Dipping a toe in the water!

Dipping a toe in the water!

How many of us have created and created, to the point where our creations are taking over our homes?!  I know I certainly have, and my partner Peter is reaching the point where he is considering moving into the garden shed!  I think there comes a point in everyone’s journey, when they realise that their hobby is taking too much room in their home, leaving little room for anything else.  Does this ring a bell or am I the only one who is feeling swamped by my creations?!


Talking with my friend Debi (who is a fellow crafter), we both realised that we have so many lovely creations that we will never use, never wear and have both saturated our gifts to family and friends.  So where do you go from here?


A while ago, I tried creating an Etsy account but I didn’t have much response.  When people searched for items like mine, my items were always at the bottom of the list.  Not being very experienced with online selling, I don’t have a clue how to promote my goods without spending a fortune.  But over a glass of wine (or two) one evening, Debi and I decided we should try dipping our toes into the world of Craft Fairs.  The thought of doing this on my own was terrifying!  But with my buddy by my side, the prospect didn’t seem half as scary, and I thought yes, we can do this!


Around the same time, I had created a new Facebook page entitled ‘Welsh Felters’ (what else would I call it?!!)

If you’d like to see my new Facebook page, please click the link: https://tinyurl.com/yvytnpkx   I’d love to know what you think?

Then, a day or so later, I was contacted by a lady called Jill, who has run a craft fair called ‘Made it Market’ for the last 8 years or so.   Jill introduced herself, and invited me to join in her next craft fair, which was to be held in St David’s Church, Neath on Saturday 23rd September.  Having shown the invite to my friend Debi, we agreed that we would give it a go.  How better to relieve our bursting homes of creations, with the prospect of meeting lots of like-minded people into the bargain?!


We both began sorting through our wares, to gather items we thought people might like to buy.  Debi, being a big crocheter, knitter and weaver, found a multitude of beautiful scarves, hats and Santa hats for wine bottles (bit of a theme here?!)  I gathered together various felted soaps, scarves, hand spun yarns and art yarns I had created.  I also had an idea to add to my wares by making wet-felted key rings…funny little creatures with googly eyes and hats!  Having started making the key rings, I discovered that they were really time consuming, so I quickly changed plans and decided to turn my wet-felted balls into cat toys instead…(yes, I probably didn’t need to think about making anything new but it’s so much fun to create!)


I found lots of feathers, ordered some ribbons and bells, and set about creating some cat toys.  I know, this was supposed to be about offloading some of my creations, not adding more to them, but I just couldn’t resist!  They were so much fun to make and far less fiddly than key rings!! I think they turned out pretty well.  I took one to Debi’s for her kitty to road test for me, and he absolutely loved it!  It also stood up pretty well to his best mouse-mutilating tactics!  So, having been thoroughly tested by Zeek, in the Quality Control Department, I was satisfied that they were good enough to sell in the craft fair.

A colourful array of feline entertainment toys!


Zeek the Tabby in full testing mode; he makes for a suitably qualified quality control employee!


One thing I hadn’t really thought about was the need for insurance.  However, once I received Jill’s paperwork, I realised that of course, we would need insurance!!  Have you looked at the cost of insurance?? Wow, it is expensive.  But, I then remembered that I am a member of the International Feltmakers Association.  I joined the Association about two years ago, when I heard they offer very good value for money, including a quarterly magazine… AND… included in your membership is insurance cover.  I had a look at the policy, and sure enough it would cover my stall, goods and also anyone with me (which included Debi!)  Having read and re-read the policy, I was satisfied that this insurance would suffice for any craft fair, so I was a very happy felter!  Having completed all the required documentation, we were duly booked onto the craft fair!! This was going to be soooo exciting!!!!


Having sorted out and prepared all of our wares, Debi and I were ready.  We had to have an early start, so we could get to the Church on time, in order to unload and put together our stall.   Jill’s husband Gareth had been tasked with the job of marshalling everyone on arrival, directing cars and ensuring that everyone could ‘stop, drop, park and then set up’!  It was clear to see that Jill was a school teacher in her previous role, as she had everything planned down to the minutest detail, including stall plans and directions for us all.  I was impressed with Jill’s level of organisation.  But to be fair, when you have a multitude of crafters arriving around the same time, you have to be organised or things could easily descend into utter chaos!

This is our lovely organiser Jill, with her husband Gareth.

Once we had set up our stall, I took some photos to mark the occasion….

Here I am, all ready for the 10am  start!


My very talented fellow crafter and friend extraordinaire, Debi


Some close-up shots of our stall….

A few stalls at the top end of the church

Our venue, the beautiful church of St. David, the Patron Saint of Wales (very fitting for Welsh Felters first craft fair)

We had a lovely time at the craft fair, meeting lots of new people and of course, selling our wares.  I even got approached by a lovely man who has opened a cafe, and who asked whether I wanted to rent a shelf to sell my creations…real networking in action!

