My First Craft Fair – Planning

I jumped right into my first craft fair. I did not even have my Etsy shop up before it happened. I didn’t even have my product lines all designed (and I was only aiming for 3-4 solid lines). I am a foolish mortal. But there are lots of articles out there to help you be prepared for your first craft fair, and I thought I would add some helpful observations for the frugal mompreneur, as well.

Planning My First Craft Fair from The More With Less Mom

This article is a 3-part series, join my mailing list to get the next installment the minute it is posted!

Cross-posted on my shop site, HousePunkery

In this series: Planning for Your First Craft Fair ~ Preparing for Your First Craft Fair ~ At the Event of Your First Craft Fair

Planning for Your First Craft Fair

Process photo - Dragon plaque colored but not glittered, flourish not yet done

To find a craft fair check your state’s main pages. I found a great listing on NH.com

For your first craft fair look for one that is indoors, and possibly even provides table and chairs. You don’t want to put a ton of money into a tent and set up, and then find that you absolutely detest sitting there and smiling and chatting for 6 hours. Start small and try to find the things you need used, like folding tables off of Craigslist (beware the old tables that weigh a ton).

Lucky for me, there was a small craft fair in my hometown, and I thought it would be a good way to get my feet wet. I had four weeks to prepare, and absolutely nothing started. I had considered opening a shop for years, I had made the decision to do it, I had considered several product ideas, I had even opened an Etsy shop and slapped some almost-free printables up there. But the only item I had made was one demo of one item, which of course did not come out to my satisfaction. I was a little daunted.

Process photo - photo shoot setup for doodadsI had thought of a good name a while ago and bought the domain, and threw up a WordPress site so it would be easy for me to post once I was ready. Luckily, I have been helping my sister a little with her shop, so I had some knowledge of the Etsy side of things. I knew what I wanted my item photos to look like, I knew what I wanted my listings to look like. I knew that I should take photos of the process so I would have something to post on my site and social media. I knew I needed a cohesive look for my branding. I knew that I needed business cards STAT, and preferably a banner. I had the advantage of having been considering this for years, so I had a lot of ideas and a picture in my head of my look/brand.

I did not have the advantage of having a lot of disposable income to put into it. Like, the $52 for one table, one chair, and one stool (never mind the stupid tent), seems like an insurmountable goal. I started buying supplies off of eBay, most items 1 or 2 dollars, and proceeded to wait weeks for them to arrive from the nether regions of some far-off exotic country. I bought “free” business cards and a small banner from VistaPrint ($12 total), with a discount code. I babysat and used that money for my craft fair table fee (this one is indoors and provides tables and chairs). I may have tricked my sister into buying me ink at one point (have you looked at how much ink costs you per ounce, that stuff is like liquid gold). I already had a lot of supplies, like cardstock and TONS of glitter. BUCKETS of glitter.

Process photo - octopus unplastic wrap in oven

They say do what you love, and I know if I get stuck doing 100 of something for someone I better like doing it, so most of my items have lovely glitter. Sparkly things make me happy. Making things for people makes me happy too, so that works out.

As I made the items I took photos so I could get my items listed on Etsy and my site. I did an article on making your own lightbox for photography. The best thing is to take your item outside for natural light, but April is not photography-friendly in these here parts. I have found that just having two desk lamps with tracing paper taped over them helps a lot with lighting for indoor photography. Also, take two so if you shake the camera taking the picture you still have the other one that isn’t blurry. Even still, I already want to do the photos over. But chasing my toddler and preschooler off to get it done is hard, man.

I am detail-oriented, so I knew I needed to read up on being a vendor at a craft fair, or I would get myself stuck on little details and mess up the big picture. Through the wonders of the hyperwebs, there is a vast amount of e-knowledge that you can tap into on just about any subject. See the end of this article for a few helpful links, and don’t forget to check Pinterest.

Melissa is ready to man the craft fair booth

Sisterly awesomeness deserves some Facebook Likes and Etsy shop Favorites, don’t you think?!

In this series: Planning for Your First Craft Fair ~ Preparing for Your First Craft Fair ~ At the Event of Your First Craft Fair


We hope you enjoyed our Planning My First Craft Fair post

Photo credits:
All photos by me, The More With Less Mom

HousePunkery

[contentblock id=7]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.