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First craft fair - advice please!

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  • First craft fair - advice please!

    Hello,

    I'll be attending my first ever craft fair the weekend after next and I'm a tad nervous about the whole thing!

    I was wondering if anyone had any tips for a craft first timer? I'm currently working out how best to display my jewellery but I'm more worried about selling the items as I'm most definitely not a natural salesperson!

    Also, has anyone had any problems ever with shoplifting? (or should that be stalllifting?!)

    I'm on an outside plot too so will be praying for good weather!

    Thanks,

    Gemma
    Gemma Church
    Star Stealer Jewellery
    Website: www.starstealer.com
    Email: [email protected]

    Find me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/StarStealerJewellery
    And on Twitter: @Starstealergem

  • #2
    I have done a fair few fairs now and i would say there is nothing to worry about. Your confidence will soar once you sell your first piece, there is nothing quite like it. If your nervous about talking to the customers then just talk about the jewellery you made, im sure like me you could talk for hours about that.

    I have never had anyone shoplifting, but tbh you are always there behind the stall and i tend to chat to everyone who comes over.

    Im sure your confidence will build the more fairs you do.
    Best of luck, hope you do really well

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm sure you'll be fine.

      Have you got lots of business cards to hand out? Have plenty on the front of the stall (research apparently shows they are more likely to be picked up if they're messy rather than in a neat pile!!!) and keep some at the back so you can hand them to people who are about to move on saying "you can buy from the website too".

      Also pop a card in with everything you sell and tell people the card is in there.

      Most customers will be absolutely lovely and Callisto is right, once you've made your fist sale you'll be on a high!
      digital stamps for cardmakers: http://www.handmadeharbour.co.uk
      blog: http://handmadeharbour.blogspot.com
      hand painted personalised plaques, clocks, canvases, etc: http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk
      blog: http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk/blog

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks guys - you have helped to put my mind at ease

        Yes I have lots of cards to throw at people and I like the idea of having a messy pile - thanks! I suppose my major fear is that I won't sell anything or (the best worse case scenario) is that I run out of stock completely!

        I'll let you know how it goes - thanks again
        Gemma Church
        Star Stealer Jewellery
        Website: www.starstealer.com
        Email: [email protected]

        Find me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/StarStealerJewellery
        And on Twitter: @Starstealergem

        Comment


        • #5
          If you dont sell anything at least you will have done your first fair

          And if you sell out....well that would be fantastic wouldnt it !

          Comment


          • #6
            I was worried too, but you will do great
            Your items will sell it for you. Just hand out cards as much as you can, I was really shy about this at first but at the end of the day, you are here to sell, so try and turn on the charm and confidence for the day and go for it
            Keep smiling, people will feel better about approaching you
            Don't put your stuff down and be proud of your price, no matter what you charge
            Good luck
            Dainty Rocks Jewellery ~ www.daintyrocks.etsy.com ~ www.daintyrocks.co.uk ~ @DaintyRocks

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm sure you'll be fine! Have a search on here for fair advice and you'll find a whole heap of information.

              Try out your layout before you go, so you know roughly where everything will be, and make sure you have some different heights to your displays [boxes under your cloth are fine].

              Take some work to do with you, partly so you've got something to be doing whilst it's quiet and partly so people can see you working. It's amazing the number of people who will stop just to watch you, and from there you can chat to them and create interest in your items. It also shows that you handmake your things. Try to stand up as well, it really makes a difference.

              Don't leap on people whenever they come within a mile of your stall; just acknowledge them as they arrive, smile nicely, be friendly, even when you hear [as you will!] rude comments about your work. It used to upset me terribly but now I just write down the best ones to laugh at later [things like 'My daughter makes jewellery exactly the same as this but hers is much nicer' [yawwwwwn] or 'Why bother? You can buy a necklace in Asda for £2' and so on].

              Make sure you've got a Bit Box - that is, a box with stuff like [deep breath ...] pens, notepad or book, elastic bands, safety pins, needle & thread, wet wipes, painkillers, hair band or slides for when it gets windy, lots of tissues, sellotape, thin scarf for when it gets cold, your tools, your 'do it at the stall' work, tape measure, bag to put your rubbish in, clips for your cloth [especially if you're out of doors] clear plastic sheeting to cover your stall if it rains, business cards, packaging, your insurance details, your dealer notice, your booking confirmation [especially if it shows you were your pitch is!] food, drink, kitchen towels for when you spill said food or drink, float .... and anything else you think you may need.
              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

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Gemma

                As you mention you will be outside, you will need something to hold down your lighter items, as I know from experience they may get blown away by a gust of wind. Some stallholders have plastic sheet thingies that they attach to the side of their stalls (like walls) which can help to minimize this, but if you don't have these then stick any price cards down with blue-tac, as they will be the first things to go flying! Alternatively, use tie-on tags for prices. Things like business cards also went flying off my stall the first time I did an outside one, so perhaps fan them out and put something on top of the end of the pile to hold them in place.

                Earrings on display stands will also fly around/fall over even in a gentle breeze outside, so perhaps try setting up outside before the craft fair if you can to see what your vulnerable items may be and work out a way to keep them in place. When you first get there, try to work out what way the prevailing breeze is coming from, and set up something solid to block as much of this as possible.

