So far I have only ever broken even, or made a very small profit, at each of my four craft fairs. However, I LOVE THEM!!!!!
There is nothing quite so lovely than being in a place with other similarly minded folk.
After the scramble to set up my stall I have taken to introducing myself to my neighbouring stall holders, if they haven’t done so already, and during the several lulls during the day finding out what brings them to sell their craft.
So far, amongst the reprobates, I have met: –
A crime scene officer who was selling his wife’s handmade jewellery range (she was back home suffering in bed). He had an amazing patter with his customers. He knew his wife’s extensive range inside and out. He found out a persons favourite colour or asked if the customer if they had a particular outfit they were hoping to match some jewelry with. He steered the children towards the bangles. He encouraged everyone to try something on. He knew all the stones and semi precious jewels that had been used within all the pieces. It was his first fair and he took a small fortune!!! I could learn alot from this man.
Note to self – improve on the banter.
An ex nurse who was selling her homemade chilli based chutneys, jams and oils. This lady had supported her husband as his financial based job took them abroad for log periods. Now, with children of school age, they had settled down in a nearby town while her husband continued to work away for several days at a time. This stall holder had an eyecatching brand logo that ran across her whole range. Her stall was immaculate with bottles and jars laid out like soldiers. Samples of produce was provided with bread to dip. She rigorously cleaned up every splash or crumb.
She invited every single person to try. And most bought.
A swimming teacher who was promoting her range of candles. She told me about the importance of having a facebook page to promote my small business. When I said I had a facebook account but I wouldnt want a bunch of strangers as friends, I realised she meant a business facebook account. Whilst she used hers to promote sales, candle parties and run competitions, I now appreciate how others with business facebook accounts are willing to ‘share’ each others posts and therefore cover a much larger audience. For those customers already daily keeping in touch with their friends and family on facebook they are only a couple of clicks away from looking for you if they have been supplied with a bag or card with your details on.
Another note to self – now you have a business facebook account, get some stuff on it!!!!!
Another police officer, this time a lady, severly disillusioned with her choosen career, selling her delicious homemade fresh chocolate, truffles and fudge. I can see that in times of recession folks will always buy themselves a small treat to eat. And they did.
I was good and didn’t spend my paltry takings on her chocolates. She shared out her left-over samples though:)
Another lovely lady stall holder came to look at my stall at one of the fairs(the improved stall, I hasten to add). It came to light that she was selling textile based products, like myself. She, like myself, had started out recently. She said she did not really mention to her friends what she was doing ‘on the side’. She said she felt a bit embarassed about sewing to sell and she didn’t know what reaction she would get from her friends. I can tell you this lady was seriously missing a trick!!! Her stuff was beautiful, right on trend, with a cracking stall to boot. I told her she ought to be proud of her talents as many would like to be able to produce such items.
I think that sometimes we belittle what we do. We are our own harshest critic. As it comes so easy to some of us, we wonder why on earth people would pay for our goods.
The common theme amongst all those I have met is that most of us would describe our mad efforts to book the stall, plan for the event, get up early to get to the stall, feel absolutely knackered by the end of the day, as a mere hobby, something to keep us occupied in the evenings, or a break from the pressures of work.
However, we all habour a secret desire to be next Cath Kidston, Levy Roots or Jo Malone.
- Turning your crafting hobby into a business Part 2 (sewsuzie.wordpress.com)