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Craft fairs(sorry its a long one)

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  • Craft fairs(sorry its a long one)

    On Sunday we did our first craft show.Yipee you might say!! but we were very disappointed with the overall event.

    We only just managed to scrape back the stall fee - but it took all day to do so. it could well have been the longest eight hours of our lives!

    The visitor figure for the day was around 300 which is OK but it was a well publicised event and we kinda expected more.

    Anyway, the point of the post is we were so very disappointed with other craft stall holders. There were many fantastic holders offering handmade cards,jams, emriodery, paintings and other amazing crafts but on the flip side there were others that were just selling blatant tatt!!!

    I mean we were expecting "crafts" to be at a craft show.some stall holders looked like they had called into the wholesaler on the way, picked up a load of teddy bears(including labels/prices), bought a load of glassware, animal shaped pillows, fake flowers in vases, and other such rubbish and they were selling it as there own which utterly [email protected]$!*d me off. how can they sell it as a craft made when they get it out of boxes, unwrapp it and bung it on their stall.

    We spend all day making the best handmade soap, bath bombs,herbal spa soaks, lotion bars and gift sets, designing packaging, developing products, overcoming the latest EU safety requirements only to be up against some "crafter" wannabe selling sea side resort junk! wheres the justice??

    the thing that got me is that people were buying that stuff.fooled by the stall holders assurances of it being handmade the pound coins were flying in!!!

    makes me wonder, sometimes is it worth you time, sweat, money(thousands of it), and general hard work when you up against money crabbing cowboys with a costco card!!!!!!

    IT JUST AINT RIGHT. or is it me that is wrong??? what you think?????
    Trust Nature to make your skin Happy again...

    Visit for natural handmade soap and bath bombs,herbal spa soaks for the home spa lover and gift sets!!

  • #2
    No, you are absolutely, 100% right!!

    I personally would complain to the organisers of the craft fair, saying that because of these "fake crafters" you have lost valuable business, and have wasted 8 hours of your life.

    Ask them to explain their policy on selecting crafters for the fair and just ask them whether they sent anyone round that day to check the fact that handmade items were being sold by these people.

    You're right, it's not right or fair, and these people should not be allowed to attend craft fairs.

    I'm showing at my first craft fair in November, and if I notice the kind of people you describe, believe me, the s**t will hit the fan.

    I hope your next fair goes well.

    Good luck

    Avon Rep Crafter!
    Find out about my new ventures!


    • #3
      As one who has done more 'art' & craft fairs than I would admit to, welcome to the world of conveyor belt craft fair organisers. I gave up around 5 years ago, after only just managing to break even in 3 seasons of fairs - the only people who win are the organisers of these things. Always look for organisers who look as if they can live without you, and want to see what you're selling before they let you near a table. It's harder, and they are few and far between, but it's the only way you steer clear of 'bought in' crap. It's always worth doing a 'mystery shopper' at any fair you want to do - it'll show you what to expect. The last one I went to do that with didn't even turn up on the advertised day! :roll:


      • #4
        Hi Gentle Giant,

        I know its so annoying when you have spent all your precious time and effort making wonderful creations to be put next to tatt.

        I did a few shows with an organiser up here in the north east who shall remain nameless (pm for more details if you wish to avoid). I did 3 shows with these people costing over £100 and only made £45 in total. They were only interested in there own profits and when at the final show I asked one of the organisers what my money was spend on as only about 10 poeple had been through the door he started to scream and shout at me that I hads no right to ask him this. WRONG!!! I pay his wages and I haev every right to ask him how he has earned it.

        I think the problem is the traditional craft fair has been buried under people trying to make a fast buck for bought in items, this means the craft fair is losing its reputation as a place to by unique high quality items.

        I am personally doing very few craft fairs this year and am only attending fairs that I know to be well orgainsed one organiser even came out to see making my candles, I would rather have to have every organiser do this and attend good fairs.
        Karisma Kandles


        • #5
          Thank you for your comments.

          After seeing what other people are selling at craft shows we have decided that it just isnt worth doing them with JUST our current stock. We are going to change our strategy and find something more suitable for the local market.

          We have over 25 craft stalls booked this year and i dont want to give up on them at the first hurdle, despite what the money crabbing ar*&^holes are up to!

          Keep on crafting!
          Trust Nature to make your skin Happy again...

          Visit for natural handmade soap and bath bombs,herbal spa soaks for the home spa lover and gift sets!!


          • #6
            How true!
            I have sold at a huge variety of events. I did a mail drop last year to 20 of the local schools asking if I could have a pitch at their school fairs. I recieved 7 invitations. Of those I was able to attend 5 events. The first three were reasonable. I had a steady flow of customers and had plenty of small items for the children to buy. After that I attended a fair at a school that I had never even seen. As I approached the school I began to have doubts. The area it was in was very run down.
            I set up shop and waited. I didn't sell a single item! Talk about dis heartening..... I sat by and listened to all the mums and visitors saying " how dear!" ( my prices certainly aren't!!!) I was so embarrassed that when the organiser said " how did it go?" I said "it was great!" and gave her a donation!
            Lesson learnt... check out the situation before hand.
            I also have a stall on the local producers market (farmers market) once a month. The organisers there are really on the ball. they have a strict policy that says the product must have grown for 50% of it's life in your hands. I even got into trouble for seling some organza bags that I had bought in for additional fancy packaging of my jewellery!! The up side is that they will not allow ready mades etc. I love doing the market. I get a lot of other business through it.
            I am also going to a huge event at the local agricultural college in the summer. I came a cropper there because of the weather last year!
            (No it wasn't the famous rain) it was the sun!!! There was so much of it that the marquee was so hot people would not even come in. two steps through the door they turned and went out. There were a lot of stalls selling jewellery. I get there early and grab a decent spot.
            In america there are a lot of shows that are juried and they have to submit photo's and statements before they are accepted. It seems the way to go. Ballance the variety and make a fun event for every one.
            Next Friday I am at my local school. That is a brilliant event and always goes so well that I still have a queue while others have totally cleared away.
            full time mum and very very part time crafter.


            • #7
              It all sounds very disheartening.All that hard wor for a little return.

              I know its not quite the same but last year i went to a few car boot sales which is supposed to be second hand stuff from peoples homes.I saw countless stores of brand nes items like bags and DIY tools.It just seemed like it was turning into a market place.


              Poisoned Apple Theatre - Handmade Crafts on Facebook


              • #8
                i wanna organise a craft fair for crafts people in myt area for this reason, at the moment i'm having problems finding a suitable venue that dosen't cost a fortune.

                Anyway, i've already had 3 people email me asking me for details, of this 2 didn't make the goods they want to sell. I was serprised to get any emails seen as i've not advertised but i had to explain to the that i'm trying to organise a 'craft fair'.

                Good Luck with any future craft fairs