Thought I would pop on here and repost my latest...
Well, it's safe to say the last week and weekend have been very busy! Last week's free time was all about preparing for my first ever craft fair. As I've said a few few times (sorry!) I was really quite nervous! I have been to craft fairs as a buyer a fair few times, but never as a seller. I wasn't really sure what to expect. Especially as this craft fair was somewhere that's never held one before, so I had no idea how popular it would be.
Anyway... the preparations began in my basement studio. I made sure I had collected everything together, from the table covering to framed prints to display and a clear "house style" including fonts, colours etc. I think it's important that it looks like effort has gone into it rather than it all just being slung on a table. I know as a customer, unless a craft stall looks attractive and interesting, I'm not particularly interested.
So this was a little snapshot of my "set-up" in my studio. (If you've spotted my typo in the picture- don't worry, I fixed it!) As you can see my snapshot includes some of my house style. I always make sure to use the same font and keep it nice and simple. I also thought it was important that people knew where my work was being made, after all, the craft fair was only 10 minutes down the road, and people love to know things have been made locally - then they can often see where the inspiration comes from.
Anyway, after my preparations, and running around town the day before hand to buy the table covering I wanted and a few other last minute bits and bobs, I was ready to go the next morning (with a stress-free night the night before I may add!).
So the morning of the craft fair it sort of looked like I was moving out. (My bunny certainly thought I was, that or I was going on holiday!) I think you underestimate the amount of things you need to take - I know I did! I did have my list with me:
- Table covering (hessian)
- Display boxes
- Cellophane wrapped prints
- cellophane wrapped individual cards and gift tags
- Printed tote bags
- Framed prints for display
- Easel to display prints
- Tissue paper (to wrap any prints)
- Small paper bags (with stamped name on for purchases)
- Linocut (for demonstation/people to see process)
- Driftwood signage
- Driftwood Christmas tree for table decoration
- Printed sticky labels for wrapping prints
- Scissors (you never know when you'll need them)
- business cards
- price labels
- framed description of who/what I do
- Change/float (Everything was to the pound so I took £50 worth of pound coins and £5 notes- nothing more annoying at a market than a seller running off for ages to get change!)
- vaseline (no one wants to talk to anyone with dry lips!)
So that's pretty much the list I created before I went. I created the list over a few days before hand in case I forgot anything. It came in very useful though! I imagined the buying process as well just to make sure I wasn't going to forget anything!
This was the view from the craft fair. Thankfully the craft fair was held inside. But it was still in a fantastic spot. This photo was took early on when it was still grey and quite miserable, thankfully the sun came out and it turned into a beautiful sunny (but cold) day! I think that helped get people down as well to be honest!
So, after my husband helped me take everything down and helped me set up, I ended up fairly happy with my table...I was after simple, attractive and interesting...
Apologies for being in both the photos, my husband insisted! As you can see, I got there nice and early to make sure I was happy with the set up. Even had time after it was set up and before people got there to sit downstairs and have a drink! So not bad preparations!
As it turns out, I didn't forget anything! I had enough change as well, so didn't need to go and ask for a swap off anyone. And after 5 hours I'm happy to say I did really well. I sold a lot of cards, almost all of the gift tags, a few bags and a few prints as well! I made more money than I was expecting to and had some interesting conversations!
I did sort of use the whole experience as a marketing tool as well, I was able to see in person what people were looking at, what was drawing their interest, and of course what they were buying. I wanted to know if I was making things that people would buy as well as what I like - after all, I don't want to make things I don't like just to make money! I also wanted to know if things were priced correctly. And I think I may have struck the balance fairly well.
One thing I am particularly happy about is my work doesn't just appeal to one gender. I certainly don't consider myself a particularly feminine person. I'm not a very girly person, and I certainly wouldn't want my artwork to come across like that. But, as I have always made things I like, and stuck with the style I like, I think I've definitely achieved the right balance. People loved the fish and birds, and some people were buying prints for husbands as Christmas gifts as well as themselves. So job done!
I definitely feel inclined to do another one, but it was hard work. As a reward for my hard work and lovely profit, my evening consisted of a takeaway and watching the final F1 race of the season (Well done Lewis!!!)
But I do feel even in that one market I learned a lot. As it was my first one I was really observant and was taking everything in. Certainly not an expert after just one, but I think on my next blog post I will write about what I've learned. If I can help you out as well, that would be great!
Remember to pop across to www.curiousseagullstudio.co.uk