First Craft Fair

craft fair table at amyhoodarts.com

So Saturday I attended my first fair as a vendor. It wasn’t a craft fair, not really; it was a school fair with some vendors. People don’t necessarily attend because they’re looking to buy things. (For the kids, it’s a mandatory school day.) As you can see, the weather was beautiful, despite initial forecasts of heavy rain. I completely forgot to have my husband take a picture of me at the table, so this is the picture I have!

I looked at this event as a trial run of attending a fair, from what to bring, using the technology, setting up and breaking down, and what sold. My goal was small: I wanted to at least make back the cost of being there, and I did. I had items priced in a wide range, from $3 to $30, but all my sales, except for two cards, were of zippered pockets.

As for nuts-and-bolts details, if I’m going to make a habit of attending craft fairs, I will want a real sign and a better way to display the cards and notebooks, I think. I got a chance to use the PayPal Here card reader and learned to connect it first thing, because it took a bit–but then it did work. I enjoy talking to people whether they buy anything or not. I like what I do and like to explain what inspires my designs, and it’s a pleasure to talk to someone who’s interested. We were able to set up and break down fairly easily and quickly, but I was glad my husband was there to do most of the work with the tent.

So it was a good learning experience and my modest goals were met. And it’s fun to sell to people in person, to see someone decide that they really want to take home something I’ve made. I sold one of my favorite pouches, the one with a design inspired by Western Salsify embroidered onto Japanese cotton:

Salsify (1)

As I’ve said before, I choose the linings carefully, because I want the inside to be as pleasing as the outside.
Salsify (3)

When the customer unzipped the pouch to look inside, she exhaled, “Oooh.” Yes. That is exactly what I’m going for, and I think the ability to witness it in person is a good reason to make a point of selling at a fair every now and then.

14 thoughts on “First Craft Fair

  1. Laurel

    I think my grandmother used to sell at craft fairs. She would make a lot of country stuff like covers for air fresheners and brooms. I would love to sell at craft fair. I just haven’t figured out what to make yet!

    1. amy Post author

      It’s going to be hard to tell if it’ll be worth it, money wise. They cost a bit to get into!

  2. karen

    it sounds like it was a success for you! I think when you set a manageable goal then you cannot be disappointed. My sister sews a lot of stuff and sells them to many friends and people at her work. She is amazed at what sells and what does not. hit or miss….

  3. Alicia

    Congrats on the fair, I just did my first one on Saturday, too! It’s good to start with manageable goals. Figuring out how best to display items on the table is one of the hardest parts!

  4. carolyn

    Congratulations! A smart goal, some wonderful products, looks like the weather cooperated too. I know it was gorgeous here! I’m so happy you were successful!

  5. donna lee

    I imagine it feels quite satisfying to have accomplished your goals and to have had a good time doing it. I have always toyed with the idea of making and selling handmade items but the time involved was not something I wanted to invest. I think I enjoy doing the craft and then I manage to give so much away.

    I think in my mind, it’s something I made so it can’t possibly be worth someone paying money for (and yes, I know that’s just poor self esteem speaking).

    1. amy Post author

      I struggled with that for a long time! My attitude was, “If I can do it, it can’t be that hard, so where’s the value?”

      I’m still not sure I can make this be profitable. That’s another issue…

  6. Teika Bellamy

    Well done Amy! I love your beautiful handmade items and one day I’m definitely going to buy one of your zippered pouches. They are stunning and I really couldn’t make them myself.

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