Wednesday, 8 June 2011

First Fair musings and a plea for help!

Hello to you all on this fine morning. Just a few pictures of the fair to share with you today and a few thoughts .......

I shared my stall with my good friend and was so pleased I did. We did have a very good laugh even though trade wasn't brisk. 

                                                 My part of the stall included tea and coffee cosies........

Pretty fabric tote bags.........

A selection of ipod/phone pouches......

.......and cushions and pictures.

So what did I learn...........

Postioning - I don't think our position was a bad one it's just that the layout of the stalls was not done in a way to encourage customers on a logical path which would make sure they could visit or have the opportunity to visit each stall at the fair. So next time I would definitely study the customer flow. Is that something you would normally ask?

Pricing - I seem to have got that right, although you'll always get the odd one who doesn't understand what 'unique' or 'individually hand-crafted' means.

Product - People did seem to like my stuff especially the pictures, although I was surprised I didn't sell a single ipod/phone pouch, my cheapest item, I thought this was a sure fire winner.

Promotion - The signage advertising the show locally was superb and it was a very well organised event, but a few more signs inside the show educating the customers as to what is available and where would have been beneficial. If I do an event as large as this again I might think about making my own sign.

Note to self: Don't agree to take a stall three weeks before an event when you don't actually have any stock!
I would be very interested to hear of any comments any of you more knowledgeable ladies may have regarding 'the craft fair'.

Whilst working like a dervish in the vain attempt to have something to sell at the fair I realised my handmade items were lacking a certain something - labels , you know, handmade by redneedle that sort of thing. Now  my PLEA FOR HELP is to ask my lovely blog friends if they can recommend a suitable label supplier, perhaps someone you use on a regular basis or a company you know of with a good reputation. I have had a look on-line but there are billions so I thought initially this was the best approach to find a good 'un.

Thats it now I promise I won't go on about the fair any more. Tomorrow I'd like to show you my revamped key cupboard, so pop along if you have the time to spare.



    I have used these, you can get pretty colours and fonts and they are a great starter price.

    Something else I always do is to have a good sized cloth to hide any of my surplus stock under the table - we use a rosali king sized duvet which is perfect!

    Your stall looks gorgeous, a great variety of things to buy - you are very talented x

  2. Hi Caroline!
    Your stall goodies look wonderful!
    Is a good idea sometimes to share a stall as long as you are sure you have enough space for your own goodies and that your friend is reliable (i had one who let me down at the 12th hour,car all packed and just about to leave - had to rope poor old hubby in to help as was winter outdoor fair and had to erect my own gazebo!)
    Just cos iPod cases didnt sell this time doesnt mean they wont another - they are lovely and if well priced are just waiting for the right buyers.
    I use Woven Labels UK for mine ( they are woven school type labels on a strip, but wider and with a whole range of colours to choose from - can also play around wth colour schemes online and view before you commit. Are good price and they come quickly.
    In return might I ask where you got your natural linen (used in your ipod cases)from? Am having a devil of a job locating good quality reasonable priced cloth.
    Gill xx

  3. Ps Like Annie above I always have full length cloth to hide all packagin, extra stock, etc etc from sight.
    I also have a sign with my name and my "wares" to attach to front of stall/stand on stall top,and i have business cards to take or pop into bags when i sell - can buy cheap paper bags in bulk online. Also i string some of my bunting along front of stall and round gazebo if outside. (this is making me want to do another fair!)

  4. He he - I'll just pop the bill in the post Caroline ;) !!!
    I am so glad to be of any help - its all so exciting when you first set out!
    Thanks for the fabric info - i never thought of good old ikea - they do amazing value stuff!
    Gill xx

  5. Hi Caroline, your stall and handmade items looked lovely, I used to do craft fairs with a friend a few years ago, so much fun. I use Woven Labels Uk , you can choose the design you like and I was really pleased with them. Good luck xx

  6. Your stall looks delicious! I bet you'll soon have enough stock for a table to yourself too, can't believe you got all that made in 3 weeks! I agree with the other ladies about a larger cloth to hide things under the table, even if you just use a sheet in the first instance. Large bulldog clips help hold sheets in place so that all your stock doesn't end up on the floor if a child gives it a tug.
    I have used woven name tapes in the past but found the size/shape of them too restricting, then I made my own which were great but a big faffing about session. Yesterday I had some beautiful woven labels arrive from China that I had made for me on a friend's recommendation. I am really very happy with them and considering you can upload your very own full colour design they are really incredibly cheap. I was concerned that if I needed help (which I did) there might be a language barrier but they are fluent in English so my experience was great. If you click on the blog link you can see examples of their work. If you'd like me to send you one of my labels to have a look at drop me your address and I'll post one out to you.
    Vistaprint is great for business cards, nice quality, some good designs or build/upload your own and again incredibly cheap.
    The best tip I picked up when craft fairing is to simply giftwrap - maybe just a little tissue paper tied with a ribbon or something. It seems to create interest in your stall - if one person is lingering at your stall you can be sure a few more will join them! Pop a business card or two in with every purchase. The amount of invites I've had to attend other craft fairs through doing this is quite amazing!
    Sorry for the essay - I'm so long winded!x

  7. Oh my word, it really is long - ops!

  8. Your stall looked lovely - congratulations! Not surprised the pictures did well! Customers were a bit thin on the ground on Saturday where I was selling too - good weather plus sport and end of half term, I think. Lots of great advice up above - I'd just add that I get my labels from Cash's, who seem cheaper for larger numbers, but I don't know if the labels are of comparable size to Woven Labels UK.

  9. Caroline, this is the site that made my labels:

    Your stall looks beautiful as does your stock, I would be very proud. I think that Spring and Summer are going to be sluggish this year, to the extent that I have spoken to fellow crafters and we are going to postpone selling until September. It really is tough out there at the moment.

  10. I agree with everyone else your stall looks lovely! I also had a quiet selling day last wkend. I think you could definately ask about location it can't harm. I also use vistaprint and have used their basic postcards and clear bags as display/wrap (hard to explain but this is what I mean if u scroll down to hairclip hoders - I have used woven labels and they were great though 144 just seemed to disappear so I asked around and was recommended fancy weaver on etsy (Hong Kong). I decided to be v brave and order and am so happy. They are the same size as woven labels but now have website and care instructionns too. Happy to send you one like Alison as it's worth considering because I got 1200 for same price as 144 (they'll sell at some point I'm sure! ha ha). I did a blog post about it here Sorry for the war and peace reply, hope it helps, Keri

  11. ive taken part in a random craft fair 3 times so far, just for fun mostly, rather than selling and earking and i must say that customers do like to surprise sometimes with their likings and way of perceiving hand made products.
    position of a stall does matter a lot and so does pricing and even the weather on the day of the event...

    think you have learn lot and ur conclusions are just right!

    well done! lovely stuff u had! :)

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