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Topic: finding the right craft fair?  (Read 2385 times)
Lola
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« on: May 09, 2013, 04:03:55 PM »

Hi  I am at the stage where I am really wanting to try a craft fair, I have joined the UK craft fair website and I am quite surprised at how few there are on there to choose from  Shocked  I am also a bit stumped as to what type of fair I go too?, do I go to anything and everything from little church fairs to big huge massive shows? (I am thinking of a show that, 20,000 people visit!!), obviously there is more expense to the big shows, or should I cut my teeth at a school fete or something?

bit stumped on this whole craft fair thing

any suggestions or advice would be really appreciated,  Kiss

  :buttrf:
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Iulia
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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2013, 08:56:32 PM »

Hi

It is indeed very hard to find good fairs.

I would suggest cutting your teeth on small local ones that don't cost the earth. Unless you have experience of this sort of thing already, it can take a while to get a feel for setting up the stall, and dealing with the public.

Finding local stuff can be a challenge - but there are usually things going on this time of year. Check local papers, church/school notice boards, worth contacting local churches/schools/parish councils to see if any fetes are looming.

I would give a few local things a go as long as the table fee is reasonable.
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Lola
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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2013, 09:47:32 PM »

Thanks for your reply, I might just go as a spectator to a few big events this year, just to see how others set up/sell. I have retail experience, worked on lots of beauty counters in the past,  but this is different as its my own product I am selling so in effect I am selling me  :mwaha: oops. But you know what I mean.
I have been asked to do soap parties, so that may be my niche instead of doing little craft fairs.

 :buttrf:
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Denice
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2013, 10:08:49 PM »

I might just go as a spectator to a few big events this year, just to see how others set up/sell. I have retail experience, worked on lots of beauty counters in the past,  but this is different as its my own product I am selling so in effect I am selling me  :mwaha: oops. But you know what I mean.
I have been asked to do soap parties, so that may be my niche instead of doing little craft fairs.

 :buttrf:

It's worth looking at how other people set up, but TBH the best way is just to go for it!

I don't know what you're products are priced at - but that's a fairly good way to judge which fairs will work for you.  If you go to a wee school craft fair chances are no-one will spend more than a couple of £  on stuff.  Although one of my friends has done a few fairs at a school in a really posh are and done REALLY well selling our product which range from £4.5 -£8.00  (gift sets at £25). 
If you can find a couple in your area which you think would suit your market, whether it be schools, churches or farmers markets, just give it a go.  If you know the cost of the table/space (some are £x/table others want 10% of sales), look at that cost and any other costs for your set up - your goal for the first fair is to cover that cost.  If you don't make any more than that you've not lost anything and you've gained experience of doing a fair in a fairly 'safe' environment. 
The experience will help you to see what products people like, what they think of your stall and help you get your customer 'chat' refined.

Once you've got a few low key ones under your belt then go for some bigger ones which you've researched.
There's several threads which show  how people have laid out their stall and suggestions as to 'easy' ways to get set up.  Take a flask and/or some drinks with you, some easy to eat nibbles and wear comfy shoes and clothes.

Look at it as a learning experience and also fun - yes you are selling a little part of you.  You put so much into your products, but remember that's a huge selling point too - people are buying from someone who actually makes the product they're buying, they can ask you questions about the ingredients and advice about the suitability to their particular skin.

Have fun :buttrf:
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Iulia
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2013, 10:21:06 PM »

yeah I agree go for it. no substitute for experience  :buttrf:
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Lola
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2013, 11:30:45 PM »

Thanks Denice  Grin

 :buttrf:
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Loretta
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« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2013, 08:59:19 AM »

School fetes can be good to start with, plenty around at this time of the year, if you have children you will know that parents HAVE to go and have to spend otherwise all the other parents talk about you! School Christmas fairs can be good too, you really do have a captive audience!
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Loretta
Tanya
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« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2013, 04:45:55 PM »

My very first 'fair' was a boot sale market - did these for about 3 weeks before realising I was in the wrong place for my stuff!  Roll Eyes Did well but it didn't feel right. So, then someone asked me to do a coporate fair in Pfzier here. So, that was my first proper one! Then I searched around on FB - liking other craft sites etc. From this I was invited to join quite a few craft fairs. Once you start then when you start talking to other crafters about where they do their fairs etc it is only a matter of time that the ball starts rolling! Put time and effort into your display - to be honest it is the key in my opinion in drawing the customer to you. Then the rest is up to you. I absolutely love doing fairs, so will you! Stay small first get the feel and flow of how fairs are. My goal is to get to one of those big shows too!! Do the FB thingy too - you will soon find more  :buttrf: :buttrf:
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Vanilla
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« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2013, 05:10:24 PM »

I would say the best thing is to just go for any old craft fairs to start with, just to get used to it, and like Tanya says, a lot of them you only find out about from other stallholders once you're on the circuit. That's all I did, booked all the ones I could find in my local area (wasn't many but I could usually find one on somewhere each week from Easter - Xmas, of course you don't have to do them every weekend if you don't want to!) You will find that other crafters/organisers will invite you to other events, especially if there is no-one else selling soap in your local area. From doing a few you will realise which work best for you, you can't always go by what other people say; for example one event I always enjoyed & sold well at, but other sellers I knew were always complaining it was terrible for them & they stopped going! However for me it was great. Best of luck anyway, even if you don't sell much at some of them (there are a lot of terrible fairs unfortunatly), you will probably have fun & meet some nice people! HTH.
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Lola
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« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2013, 05:55:46 PM »

Great advice ladies...Thanks ever so much  Grin.. its really good being able to get advice from people who have experienced it first hand.
There is a craft fair that I keep looking at in a church not too far from me and its on every weekend from now till the end of the year, might be worth going for a look.

I asked about about the Frankfurt market in Birmingham for a giggle...I wasn't giggling for very long when they told me how much it was  Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked

 :buttrf:
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Denice
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« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2013, 10:03:41 PM »

Quote
Then I searched around on FB - liking other craft sites etc. From this I was invited to join quite a few craft fairs.

Actually that's a really good way to get to know where there's fairs locally.  We have a local crafters group on fb and people there are quite good at saying if there's a fair locally especially if there are a couple of tables needing filled.
If you can't find out if there's a local fb group, perhaps you could ask in a local craft centre about both fairs and also fb group

 :buttrf:
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Iulia
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« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2013, 03:24:01 PM »

think this is all excellent advice. There are for sure good and bad markets, but the best bet is starting on any reasonable prices local event, and networking with the other stall holders.

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Lola
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« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2013, 07:36:36 PM »

Yes definitely great advice from everyone and I have already found 3 craft fairs in my area within the next 6 weeks that I am thinking of booking, and that was just by looking on facebook like Tanya advised.

 Thank you everyone xx

 :buttrf:
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Lola
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« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2013, 11:37:17 PM »

I have booked my first event, its a glam girl pamper event in my local area, I am really excited

 WooHoo! Yipee!
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