Planning to attend your first craft market? How exciting! Here are some tips to help make it a successful event.
Your work is beautiful, but there are many talented folks at craft fairs and having a brand will give your work an extra edge and help you stand out. Choose a theme to tie everything together – logo, colours, font, product names, business cards.
Esther of CAAB Crochet says: “Go to the same event for several years in a row (if you like it), and preferably several in your local area… invite your friends, have a business page on Facebook… pretty soon you’ll start to be “known” for what you do and you will get custom orders or requests to see what you have, even outside of an event. I haven’t done an event for a few years, but still have a few people each holiday season ask me if I’m selling anything!”
Highlight your wares.
Help your customers feel welcome to touch and explore your products by placing user-friendly displays at the front of the stand. Create a gorgeous, eye-catching arrangement at the back of the stand with more delicate or higher-priced items that you may not want being handled.
Prepare a talking point.
Have an ice-breaker or humorous prop to ease into conversations and make people smile.
If your craft involves something special that people don’t see often, like a spinning wheel, bring it with you and let people see you using it. It makes a great talking point and shows off your skill at the same time.
Kim of The Crochet Couch says: “Have one thing that absolutely stands out and will draw people to your booth….it could be an extremely large stuffed animal….a table of skeins of yarn and a hook….just something unique to get people over there.”
The Marina Wrap just may be the statement piece you’re looking for. You can get the free pattern HERE.
Offer a freebie.
One thing is for sure — people love freebies! Put together a small bag of goods which includes a branded flyer or business card. Or hand out branded stickers or fridge magnets. Even just a colorful bowl of candy is enough to draw people to your stand.
Bring a friend.
Having a partner to help run your stall can make a big difference. If you’re a bit reserved, bring someone chatty that can keep the conversations flowing while you handle the sales transactions. You can also cover each other for food and bathroom breaks.
A craft market is a top networking opportunity. This type of event brings together everyone in your market; small business owners, buyers, and suppliers. If networking makes you nervous, just remember that everyone there is on the same path as you. It’s a great way to meet new people and bond over shared passions.
Kim of DroppedStitchesYVR says: “Get to the show early so that you can walk around and meet other makers! Word of mouth is one of the best ways to market yourself in a real life setting. Connecting with other makers is a great way to network. If customers are looking for certain goods that you carry and they haven’t been by your booth yet, they will often ask other vendors if they know where to find what they’re looking for. If you’ve already made a (genuine) connection, they’re likely to send customers your way!”
I recently polled the Crochet Playground Facebook group for more craft market tips from other vendors.
Here is what they had to say:
Jessica: “Learn your audience. I hear people suggesting pot holders and dish towels sell well, but not where I am. In Florida my big sellers are sea turtle amigurumi and octopus beanies. I can’t give away a dish towel.”
Corinne: “I agree about know your audience. Display a few of the same item, not all of them. Make your prices clear for your shoppers. Use boxes or small shelves, covered with solid cloth to display your items. Good luck!”
Anne: “I use to live in North East Florida. What was selling for was my beaded socks. I had orders form them. Now I live in Oklahoma. My first craft fair I was asked by a customer if I make boot toppers. Of course I didn’t (I didn’t know what they were until I looked them up). They’re popular here in Oklahoma. I also was suggested to make pot/dish scrubbies, soap savers, and dish towel toppers. Also Business Cards Are A Must.”
Cathy: “Have varying price points and always have something for kids. Parents will impulse buy something for kids that they can’t get at a store. It’s like a little souvenir from their fun day.”
Rhonda: “Engage in some sort of conversation with any one who stops to look. Say hi, good day etc., if there is any question I might answer for you and thank you, have a great day even if they don’t buy anything. you would be surprised how many people come back for a second look and buy at least a little something. Learn about your audience. Don’t under price yourself but also don’t over price your self out of your local market (economics/what people can afford in your particular area will make a difference in sales).”
Nathalie: “I always have sweets on my stand (even if I sell for charity and not for business). It’s impressive how many people take a sweet and start to talk … many of them buy a little thing! Always say hi, good day, … and smile! Even if you feel tired or annoyed. Being friendly is, according to me, the key! If possible, crocheting of knitting on the stand shows the audience you made all stuff yourself. It’s also important. I was told once that it was “too well done to be handmade”… hum hum 🙂 I thanked the lady and told her that I appreciated her compliment a lot. She was surprised and finally bought the baby blanket.”
Nicole: “Always say hi! Talk to the random kids that stop by. Most times if they love something they will bring their parents back.
Don’t let negative comments put you down. Just ignore them and keep going.
Also do not ignore a fellow crocheter. Some of my best sales were from others who crochet. I had a couple of ladies from Portugal admire my stuff… Eventually they tried to ask where I got certain yarns… They were on a 2 week vacation and wanted blanket yarn. I had some with me and gave them a label. They ended up coming back 3 times to buy stuff.. I was just happy to help them find the yarn.
Invest in some bags. I got paper bags to be eco-friendly and also have larger silver shiny bags. I made stickers with my business info and put them on all my bags.
Small toys always sell the best.”
I hope these tips help you make a success of your first craft market. Happy selling!