Saturday, November 5, 2011

Craft Fair ~ Tips From an Amateur

This Friday, I participated in a Holiday Shopping Spree/Craft Fair.....and I am exhausted!!  I'm pretty sure my anxiety levels were thru the roof all week, but I had some amazing support from my family and friends...they are awesome!! It took me about 3 weeks to prepare, but honestly, next time I will take much more time.  This is my 4th show in the past 2 years and I am learning some things!

My "table" ended up being 2 square-ish tables pushed together so my tablecloths just barely covered, but that's okay!  I made my banner, which I am very proud of :o)  My sister was a total graphic design rock star and made all of my order forms, business cards, price tags, etc.   She makes everything about Sweet and Sassy look good...and she's my biggest fan.  LOVE that girl!!

Close pic of the left side of my table. I found these great teal damask boxes in the dollar section at Target!!

Tips from the Craft Show Experience:

1.  Bring and assortment of items ~ It's hard to know what kind of products to make and bring...every show is different and will have a different set of clientele.  You can always take orders.

2. Come prepared ~ Bring scissors, tape (masking and clear packing tape), several pens, tablecloths, paper, cash/change box, clipboards for order forms, markers (I totally used this, too!), shopping bags

3.  Price things evenly unless you are able to take debit/charge cards and checks ~ neither you nor your customers will want to hassle with change so make it simple and keep prices even

4.  Bring $50 in change ~ 20 ones, 2 fives, and 1 ten

5.  Brand yourself ~ this is one I learned from my sister.  Everything needs to have your name or logo on it, if at all possible.  Everything about your table should scream your brand...that means the colors of the items you use for display, order forms, business cards, display cards, banner, price list, logo on the table (which I had but my frame broke).  I had so many people come up to my table and read my banner out loud.  I am going to add "Boutique" for my next show.  Of course, some people don't read at man came by and misread it Sweet and!!  Yeah, hairbows and headbands, very fitting!  Anyway, some of my display cards were too large so I made my own with my cricut, but all were in my colors of red and teal.  If I didn't have to sing in a wedding after, I would've worn red or teal just to match my table!  This may sound nuts, but it's what works!

6.  Be Friendly ~ I know this should be an easy one, but greet every person who looks your way, even if they just keep walking.  Smile and be genuine. Your product should "sell itself" but you will have so many more customers if you talk to them!  I had 2 girls that kept coming to my table to look and I talked to them about everything...what grade they were in, what they liked about school, what they were asking Santa for, all that good stuff.  They probably came back 5 times, and finally bought a headband.  

7.  Price your items and then hold firm ~ this isn't a yard sale, so stick with your prices!!  People might balk at spending $8 on a headband and walk away, but don't sell yourself short just to make a couple dollars. Offer items in all items went from $2 to $10...something for everyone!

8.  Don't spend all your money on display items ~ think outside the box here and utilize the Dollar Store!  I made my hairbow displays out of $1 frames, got $1 glass jars for little hairbows, found my teal damask display boxes for $1 at Target, and my headband display for $15 from Ross.  It was the most expensive display at my table but had 4 "shelves" to house the different headband types!  My riser in the middle was a cardboard box full of stuff to keep it stable.

9.  Sketch out your table ahead of time ~ this is just the best way to play with where you will put everything and how it will sit on your table...if you need risers, baskets, etc.

10.  Wear comfortable clothes and shoes (flats are just awesome!) and wear your item if possible ~ obviously if you bake cupcakes, this might be a challenge.  I make silk flowers, so I had one in my hair.  You will be standing most of the time, so be ready...I always take Advil ahead of time just to prevent soreness in my feet, legs, and back.

11.  Buying in ~ Don't pay more for the table than you think you can make back, plus more for your time and efforts.  I know this might sound pretty common sense.  While I was at this show I was invited to another craft show that is pretty exclusive and very tempting...but the table was $75.  That right there turned me off since that is a whole lot of hairbows just to make up the cost of the table.

Okay, those are my tips....I am sure I left out a lot, but I hope it's helpful to someone!  Now, I am going to bed!


  1. AWESOME!!! You did such a great job pulling everything together!! Sounds like it was such a great learning experience!! I loved all of your tips and suggestions; they are VERY helpful :)

  2. this looks so wonderful! the tips and suggestions are so helpful! i am a new follower via your pinterest site :) I blog in two places: (my silly blog) and (my business blog). look forward to checking out your blog. i love all the crafts you have on here!


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