairs.blogspot.com/
            http://www.facebook.com/dnkcraftfairs
            http://www.facebook.com/craftscheesengrain

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            • #7
              You need to get there as early as possible because if you arrive at the last minute there will be a mad scramble for the best parking space. Take bits of card for making signs, bits of wood to go under the wobbly tabe leg, a good float. a hand brush, hammer, pliers etc. Don't stand about gossiping to neighbouring stall holders and don't worry about the competition because they are as nervous as you. Don't sit there reading a paper, eating and get rid of the bored partner or pack them off well out of the way. Also make sure you have good containers for carting your stock into the shows. I always used to find the Sunblest crates were the best and you can turn them upside down and with a board and cloth make additional display space. If you can demonstrate your craft then so much the better and you get a better deal from the organiser and can make use of your quiet periods.
              Good Luck LC

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              • #8
                Thanks very much, loads of good advice there!

                Regarding displays, what kind of things to you use to create different levels. Are there special things to buy or are people using piles of books covered in cloth, for example.

                I don't want too much initial cost as I'm not even sure it will be my type of thing you see.

                Also, how much stock?
                Jonesi
                Senior Member
                Last edited by Jonesi; 17-08-2010, 03:08 PM.
                Handmade Ceramic Beads & Jewellery
                Grubbi On Etsy
                ~ Facebook ~ Artisan Whimsy

                Comment


                • #9
                  You could use the boxes you bring your stuff in to add height, just cover the boxes with cloth, saves money and space in your car.
                  "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."
                  www.dnk-artandcraftfairs.co.uk
                  http://dkcraftfairs.blogspot.com/
                  http://www.facebook.com/dnkcraftfairs
                  http://www.facebook.com/craftscheesengrain

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Have a practice on the kitchen table with whatever you have to hand. Gaffer tape, cardboard and cloth can make up into various types of display without breaking the bank. A cloth draped over a flower pot can make a nice display for a bracelet or necklace depending on size.

                    Spring clamps are good for quick set up and securing things. I got a bag of them at a pound shop and use them for keeping the cloth in place, holding stands and keeping light cables secured.

                    I'd also advise against taking too much display stuff.

                    It's something you have to work on bit bit.

                    If you have enough stock to cover the table and a bit to replace it, you should have enough. If you do sell out, it's not a bad thing.

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