I participated in my first craft fair last year, on 11/1/14. I'm not sure how well it comes across in writing, but I'm quite an introvert, so doing this show was very scary for me. I had several reasons to participate though, so I did.
Reason #1-It's good to do things out of your comfort zone sometimes. It helps you grow as a person. This craft fair was a good first choice for me, as it was at my church. A lot of people can be overwhelming for me, so I go to the smaller Saturday service, which means the majority of the people attending the fair didn't know me. They were still nice, which I expected.
Reason #2-I REALLY wanted to use up some of the fabric I already had in my stash. Oh did I! I had SO MUCH FLEECE it was borderline ridiculous. I had all this fleece from when I was making cloaks for the renfaire. I haven't done that in years. I chose to make a crap ton of fringe scarves with the fabric. They were a fantastic seller!! Not quite disclosing where I am located, but it's a safe bet it's not Pittsburgh. So why was the Steelers scarf the first one to sell? Ha. Why did I have that fabric at all? No accounting for the taste of football teams of the people I used to work with (Changed jobs this summer). I had purchased the fabric to make two scarves for two co-workers. I ended up selling them at the fair. See why it's good I'm at a new job. ;)
Reason #3-Who couldn't use some extra spending cash around Christmas? I was so anxious before this fair. I kept going back and forth with self doubt and delusions of grandeur. The fair cost me nothing for the table, as I'm a member of the church. I used fabric and other materials from my stash, so there wasn't any cost there. I made $132 in sales on that day! All my sales were the fleece scarves and the wine bottle bags I made. The very nice lady who organized the event told me that several years ago she had had good luck with the wine bottle bags, and I should probably stay away from crochet as those items tended not to sell.
Dry run on my Dining Room table, trying to make sure I had enough to fill up my table at the fair.
Though the event was free, I kept changing the amount (in my head) I was going to donate back to the church. The more I sold, the more they got. I ended up giving back $32 to the church.
I did have some crochet items on the table, but I didn't expect them to sell. Really. I didn't. I needed something to fill out the table, and I already had the items made. It would have just been a bonus if they sold. I tend to do a theme for handmade Christmas, and last year it was Scarves. Each of these scarves was made for a specific person, and had they sold, I would have had time to re-make them before Christmas.
My attempt at a display. Big plans for this years display!
I live very close to church, and worked very close to home, so instead of bringing these Christmas gifts back home after the fair, I just brought them into work on that day. This actually resulted in an additional $50 in sales. I sold the front desk guard two scarves on the spot, and she ordered an Eagles scarf and hat. Woohoo!
One lady at church wasn't sure if someone would like a certain teams scarf as a gift, so she ended up just buying one for herself and called me to order a second one, which was delivered to church the next week. It was already made, so yay!
I also was very frugal with my display items, which is good, because I didn't end up using all of them. This year I do have items to go on the easel type wire display. All of these items were purchased at the thrift store.
I was left with 6 unsold wine bottle bags. I've made 36 more to sell this year. I had maybe 10 fleece scarves left after the fair. Including the ones to the above, I was able to sell 6 more after the fair. The remaining 4 went back into the mix to sell this year. I made a ton more, whittling away my fleece stash to nearly nothing! SCORE!!! A few additional items are also in the mix to sell this year. You can read about them here.
All in all, I think the event was successful on all three fronts. What do you think? Have you been a vendor at a craft fair? What was your experience like?