Saturday, 20 September 2014

Craft Fair Observations

I have had a week to reflect on the craft fair.  It was a useful experience in some ways.  The best seller was the item shown above.  A pack of six tags for £1.50.  These probably took the least skill to make than anything else on the stall and probably have at least £1.50's worth of baker's twine in each pack!

I made the following observations:

  • No one even looked at the scented mice in the basket.
  • I didn't sell one fabric flower brooch.
  • There was no interest in the collage card packs (I would have been interested!).
  • Nobody bought the paper jam pot covers (one woman said she likes to make hers using recycled T- shirts).
  • There was no interest in the autumn sprites (I think one person scrawled down the poem that came with them).
  • People say 'I will come back after looking around' (they never do).
  • Paper currency is given for small change items, requiring one to scrabble about for the correct change.
  • I didn't sell one pack of my hand drawn and hand cut original tags.
  • The key rings with pagan themed metal charms sold well (which surprised me in a church).
  • By putting 'jam gift tags' on the label confuses some customers and they ask if they can only be used on jars of jam.
Thinking back to some of the visitors on the day such as the woman who wanted to buy a brooch but had no money as she was on the way to the allotment,  reminds me of the saying 'there's nowt queer as folk'.


  1. I feel for you Simone. We tried doing craft shows several times and gave up in the end.
    Everyone stopped and admired the goods saying how lovely they were but hardly anyone bought anything, it was soul destroying.
    It seems that people would rather go to the shops and pay an arm and a leg than buy hand crafted stuff.
    The stalls aren't cheap are they? but maybe a different venue would be better, if you try, good luck next time.

  2. I know exactly how you are feeling.
    Julie xxxxxxxx

  3. Oh dear that all sounds very disheartening, Simone no wonder you didn't feel inclined to do another fair. Sometimes it's very hard to judge what people really want:)

  4. Hi Simone - I have been away for a while and just catching up with your posts and the recent craft fair you attended. Your stall looked very eye catching and what a lot of work you must have put in.
    I have spent a lot of my years selling to the public and it is not easy but I think you should perhaps view your recent craft fair as a useful Market Research opportunity rather than a failure. It is always good to get to know and understand the market you are selling to (and it can be changeable)- this is the single most important thing for any major store buyer and is no different if you are a smaller retailer otherwise you can be left with unwanted stock. I know that you were very limited with what you were allowed to sell - did you notice if the cards and jewellery on the other stalls did any better? I think you have already found out how you can often, without realising, limit your sales by naming a product like your 'Jam tags' - when they would be suitable for any gift. Similarly with your flower brooches - they could be used for decorative purposes on a bag, hat or cushion or for the top of a special gift, especially if they were suitable for a wedding gift or Xmas gift.
    I know it is disheartening but you have gained some valuable information should you decide to do another one. Good luck for the future Simone x

  5. I have only ever done a few and yes they are soul destroying . I have no words of wisdom but I love your creations and you just need to find a way to get them out there that doesn't cause you heartache. Xxxx

  6. Its hard, I know from experience and I certainly wouldn't want to do more than 3 or 4 fairs a year. Its so much work. But if you can find a venue you like they will be more enjoyable and you might even look forward to the day. I don't think this one was right - holding a fair every month must make it a bit stale, even for customers!


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