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  • New to craft fairs :)

    Hi all,

    I am a new business selling besoke handmade silver jewellery with hand/foot and fingerprints in and have just booked my first event to stand at and would appreciate any advice on how to set the stall up, what I will need etc.

    It is at a local community centre that has various playgroups and baby groups so we need to be child friendly also.

    Thanks

    X x x

  • #2
    Hi well it think make it look nice is first as im sure you know ,to be honest as long as it looks attractive that will be fine .Also new mums and mums in general will buy and those silver hand and footprints is genius .Hope it works well for you x
    I am fairysparkle, and i am here to sprinkle fairy dust ever


    http://fairiesmagnoliablog.blogspot.com/

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    • #3
      Can you do paw prints as well ?

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      • #4
        Thanks alot fairysparkle
        B's we do also do paw prints, kiss prints and artwork.
        x x

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        • #5
          Good luck with your first fair. There have been lots of threads on here with great advice if you do a quick search.

          However, my key bits of advice would be:

          1. Have a practice at setting up your stall at home first - this gives you time to try out different layouts and set ups without the pressure of time running out before the fair opens (no matter how long you give yourself, it never seems enough!). Make sure you know exactly what size the space is and whether you need to leave room to get in and out to access behind your table. If the table is provided, it is useful to know what size this is so that you don't get a great layout only to find it won't fit when you get there!

          2. Do you have electricity? If you do then make sure you light your pieces well. Spotlights on your key areas will help highlight the pieces you want visitors to see but make sure any lights are not blinding them!

          3. Take a picnic bag with some refreshments and a bite to eat - it will save time away from your stall if it is busy and your hard-earned money if it isn't!

          4. Don't expect to make a fortune at your first fair - it can take time to build up a customer base and sales. Make sure you have lots of literature/cards with your details on and if you have a website, every vistor to your stall should take the details away with them - follow up sales can sometimes equal more than the ones made on the day! Look at fairs as part of your marketing - any sales you make are a bonus!! One bad fair doesn't mean they will all be the same so don't be disheartened if all doesn't go as well as hoped first/second/third time out - sadly the same is true for good fairs (!!).

          5. Take a notebook to list fairs you hear about from chatting to other stallholders as well as ideas you may pick up regarding setting up your stall differently and new design ideas! Take photos of your stall set up (for a number of reasons : 1 - you can replicate it if it works well; 2 - you can change it if it doesn't and 3 - you can share them with us here!) You can also enjoy looking back at your first stall when you have been doing fairs for a while - my first set up was completely different to how it is now and hubby and I chuckle when we look at the pics! You may also take orders so will need something to take the details of these. A receipt book is useful to have in your 'box of tricks' just incase you get asked for one (not common).

          6. Finally (I think!) Work out what float you may need - a bum bag or similar is good to make sure you always look after your cash. Assume that your first customer will pay with £20 notes and need loads of change! (I can't count the number of times this has happened!) If your prices end in .99 or .95 you will need pennies and/or 5 pences; .50 needs plenty of 50 pences and so on. I also make sure I have a couple of notes and plenty of £1 coins. Other stallholders will help in a crisis but you can't always guarantee they will have change if they have had a run on their change too... Keep a breakdown of your float so that you can adjust it if you find it doesn't work well and also deduct it from your final tally to work out your sales total.

          On a slightly negative note, not everyone is honest who visits these fairs and there are awful tales of cash boxes going missing at the end of the day (complete with all the money taken). Be especially vigilant during the set up and break down periods when you are distracted and might leave bags in open areas.

          All this being said, my major piece of advice is this:

          Smile at everyone (no matter how tired you may feel!) and have fun! Enjoy the day - you will meet loads of lovely people, be it visitors or stallholders and hopefully come away with a profit too...

          Have a great fair and don't forget to come back and tell us how you get on.
          Ali x

          Etsy Shop: aliscraftstudio.etsy.com
          Facebook: AlisCraftStudio
          Follow me on Twitter:
          @AlisCraftStudio

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          • #6
            I echo everything Ali says, and add my two penn'orth:

            Stand up behind your stall, don't sit down all the time, you will get more people to your stall. It really works! Don't know why, it just does.

            Chat to friends and other stallholders BUT - and this is a huge but - drop all conversations when a customer is standing in front of you with one of your items in their hands. If you don't take notice, you will lose sales as customers will walk away rather than interrupt your chat.

            Have a 'bit box/tool kit' that you take to every event. Tools will vary depending on your craft, as a jewellery person I always have pliers, cutters, loupe, etc, as well as spare clasps, non-pierced ear fittings, spare chains/ribbons. And then more general stuff; tape measure, pins [safety pins and drawing pins/map pins] tissues, wet wipes, painkillers, sellotape, pad, pen, receipt book, bags, tissue paper, carrier bags, mirror .... that sort of thing.

            I always take something to do. At the moment I'm teaching myself a beading stitch [I don't normally do stitching] and the sight of someone actually hand making something really draws people in. It shows you make your stock and people are interested in the technique itself. At one Christmas fair I did, I made a necklace at the stall, put it out for sale and it sold within ten minutes to someone who had been watching me earlier.

            i'm not a fan of the hard sell, I don't jump on people as soon as they appear. As they stop at my stall I smile and say hello, then leave them to it. If they start holding things up to themselves I let them know there is a mirror, and that will often start a conversation. I try to treat my potential customers the way I like to be treated. If I get leapt on as soon as I enter a shop, I leave without buying. Just leave me to browse and I'll buy loads, so that's the technique I use. [I can't promise everyone will buy loads, but most do!]
            Heather
            Pretty Things Handmade Jewellery

            Website - www.prettythingsjewellery.co.uk


            Destash bead and papercrafting shop - http://www.misi.co.uk/handmade/BlackCatBeads.html

            New blog - www.prettythingsandwitterings.blogspot.com

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            • #7
              Teaching one's grandmother to suck eggs
              If you must smoke pop a mint in your mouth afterwards. Nothing worse than breathing stale smoky breath over potential customers. Especially at a toddlers & baby fair.

              The same should be said of booze. Best to stay well clear of it imho.
              .Grenville Allen.
              -------f i n e a r t i s t-----
              www.grenvilleallen.com
              Twitter~Facebook~Blog

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              • #8
                Hi,

                Picking up on alicats first point - I now take a plan with me so when I set up I can remember where everything goes, so once my trial run is complete, quickly draw up a plan or take a photo you can take to the event with you - makes setting up quicker.

                Take plenty of business cards - so if a mum has to leave quickly they can take your card with them and they can show friends too.

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