The dish on the craft fair…

Saturday, April 6th was Checkerberry Lane Studio’s craft fair debut! What a thrill to finally be at the point where the creating was finally finished and the excitement was building for the big booth set-up and sale!  We were able to set up at this venue the night before the fair which took some of the pressure off. My husband and son gave me a hand with the heavy stuff and then I saved the actual product set-up for the next morning.  I was excited to get there and start arranging my display!  I also really enjoyed meeting some of the other vendors who stopped over to say “hi” and once my display was all in place, I ventured out to greet my neighbors and to shop the Fair myself!

CLS_Craft Fair Photo2

One of the best parts for me was seeing so many friendly and familiar faces. I told a lot of people about this Fair, hoping some would drop by and I was so happy with the turn-out. Everyone who came for me specifically, was so loving and supportive and it really made me feel self-assured and helped to build on the happiness and excitement I was already experiencing just from being a part of it and having my handmade goodness on display.

I found many, if not all of the other vendors at this fair to be extremely helpful and friendly. Though the traffic was spotty at times and the overall attendance was probably around 200 people total, I feel like my sales were really good.

My cards were my top-selling item—-I sold 68 of them out of 140!  My next best-selling items were my post-it note clip boards, followed by my pad & pen sets and then my boxed, flat note card sets. Overall I sold about 1/4 of the inventory I had available.

From this data I have learned two things:

  1. I made more than enough, at least for this Fair – I was in no danger of selling-out of anything, and
  2. Based on what sold well and customer comments, I have ideas for some new items to offer as well as knowing what items will probably be good staples for my booth.

I know every Fair is different and my sales will be different every time. One Fair the cards will sell best another time it will be my cute, posie bookmarks, and another fair it will be something else, but being selected for this juried Fair plus the reaction people had to my booth and my products really built up my confidence as a crafter and I learned a lot about owning a little business through this face-to-face retail experience.

Cards

Financially, I am well on my way to earning back the investment I made in this venture. I am seriously looking forward to doing more fairs and even got some good leads from other crafters on Saturday! After thinking it through and considering the products I’m selling, my best opportunities to do well will be some inside craft fairs later this Fall. I’m thinking “Saturdays only” in October (due to my son’s football schedule) and weekends in November and early December. I think I have the potential to do really well at Holiday Craft Shows so that’s what I’m looking for and applying to right now…

TagSets+Notepads

As I’ve mentioned previously, a TON of research went into making this first showing of mine a positive and disaster-free experience. I couldn’t have done as well as I did without all of the information I read from generous bloggers who are also crafters who are also successful craft fair participants after years of trial and error and then sharing the “what-to-do’s” with people like me. I mentioned a little “surprise” I had for you in my post last night— as a gift to you, should you be interested in reading more on this craft fair topic…

I have compiled 25 of the best tips and tricks I came across that helped me find CRAFT FAIR SUCCESS!  I’ve put them together into a little publication to share with you.  You can find it here and you can print it off anytime you like since it will reside in the margin of my blog as a little freebie for anyone who needs it.

If you have questions or comments you wish to make re: my craft fair experience (or your own!!) please do so in the comments area or email me privately at 27checkerberry@gmail.com… As always,  I’d love to hear from you and always welcome your comments and questions.

Comments

  1. Diane M says:

    Congratulations on your success. Thank you for the tips and tricks.

  2. What a great review of the craft fair and the 25 tips for success are wonderful!! Thank you for taking the time to put it all together. So many can benefit from your experience Kris. Your display was beautiful and now I know why looking at the thought and consideration that went in to producing it and the beautiful products you offered. You are amazing honey!

  3. Congratulations!!! Your booth looks great and I’m thrilled you did so well on your first show! So happy for you!!!

  4. Your display is amazing – so beautiful and professional looking. I’m sure it drew crowds just by the set up. Glad you did well – the cards look fantastic the way you have them presented as well as their appearance!