Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Craft Fair to Remember

My very first craft fair was on July 3-4 and it's definitely been entered into my book of Events to Remember. I'm not going to gripe...much, instead I mainly would like to share photos of my amazing booth. Well, it's amazing to me simply because I pulled it all together. I learned a few lessons along the way (like glue dots only stick when you want to remove them, and don't when you want them to stick), and that it always, and I mean always rains in Central Kentucky on the 4th of July.

Please enjoy a few snapshots of my booth while I share all my secrets. I have these photos and more uploaded on my Flickr site.

Here's a basic checklist
- E-Z Up canopy from Walmart
- Tablecloths - $3 twin sheets from Walmart
- Cheap Bunting made with ribbon, glue dots, and sheet scraps (not durable!)
- Peg boards to display pendants with hooks (home improvement store)
- Carousel displays and necklace displays purchased from jewelry store closing.
- Curtain panels from Ikea
- Banner from Wilson Graphics (LOVE it!!!)
- Mirror mounted on pegboards (excellent decision!)
- Guestbook with cheap pens because the pens kept "walking off"

I also brought a roll of ball chain for the pendants and made them on the fly for those customers who wanted a different length, and I had scissors, a money box, snacks, water, and even band-aids.

What would I do next time? I plan to "get around to painting" the peg boards. We didn't finalize that part of the project until the night before the event. I have 2 cans of paint that coordinate with my banner.

I also would like to get something colorful and informational that I can put in front of my booth to attract customers who are at a distance. The only 2 aspects of the fair I will complain about are 1) the location of handmade goods is too far from the entertainment, and 2) all the vendors who disbanded when the rain poured. The end of the street where handmade goods was located looked deserted with the exception of a handful of booths and many potential customers didn't think it was worth the long walk to get to us. There was virtually nothing between us and the entertainment but a long hot and wet walk.

I did have a fabulous time and brought home enough to make me feel the entire experience was worth it. I plan on participating in 3 more fairs this year, one of which is Cow Days in Greensburg and the other is Ham Days in Lebanon. It was a fun and memorable experience!


Original Cyn Studios said...

Looks so nice and inviting. The next one will be great!

hazel said...

Hi Annie, I did my first craft fair in Covington,KY in MAY a long time ago, It was terrible! Actually poured buckets of rain, and was in the low 40s in MAY!!!! I am just now thinking of doing one again. I can suggest some great Junior League and Medical Auxillary shows here in Lexington if you're interested, they are great!

Pam Hawk said...

That is a very nice looking booth!
The sheet color goes so well with the soft, light colors of your pendants, and the pegboard on the back helps to bring your customers' eyes up from table level to eye level.

Love the sign at the back of the booth.

As for the little island you became, sorry to hear about that. How frustrating!

Some shows I've done in the past prevent that problem by requiring a depot that vendors get back at the end of the show - but only if they stay through the entire show. Hopefully your next show(s) won't have that problem or will have something in place to prevent vendors from leaving.

Thanks for sharing the pictures!

Renee said...

Wow, I love your display. You were so lucky to get those carousel displays.

Valerie said...

Annie - your booth looks great and I would be sure to stop there as it is very inviting! Thanks for sharing and much continued success to you!

ElegantSnobbery said...

Well, your booth looks spectacular, I must say! Now I'm excited about looking into do a craft fair of my own. Not any time soon, as I'll probably have to bring the kids... who are cute but so not worth the hassle...

Thanks for sharing your experience Annie!

Kelly said...

The booth looks awesome! I love that you're going to be doing Cow Days and Ham Days next. :)

Vanessa said...

Your booth looked amazing!

sweetpicklespottery said...

your booth looks great! I have only done one craft fair and I know the work that you must have put into it!

Becca Nelson said...

I found your blog through the etsy forums. Love it!

I also love your booth! It looks so professional, yet very approachable. I would have totally walked right up to it!

Good luck with your shop and also your blog!

Mel Gruver said...

Love the booth. You said you wanted something to draw people into the booth. How bout a free diy on the spot? That always makes me come over and stay...so then I create a relationship with the vendor and see the products more up close (without pressure) which always encourages me to buy.

Also, print your etsy address on some pens, so you will feel accomplished when they "walk off" :)

good luck!