After the craft fair was finished and we were at home relaxing with a well deserved cup of coffee (yes coffee, not wine!), Debi and I evaluated our day and considered what we would have done differently.  We both agreed that next time, we should have a table each in order to showcase our wares better.  The worry we had was not having enough to fill a stall, but having done our first craft fair, it was evident that we had more than enough!!! We also agreed that we needed a neater table cloth, one of those stretchy cloths that hook underneath the table legs.  The lady in the stall next door informed us that they are available to purchase online for around £10.  We also agreed that because we both have multiple health issues, the purchase of a wheelable trolley would be a definite asset to make loading and unloading far less challenging for us.    We agreed that we would definitely do this again, as it was a very enjoyable day, if very tiring!  I have to admit to falling asleep as soon as I got home! But all in all, we agreed that the day was a success and we are looking forward to our next craft fair!

With thanks to Jill at Made it Market  https://www.facebook.com/groups/197744683660217/?ref=share  for making our first fair such a positive and enjoyable experience!

17 thoughts on “Dipping a toe in the water!

  1. What a lovely setting for a craft fair! Your stall is very colourful and we would have been drawn to it instantly! Yes it would be a good idea to have a stall each so that you can have some space around things. It’s good that you’ve got a clear idea of how to improve your next craft fair (and how lovely that your insurance was covered by IFA).

    Good luck with your future sales – there must be a few Christmas Craft fairs near you soon and of course you need to promote your items as ideal gifts!

    1. Thank you, yes, we will definitely look to have a stall each next time. It was a good start and very helpful for future planning 🙂

  2. Agree with all your thought on improving your set up. It takes a long time to get things right. Thanks for the insurance tip. I’ve only had to buy it for one show. So. Did you make any money??!

    1. Hi, I did reply (see below).. for some reason it came up as anonymous and not linked to your comment, sorry.

  3. Lisa, your stall looks great and I’m glad you had some success with your first fair; here’s hoping it continues to happen. Unfortunately, after my initial success at such a fair (many moons ago now) I usually didn’t make enough to cover my stand fee, and, because I rarely could resist buying from others, I usually went home with more than I started with! I’ve decided to have a last try this Christmas (sorry to mention it!) with a couple of December fairs locally.
    This is obviously the best time of year to try craft fairs so I wish you and your friend all possible luck.
    Zeek is gorgeous and obviously loves the toy – I hope you let him keep it?
    St David’s Church is also amazing. A lovely venue.

    1. Thanks Ann, fingers crossed you do well this time.
      I have to admit, i did buy a lovely dress for my granddaughter!
      Zeek really is a beautiful kitty, and so agile!!!

  4. What a lovely fair Lisa. It’s a beautiful setting and your booth was very colorful. Doing your first fair/show always gives you ideas on how to improve. It’s hard work but hopefully, you had a lot of sales. Best of luck with your future craft fairs!

  5. Yes, we both made a profit so we were both happy. My biggest single sale came from a lovely elderly lady who bought two skeins of art yarn! But I threw in a felted soap for free (I’m such a sentimental lol)

  6. Congratulations on your first fair Lisa and boy you sure did have enough goodies to sell. It looks like a beautiful venue and I am picturing a real community atmosphere during the day.

    It’s great that you were able to tap into the IFA insurance policy. Sadly it only covers the UK based members, but no matter, it did the trick for you.

    best of luck with your next venture.

    1. Hi Helene,

      Thanks, yes, the venue was beautiful and it was very much a community feel, both by locality and in terms of the crafting community.

      I didn’t know that the insurance was UK only. That is such a shame, also unfair to all their international members. Probably the logistics of securing worldwide cover was too much of a headache! Hopefully they will be able to sort it out in the future, as it’s a great help.

      Hugs back,
      Liss & Alex

  7. What a lovely venue for a craft fare and great to hear you did well Lisa, your stall looked very enticing! I particularly like your art yarn and that beautiful collar you’ve made from it. I also like that you’ve put your felted soaps in those little organza bags, that’s a really nice touch.
    The IFA insurance is definitely a bonus for UK residents, I dread to think what it would cost nowadays. Here’s to success at many more fares!

  8. Thanks Karen, it was a good experience.

    I used the organza bags to make them more gift-worthy. They are such cute little bags and they’re reusable too, which is great.

    I’m glad you like the art yarn. It’s lovely to choose my own unique colourway, spin it and then weave it into something totally unique and wearable. It’s a wonderful craft and I’m totally hooked!!

    As for that insurance, I think we’re extremely lucky to benefit from it here in the UK. I got the cover and the magazines etc for less than i would have spent on just the insurance. Such good value for money.

  9. Fabulous! Glad your first craft sale was a positive experience. The elastic table cloth sounds interesting.

    1. Thank you, yes, the table covering seemed really neat and no risk of anyone tripping over it!

    1. Thanks Ann, yes it was very pretty there. I love architecture, so I enjoyed having a look around. I even photographed the back door!! The old lock was quite something!

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