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Thread: Where to Start. Advice Please
15-01-2017, 03:02 PM #11
15-01-2017, 03:35 PM #12Senior Member Mega Crafter
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Trying again.... I would definitely advise visiting craft fairs in your area first - check out location, parking, facilities and footfall as well as the type of stalls and range of items sold...and talk to the organisers about their policies. When booking an event I almost always had to list what I was planning to sell and in some cases provide examples ( they would say this was to ensure a good variety of good quality items - which is a brilliant idea)and then found it so frustrating to arrive at an event only to find that just about every other stall had included cards as an add on to their main product ...
I'm not sure what kind of cards you make but I have noticed that a lot of organisers of handmade events are not allowing card makers who use kits or preprinted toppers and stickers in their card making... if you do include any of these in your makes its worth checking beforehand.
When registering for an event I would always list my wares as "paper crafts" and I included all manner of items as long as the main feature was paper or card it was good....if it was made from paper I included it. Embellies generally don't seem to do well - probably because of personal die cutting machines and cheap imports on ebay - but themed kits, especially aimed at kids, can sell ... everything they need for a project minus adhesive
For displays it is important to have a variety of options at different heights. If its all fairly flat it only takes one or two browsers (who may not buy anything anyway) to block your wares from view. I use a card spinner unit and tiered racks, a back board behind me with samples and then have a variety of displays for the other non card items. Make sure cards are in poly bags...people "look" with their hands as much as their eyes and greasy or grubby mitts can ruin your hard work. Keep things that might tempt little hands away from the edges and make sure your higher price items are out of reach for would-be thieves...and always add something reasonably priced to attract kids...they will bring Mum and Dad to the stall
General kit for event days includes the obvious long table cloth (to hide the mess beneath your table and keep excess stock safe) display options, pricing cards, tags or labels, business cards, a note book and pen (to write down anything you are asked for that you don't have, anything you think will sell/change/adapt after overhearing passing comments, any orders or general notes that you want to remember later) bags or some kind of wrapping and of course don't forget change (money) ...and plenty of it. (at least enough so that if the first two customers buy your cheapest option with a £20 note you can give change) somewhere to keep money ..,.if you use a cashbox make sure it is the lockable kind that you can fix to the table (the kind with the metal cable that will need bolt cutters to free it) because sadly thieves do operate at craft events too... I switched from a box to a market traders apron style that ties round my waist and has zipped pockets for high denomination notes,
General survival kit including bin bags, tissues or kitchen towels, sticky tape, scissors, plasters, sanitising hand gel, paracetamol, immodium (just in case ) plenty of fluids and snacks and be sure to wear comfy shoes and layers because temps can vary wildly at venues year round. And take a copy of your insurance with you on the day...some ask to see it.
15-01-2017, 08:37 PM #13
17-01-2017, 02:00 PM #14Junior Member Junior crafter
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- Jan 2017
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Lots of really great advice here (plus paperwork isn't my thing), so I shall just add one thing that I learnt the hard way: some events don't provide chairs! I think this was usually when it was outside, but still I would keep something fold up in your car to sit on in an emergency. I was saved once or twice by other stallholders lending me a shooting stick or spare camping chair. This time around (I'm getting back into it again) I am going to take a bar stool (we have a couple of folding ones) so that I can sit at an approachable and friendly height, rather than people not wanting to 'make' me get up out of a low chair and walking by.
Oh, another thought - children. They *will* play with stuff on your stall, even the best behaved ones will want to be involved too, so think about putting out something appealing that it's okay for children to touch. Then their parents might feel relaxed to browse longer too.
This is a great thread because it's making me think about how I'm going to do things better this time around :-)
17-01-2017, 02:19 PM #15Junior Member Junior crafter
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- Jan 2017
- Gravesend, Kent
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Some great advice, this is what I love about the forum. I would as others said avoid boot fairs. You could try local schools see what events they have coming up also. Some village church halls have craft fairs also. You could also try some local shops and florists see if they would be interest might have to be on a sale or return though.
I am also looking at expanding to handmade cards myself and will be trying a local florist tomorrow.
Good luck keep updated.
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