Sunday, November 15, 2015

My craft fair experience

Well, folks, I did it! I sold my handmade crafts this weekend for the very first time at a craft fair. The first time doing anything is scary and this was no exception. But the only way to do something that scares you is to, well, just do it! And I learned some great lessons along the way.

I had awesome support from my family and friends. In fact, I'd say 60 percent of my customers were friends that came and stopped by. How nice to see so many familiar faces! I can't thank them enough.

The craft fair lasted five hours and was held at a local high school cafeteria. Here's what I learned:

  • It cost me $25 for a table and a contribution to the auction to participate in the craft fair. That was pretty inexpensive. I think it was a smart move to start at a simple show like this to determine if I'd do it again. I know of more competitive, busier shows that cost more to get into - but why not learn the basics at a more inexpensive show and then try to get into tougher ones?
  • It's good to be prepared. I had practiced setting up my table on my kitchen table at home. So once we got to the show, setting up was really easy. Having a plan and being prepared made setting up - and taking things down hours later - really simple.
  • You aren't going to please everyone. Some people will love your goods, and others will not. One woman even told me my coasters were "no good." Seriously! But have confidence in your work and stay positive. There will be buyers!
  • The coasters and tiles I thought would sell the most turned out to be the ones that didn't. Listen to what your customers are looking for and asking about, and use that information for the next show.
  • When I go to craft shows as a customer, I don't like the hard sell. I like to just look. But as a seller, I found it was important to say hello to my customers and explain some of my products. It steered customers toward some things they normally may not have noticed.
  • Make sure your display is simple, yet eye catching, and that your prices are easily visible. I had my prices written on small chalkboards that were attached to little wooden signs. Some of my customers thought the prices on the chalkboards were for the wooden signs. 
  • Try to pick a show that fits your needs. I found there were more vendors - such as jewelry companies, food companies, custom printed bag companies - than there were actual handmade goods at my show. I would have preferred a show that had more crafters selling goods. So lesson learned!
  • Be flexible. Be willing to sell products that are together separately or make changes to please customers. It might be the difference between getting that sale or having them walk away.

Will I do another craft fair again? I don't know. I'm thinking about starting an Etsy shop or some other ways to sell my work, too. But what I do know is that I would absolutely, 100 percent recommend going for it. Whatever your "it" is. Maybe it's a craft fair, or maybe it's a 5K race. You are never going to know what you can do until you try. I'm so glad I did!

I'd love to hear what your "it" is. Share it with me in the comments below.


  1. This is so helpful and interesting! I look forward to hearing about your next steps.

  2. Thank you! And thanks for coming by! It was great to see you!