craft fair report

I did my little craft fair yesterday, at the hospital I work at, and I am happy to report that it went better than I thought it would.  I did this same fair 5 years ago and had 2 sales. I also had less and totally different stuff. This time around, I had about 20 sales, which was much better. The table only cost $10 and I made $150.   Had I known I could easily accept credit card payments via Square on my phone, I might have done a little better.  I did sign up for it and will hopefully be able to use it next weekend at another little fair I’m doing. I just hope people are comfortable with swiping their card on my phone.  We will have to see how that goes.

sign-up sheets and info

I sold only one necklace and 2 prints.  What sold were my magnets and mirrors. I heard a lot of people say that they only had $20, probably because they went to the ATM in the hallway and took out only that much. So I think people were looking for small ticket items so they could spread their $20.


I did get a lot of really good feedback on my art, which was very heart warming, and was even told by someone that I had the best table at the fair. One woman asked if she could pay me to come to her home and teach a group of her friends how to do some mixed media art.  Heck yeah, I’d love to!!

art prints, necklaces, notepads

When you sell art on-line and you don’t get a whole lotta sales (300 over the last 3 years – not bad, but not great), it really helps to get positive feedback in person and reassurance that what you are doing is good (yes, this is the sensitive artist in me).   So maybe my stuff is good, and maybe just not enough people are seeing it?  Maybe I need to get it out there more?   It all seems to be a roller coaster of emotions when you put your art and soul out there for people to take or not.  What I do know, is that I felt really good about my art when people were flipping through my prints, and overall, I was not disappointed about my little venture out and am ready and more confident to try more.

scrabble tile necklaces, memo holders (made from painted canvas), rings, mirrors

What I learned:

* That I need to take credit cards!

*  That I need to make my prints more visible. I had them in a box and only a handful of people actually stopped to look through them all.

* People need to visualize your stuff in action.  Next time I will actually wear my necklaces and rings (duh!) and maybe have some prints displayed in frames.

* That putting only 1 of each design (mirrors & large magnets) gave people more of an impulse to buy it.  If they see only one, they may think it is the last one and buy it.  I learned this from Andria (thanks!!)

* Don’t be afraid to chat. I am initially very quiet and not one to be outwardly chatty.  When I made the effort to step out of my comfort zone, more people were interested in what I was doing.

* Offering information about a product and sometimes suggestions on why to buy can sometimes help. For example, you can write on a card what something is, but the senses are so over whelmed that they may not “see” it.  Actually hearing, “these are mirrors” or “all of these items have images of my own art” or these are made with really strong magnets”  made more of a connection to what they were looking at.

Table Neighbors:   Designer bags by Kim M and Plushies by Little Rabbit Designs

More Table Neighbors: Pretty notebooks/frames and yummy sweets at the fair

A few things I did do:

* I had coupons available to use for future on-line purchases and offered free shipping if they didn’t mind meeting up with me at the hospital to pick up their item. After-all, most of the people were employees there.

*  I met the people at my neighboring tables.  They were fun to get to know and made the day go by a little easier.

* I made prices visible for everyone. I am unsure if it is better to make them ask or not.

Next Saturday I’ll be doing another small craft fair at an elementary school in town with 30 other vendors and food carts. Should be pretty good. So, if you have any tips or suggestions I would love to hear them.   I’ll be doing a completely different set up for this next one. I’ll have to provide my own table and everything.

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14 Responses to craft fair report

  1. amy says:

    Absolutely make prices clear/visible & take credit cards with square. Offer bundles. Beyond that…just be your beautiful self!

  2. gretchen says:

    your work is lovely–it touches many souls. never doubt it.

  3. Robin says:

    I think most customers will not be reluctant to use the Square credit card reader. The past two weekends I’ve shopped at craft fairs and vendors have been using them all over the place. As a customer, it’s a relief if a shop can take cards. If someone doesn’t feel comfortable having their card run through a phone, they probably wouldn’t feel comfortable with it being used at a craft fair at all. Good luck next weekend!

  4. April Cole says:

    What fun… and such clever ideas. Thank you all the helpful tips!
    Yes, I agree… visible price tags are key and buyers impulse a must! <3

  5. sperlygirl says:

    beautiful table, regina! so many lovely things you are sharing with the world. i love your memo holders.

  6. Janet Nordfors says:

    Regina – Your table looks sweet. I’m glad you got such positive feedback because you and your art deserve it. I couldn’t tell from your pictures, but you should have a little designer tag on each item. Your name, your contact info and some little blurb about what you do. I know you probably include a business card with each sale, but will the gift giver include it when they wrap the gift? Word of mouth is an excellent advertisement. Love you, love your art and love your blog. Keep up the great work!

  7. elsa says:

    Really like how you set up your table, everything looks fresh and ready to buy. I especially like the little memo covers, don’t think I’ve ever seen them in your shop.
    I’ve done a few craft fairs in the past and (surprisingly) did really well. I always went with absolutely no expectations ~ that seems to work for me.

  8. Andria says:

    Your table looked great! I had fun looking through each of your photos. You had so many fun different items for sale. I had the same experience with my cards that you had with your prints…no one reached in to flip through them! I will rethink this aspect of my display next time. I think that including some framed prints is a great idea for your table. And certainly wear your beautiful stuff! 🙂

    I agree with everything you said about the vulnerability of putting yourself out there…I felt it, too, and also felt that increased confidence once I got through it once. Good luck next weekend…I hope you will share your experiences afterwards.

  9. Linda says:

    Good for you Regina! Your table looked wonderful and you had a great sleection of things for people to buy.

  10. angela says:

    Wow! Your table looks great! How could anyone walk by and not buy something fabulous? It’s a great idea to add the credit card capablity to you phone. I had to use one this year at a pumpkin patch and it was fine…and so much easier than having to go back to the bank. I think having prices visible is a must simply because some people are too shy to ask. And like someone else said, making bundle prices is a great idea. Good luck on your next fair!

  11. Gesche says:

    I think another great way to show your art and let more people see it is Pinterest. I don’t know if you do that but if you pin your blogs pictures of your art there it will most likely spread very fast. After all that’s how I came across your blog stumbeling over your lucky star post. Good luck! Your art deserves more publicity!

  12. Anastacia says:

    good for you for putting yourself out there again! I still have not done a table, I will one of these years.

  13. Jessica says:

    That’s awesome. I love your art 🙂 I love my Give Thanks print & I will be getting the mama/baby print in the future.

  14. Jules Means says:

    Great post. When I am a customer at a show I feel uncomfortable if the vendor is watching me look at her stuff with a sort of eager anticipation. On the other hand I do like to engage in conversation and don’t like to be totally ignored. As a seller I try to be busy doing something related to the work that I’m selling. I always seem to feel inspired by a little audience of interested peeps.

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