This past Friday I participated in a local craft fair at Bowdoin College. It is called the Sunsplash Festival and it is to celebrate the last day of classes for students and faculty. It is also open to the public. This fair has been going on for the past 15 years so it is really well established. 70 vendors participated. It is held in their beautiful Smith Union building where they have two cafes and the college bookstore. It's a neat venue because the way it's designed is there are 3 floors that kind of spiral up with vendors going up several floors. It is just for one day from 10am to 5pm.
This was my third year participating. Each year I learn a little more. I am no craft fair expert. I pretty much have done four craft fairs total in my lifetime. I did a local spring/summer fair as well.
I must say it was so much fun but took a lot of time and hard work getting ready. I signed up in October but didn't really even begin to make things for it until November.
Preparing for a Craft Fair Set-Up
If you are considering doing a craft fair there are many things that you need to think about and get ready.
First you have to pay for your table. Tables seem to range from $20 to $75 depending on the fair.
Next you need to think about the types of things you want to sell. Before you do this I encourage you to really think about the time of year you are in and what kind of customers or audience you will have.
I had lots of college students who don't have lots of money to spend. Therefore, I tried to think about things that students might like that aren't too pricey. For example I learned from years past that little ornaments and small keepsake figurines sold really well. Bowdoin college's mascot is the polar bear so I made little polar bear pendants and figurines. These sold out!!
Other things you will need to think about are how to cover your table in an attractive way. One suggestion, make sure your cloth hangs down low to cover any boxes you might store underneath! You'll need to think about how you would like to display your items. I had lots of ornaments so I purchased two small live cut trees from my local home improvement store and put one at either end of my table. I also had some shelves to display little figurines such as gnomes and mushrooms.
You'll have to think about pricing. Now this is where I still struggle. You want to sell but you also want to pay yourself for your time. Make sure all items are priced, people sometimes don't like to have to ask how much things are.
Lastly you'll need supplies such as: tissue, bags, pens, tape, receipt pads, bubble wrap if (if applicable), scissors, boxes (if you sell jewelry perhaps), cash box, cash for change!
You know it's a lot of work but I have found it is getting easier the more I do it. Some people really have it down.
What I love most about a craft fair is talking to the people that come to my table. Seeing them excited about something that I made! That's a wonderful feeling. I also love to be able to take a moment and walk around myself and see all the other wonderful artists work out there.
Well I hope this might help some of you who might be considering trying a craft fair. It is lots of fun and something you can do right in your hometown.