Craft Fair

As most of you know, I did my first ‘proper’ craft fair on Sunday just gone. It was at the gorgeous old building of Victoria Baths just a mile or so from Manchester city centre. I didn’t sell much ( a piece of rainbow felt, 3 bookmarks, a credit card holder, a felted soap, a coin pouch and a heart shaped ring pouch) but I did pay for the cost of the stall, and I did meet a lot of nice people. A wet/needlefelt artist had a stall in the row behind mine, she had lots of nice pieces, but I didn’t get her details. Maggie was upstairs, she had a lot of nice felt pieces and had been felting for a long time, and she sold me some dyed flax for a bargain price! This is Maggie’s stall:

She had some gorgeous woven and cobweb scarves:

Opposite the end of my row was Jude. She does pretty much everything! From washing raw fleece, to dyeing it mostly with natural dyes, spinning it up into gorgeous yarns and then knitting it into amazing shawls and hats. She also felts and does workshops teaching her many skills. This was Jude’s stall, unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of her spinning wheel.

These are some of her yarns. I think she said her dad turned the bowls himself. Just disappearing to the right are some needlefelted sheep with hand dyed locks:

My stall was a lot neater when I first set it out, but I only took photos nearer the end. This is most of it:

And this is the other end:

If anyone has been put off doing a craft fair because of lack of transport, I thought I’d show you how I took my things. You might remember my ‘granny’ trolley from a post last year, that is what I used to take everything to the fair in. I used a large ‘document’ box, and a couple of shoe boxes. This is the smallest shoe box I used:

In this, I had 7 pieces of felt.

This is the second shoe box I used:

In this I had all my greetings cards, handmade felted soap, a receipt book, some business cards, a couple of mirror cases, a glasses case, ring pouch, coaster and lots of bookmarks.

The document box, which came flat and cost 70p from Ikea, measures 10 inches high, 10 inches deep and is 13 inches wide.

In this I managed to fit: 3 large gadget sleeves; 22 phone/camera sized cases; 2 glasses cases; 13 credit card and coin pouches; 5 purses; 3 slim gadget cases; 6 A5 notebooks and 8 A6 notebooks. I think I had even more in it on the way there!

I did have a small shopping bag with the table cloth cover, some paper bags and my woolly vessel in, but almost everything else was in the trolley.

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25 Responses to Craft Fair

  1. koffipot says:

    Thanks for sharing all the photos of the stalls. They all look great. Did the others sell much?

    The granny trolley is a good idea, even if you do have your own transport. Sometimes the parking isn’t close to the venue.

    Perhaps a pre-Xmas show would get more sales. That’s what I’m hoping for anyway! 🙂

    • zedster66 says:

      Thanks, Judith 🙂
      I think the stalls next to me had quite a few sales, it looked like greetings cards, but I’m not too sure. The needlefelt artist always had lots of people around, but Jude said she didn’t sell much, just enough to cover the stall price, but has done the Christmas one and it is worth the increased stall cost.

  2. Lyn says:

    It seems very unfair that you didn’t sell much – it must have been because of the competing attractions (sport) of that weekend.
    Your stall looked very inviting with a lovely mix of goodies, and I love your labels.
    Do try a Christmas fair!
    I’m amazed at your packing skills.

    I liked looking at the photos of the other stalls and I hope that lack of trade was partly compensated by the enjoyment of talking to the other stall-holders and comparing notes.

    • zedster66 says:

      Thanks, Lyn 🙂
      I wish my unpacking skills were as good, most things are still all over the place 🙂
      It was nice looking at the other things, I wish I’d had more time for that actually.

  3. Judy says:

    Hello Zed, I loved looking at all your very beautiful felted creations. The boxes for transport is a very neat idea. Your booth was great looking. I think it would be fun to sell your art at a art fair but I also think it would be a lot of hard work too. Hugs Judy

    • zedster66 says:

      Thanks, Judy 🙂
      It does feel good when someone buys something, or even just says it’s nice, but yeah, a lot of hard work and time.

  4. josiedb says:

    Hello Zed, Your work is lovely. I enjoyed looking at your work and how you displayed it so nicely.

  5. luvswool says:

    That was quite a big effort to setup and takedown, but it sounds like you enjoyed the process. On to the next fair!

    • zedster66 says:

      Once I’d worked out which boxes would fit in the trolley and how, it was just really a case of seeing how much would fit in! I actually packed up in about 10 minutes.

  6. I am glad you enjoyed yourself even if sales where not great. I know most people make their money on Christmas sales. If I can make a suggestion. Flip you document box upside down on your table and cover it with a cloth and then use one of the shoe boxes on top wrapped in a cloth to put the book marks sticking up. It will get some height on the table and attract more interest. The bonus is you don’t need to bring anything more than a couple more small clothes.

    • zedster66 says:

      That’s a brilliant idea, Ann, and one I remember you and a few others suggesting now I’ve been reminded, thanks for that 🙂

  7. Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

    Zed, everything looked wonderful and you have such a terrific process for transporting! Ann has good advice, we used to do that at trade shows to give some of the items more prominent position and vary the layout. I’m glad you made some contacts. This was good practice for the big Christmas fair! Personally, I couldn’t have resisted half the things on your table. The other ladies had very nice displays and products as well.

  8. Good job, Zed! Getting the hang of it!

  9. Hi Zed. You have a nice mix of products and you did sell so that’s a great start. My experience of these events is very limited but I found you just can’t predict sales. I sold loads at my first fair and, several weeks later at the same venue, absolutely nothing. Good luck with the next one and I bet you won’t have anything left to pack after you have done the Christmas fair!

    • zedster66 says:

      Thanks a lot 🙂
      I think getting to know the type of people who visit certain fairs can help, something you probably only get through experience and talking to others. Or take a huge amount and swap it all if there’s no interest 🙂

  10. ruthlane says:

    Looks like a good start. I was going to say the same thing as Ann. Different levels would really help. But I’m glad you sold things and your packing skills are the best 🙂

  11. Packing and transporting is really a big deal when you are doing a craft show. Beautiful display and good advice.

  12. Leonor says:

    I’m one of those people who are a bit afraid to do a craft fair! Thanks for posting this, I think it helps us undecided ones to give it a go 🙂 Amazed at your packing skills! I’d be all over the place…

    • zedster66 says:

      Thanks Leonor 🙂
      I was worried a bit about the ‘etiquette’ of wandering round, talking to others, but a few people came up and talked to me and it became obvious that it was the norm to look around/encourage others before doors open. It made me feel more comfortable.

    • Leonor says:

      Ooh I’d love the socialising bit! Must do a fair soon(ish) 🙂

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