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Disaster Fairs!

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  • Disaster Fairs!

    Doh! Had a really rubbish weekend! Did two fairs and both were dead!

    The first was clearly through lack of advertising and was not only dead but out of 20 - 25 stalls, 12 were jewellery! Of those only a minimal few were actually hand made! To top things off 4 of us jewellery people (2 handmade, 2 trade) were shoved together (the room was so badly arranged!!!) so we didn't stand a chance!

    The crafter opposite me had come to Bristol all the way from Devizes too (I only live 5 minutes away - thank god!). I think she covered her costs though.

    I sold nothing. Nada. Zilch.

    I'm supposed to be doing another with the same people in May (I turned down Jules Stow fair as i was already booked into it- Doh!) which i will most likely be cancelling.

    The second was a charity do and was dead through no fault of the organiser. There was only me doing jewellery too and it would have been lovely if it had been busier. I really don't know what the organiser could have done as he said he advertised it well. Anyway i sold one necklace so made a little bit after costs.

    What could have been done to bring more people do you think?

    Rant over! Jules Cheddar Fair next! Bring it on!

    Beyond Beads
    Handmade Beaded Jewellery for all occasions

    [email protected]

  • #2
    Ow I've got a good story to tell too. Went to a craft fair on Sunday, I usually do really good there but stuck in a room in the back of beyond. I didn't cover my table costs - which I have never ever done before. A photographer from the local newspaper was coming to take picutres of me at the stall as they are running a little story on me. Well he couldn't find me.

    When the organiser asked how I was doing at the end of the day I nearly took her head off, the place was heaving - really really busy but no one could find where we were (we had been in a room separate from the rest of the crafters). What I was told was we need to take it in turns at the venue so it was fair for all - well what I pointed out was that she was getting money from all the tables there so why should it be that she, her family and friends got the prime spot right at the door for all to see and we were stuck in middle earth!!! I got no answer to that just a very red face.

    And what really topped it off for me was she then goes did the photographer find you he was looking for you!!! OW FOR F**K SAKE!!!!!

    The photographer was very nice and they are going to come out to my house today to take the pictures so the event organiser has lost any free advertising she was going to get. I have booked a few more but I will not be making anymore!!

    Sorry sorry rant over!!!!!

    Jules I know there would be no way you have carried on like that. I wouldn't have minded but I have done a few craft fairs with this organiser and like I say, her stall, family and friends stall all get primo number 1 spots!! Don't see much rotation going on there!!

    Bowed Over
    Handmade Dog Collar Accessories


    • #3

      I really think craft fairs have had their day hence I am not doing any this year.

      A real shame.

      A fresh and funky collection of handmade jewellery


      • #4
        I agree that they've had their day.

        I have only booked a handful this year, but only ones that I have done before. I have been to too many events that are just full of brought in rubbish and sales reps from places like forever living! I won't take a chance on new venues/organisers anymore. I don't expect that we will book any for next year!!

        Natural soaps and skincare, handmade from beginning to end...

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        • #5
          It's tough. I think (hope) that a well organised event will draw the people in. I'm hoping that Jules events will be really good. Having spoken to other crafters it would appear that they still do well at the larger events.

          I personally got fed up of fairs with traders so, like Jules, decided to organise my own. I have had a really good response so far and hope by offering things like hand blended aromatherapy lotions and massage on the day i can draw people in. Good advertising is also key i'm sure so i'm gonna be doing all i can in that department. Fingers crossed it goes well but if it fails then at least i will be able to say 'i did all i could'.

          Beyond Beads
          Handmade Beaded Jewellery for all occasions

          [email protected]


          • #6
            If You Can't Beat Them......

            ....join them! Come on people! You know what you're looking for in a craft fair - go and get it! Organise your own...there really is a huge gap out there that needs filling.

            As you can see, there is a total lack of decent craft fairs that exclude traders who import the cheap mass produced stuff. Do what I did..organise a fair yourself!!

            It's not hard, honest.

            I can safely say, for those who have booked with me, that I'm doing my utmost to make these fairs good. The fear of failure is now incredibly huge.....I kid you not.

            Not to mention the enormous financial loss which would affect my husband & children. We have invested an awful lot of money in this venture.

            Really, you can only do so much - good venue, top quality crafters and good advertising....the rest is up to Joe Public...

            Apple Tree Crafts


            • #7
              I know your fairs will be good Jules, but like you say it is down to Joe Public. I know that the fairs I have went to in the past have been terrible because some lazy person who shall remain nameless has not bothered to make an effort to advertise! I did my best getting them listed on all the local radio stations what's on spots and the staff Intranet for the NHS for Glasgow but what really should have been done was a little ad in the local paper or getting the local paper interested on doing a story!! But never mind things can only get better.

              I am seriously considering organising my own events but I am quite busy working full time at the hospital, making my candles, doing craft fairs, the web sales and looking after 2 kids but the mood I am in today I will try anything.


              Bowed Over
              Handmade Dog Collar Accessories


              • #8
                I think this has been the month for disaster fairs reading all the threads (inc. mine!). I'm confident that things will get better though. As Jules said, if you can't beat them, join them! I have always loved craft fairs and won't let it be a dying past time. I have only justed started my craft venture and am determined it won't be a flop, but a huge success!!!

                Starting crafts has certainly put me of buying from 'gift' shops and stalls - I used to love looking at little gift shops, fooled into thinking the items sold had been made with great care and skill (silly me). Now I know, I won't look at them. Come on the crafters I say!!!
                Katian Mosaics

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                • #9
                  I don't think craft fairs have had their day; I think what have had their day are the ones like the one I did at the weekend, with people freely admitting they have bought in mass produced stock and others selling sub boot sale bric-a-brac. I think that like Jules says, there is still a massive gap for a craft fair selling genuinely hand made items direct from the craftsperson. We're going to have a look at one such a fair on Friday - all goods must be handmade by the stallholder, no mass produced goods allowed.

                  I've got nothing against boot fairs, love 'em in fact; but I don't want to sell my jewellery at one.
                  Pretty Things Handmade Jewellery

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