                Good luck, whatever happens you will learn from it and be better prepared next time.
                Annie

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for the advice. I'm in a gazebo for the outside stall so hopefully if it's a windy day I can pull down the sides to keep the wind out!

                  I've started playing with displays too and have a couple of quick questions. Is it better to...

                  1. Keep items of the same colour grouped together?
                  2. Display your items within a box so it's easier for people to grab the item and bring it to you to buy?

                  Heather from Pretty Things - thanks for the list of things to bring, it sounds you follow the scout motto 'always ber prepared' very closely - wise advice!
                  Gemma Church
                  Star Stealer Jewellery
                  Website: www.starstealer.com
                  Email: [email protected]

                  Find me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/StarStealerJewellery
                  And on Twitter: @Starstealergem

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Star Stealer Jewellery View Post
                    Thanks for the advice. I'm in a gazebo for the outside stall so hopefully if it's a windy day I can pull down the sides to keep the wind out!
                    Be careful in windy weather if you have the sides up - they will act like sails and your gazebo may end up swaying quite a bit (which is pretty scary!!) I have found that if you can create some 'outlet spaces' for the wind to get through without meeting full resistance it will help. These can be at the top of the side wall or at the bottom - just roll the sides up or down a little.

                    We do a lot of outdoor shows and to be honest, if it is really windy, we often have to take the sides down completely! I am fortunate that my products are displayed flat and I can cover them with plastic sheets to hold them down but wind is the big issue on outdoor shows. Make sure you have good strong guy ropes and plenty of pegs and over compensate for the wind! Just be sure to position the ropes as much as possible in places where they won't be tripped over by customers (have some bright ribbon to tie round which will help highlight the location of the ropes.)

                    As for the display, a lot depends on exactly what you are selling i.e. beads work best in baskets/boxes but jewellery is best displayed laid on the table or hung on displays in an orderly manner, rather than all tangled and mixed up! I don't sell jewellery so don't know what works best for most people and I am basing these comments from a customer's point of view. I have seen a stall selling very colourful jewellery where the stall was laid out with the colours grouped together so the display was a rainbow from left to right - really beautiful but obviously not something which would work for everyone!

                    Have a great show and don't forget to let us know how you get on!
                    Last edited by AliCat; 22-03-2011, 02:05 PM.
                    Ali x

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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi Star Stealer,

                      How did the weekend go? I saw your stall on Sunday but my 2 yr old son wouldn't let me stop and say hello! It looked good though - hope it went well.
                      Leanne Thurston

                      www.rainbowdaisy.co.uk
                      www.facebook.com/RainbowDaisy

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks Leanne! And not to worry, I think there were a lot of Mums being dragged away from my stall by their little ones to see the lovely owls on the stall next to me!!

                        It went really well thanks - and everyone's advice really did help on the day. The Saturday was a little quieter as the weather wasn't very nice but on Sunday we had a lot of people through (and a lot of sales - yippee!) which was really great.

                        I think one of the major things I'll take from the 2 days of the fair is that not to be afraid of the people who come to your stall! I was genuinely worried that, because I'm not a natural sales person, then I might struggle with sales or explaining why my jewellery is a bit different. But there was no need to be scared, everyone was so lovely and once that first sale went through things just got easier and easier.

                        Thanks again for all the tips from fellow forumers!
                        Gemma Church
                        Star Stealer Jewellery
                        Website: www.starstealer.com
                        Email: [email protected]

                        Find me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/StarStealerJewellery
                        And on Twitter: @Starstealergem

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Glad it went really well for you....had my 1st fair at the weekend too....and like you I was terrified of being a 'salesperson' but needn't have worried....I got started on Swarovski crystals and my passion for them and went from there....(altho saying swarovski seemed to get harder and harder to say as the fair went on lol)
                          Don't know about you, but I can't wait for the next one.....What a buzz!!
                          Sarah x

                          ~ The Lilac Dragonfly- Handmade Jewellery ~

                          ~ Facebook Page ~




                          Comment


                          • #14
                            HI I also make my own handmade jewellery and I braved my first ever craft fair a few weeks ago.
                            Things I have learnt: Don't forget bags to put your sold items in - putting them in the only thing to hand at the last minute (resealable sandwich bags - classy!!!) is not the best way to go.
                            Have a supply of buisness cards detailing where to buy online / contact details etc
                            you may not make any money at all (or just cover the cost of the stall in my case) and you will feel like the last person to be picked for the sports team as people prod through your stuff, smile, say how lovely it is and then move on without buying anything!! Have a sense of humour, do not take rejection to heart and have lots of cups of tea and biscuits to hand.
                            One of the main things though is to "network" i met some lovely fellow crafters who i am keeping in touch with, always handy for flagging up fairs near you and exchange ideas with.
                            Just noiced the date on your post, -Hope it all went well.!!!
                            You'll find me beading or gnawing superglue off my fingers.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Glad it went well

                              I did one on saturday,
                              Remind me next time to check what type of 'Girls Night' it is....
                              The last one had candles, body shop, clothes, jewellery, massages

                              Saturdays had;
                              Ann Summers stall, a drag queen and two male strippers
                              I wasn't complaining (put a smile on my MIL's face)

                              Dainty Rocks Jewellery ~ www.daintyrocks.etsy.com ~ www.daintyrocks.co.uk ~ @DaintyRocks

                              Comment

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