Wednesday, May 9, 2012

My Craft Fair Prep info

PS: This is going to be another long post so get yourself settled before you start. You might want to bookmark this post for helpful tips on getting prepped for a craft fair. 

Going through my preparation for the craft fair, I went between excitement and nervousness many many times. I wasn't sure how to proceed at all. How many items did I need? What did I need for decorating my stall? How would I accept payment? All these and many other questions rattled around in my head for a long time, and I scoured the internet to find some answers. 

I compiled all the websites and blogs that gave me helpful information for this fair in a Google doc, and thought I'd share some of that info with you. I hope this is useful if and when you ever decide to do a craft fair. Please note that since I was selling hand-knit scarves and mitts, most of my ideas for displays will be specific to those items. 

For an extensive supply list, this page from Bazaar Bizarre was invaluable in helping me gather all that I needed for the fair: http://www.bazaarbizarre.org/sanfrancisco/2008/10/crafty-business-questions-preparing-for-craft-fairs/
With this list as a guideline, I created my own supply list below. Next to the items, I'm going to put where I found/ordered them.




For Items 
Handmade items with Prices - ME
Hang Tags - WWW.PRINTRUNNER.COM. Great prices and fast shipping if you live in CA
Signs with pricing and prompts - Didn't make them. :(
Safety pins - DOLLAR STORE
Crocheted strings - I was pressed for time so I settled for just cutting pieces of yarn, threading them through the safety pins and attaching the safety pins to the knitted items.

For wrapping

White paper bags - WWW.PAPERMART.COM. I love them for paper bags, envelopes & tissue paper.
Tissue paper for bags - WWW.PAPERMART.COM
Stickers for the bags - WWW.PRINTRUNNER.COM

For viewing and display




  • Mirror - IKEA: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00073893/ I used these, attached to the scarf display rack.

  • Contact cards or business cards -WWW.MOO.COM. You've gotta love Moo. Their cards are beautiful!
    Coat rack poles for display - Went with a room divider from IKEA: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80193066/. My friend Darren N. is absolutely talented when it comes to making/building things, and he modified this room divider for me to use as a scarf stand. Let me know if you would like his contact info. He's a pleasure to work with.

    Mannequin - Erin from Bobbin's Nest was gracious enough to lend me hers while I waited for mine to arrive. You can get them from Robert Ham though: http://www.robertham.com/c-1078-jersey-forms.aspx
    Electrical cords/plugs - It turns out I didn't need them, so I didn't take any along
    Table Cloth - DOLLAR STORE
    Lighting - I looked but couldn't find any in time, and it turns out I didn't need them.
    Photobooks - I went with Walgreens.com, and picked it up the same day. However I feel Shutterfly or Snapfish might have given me better quality books. They usually have coupons/deals going on.
    Banner - WWW.BUILDASIGN.COM. I love this website. Great customer service, and the banner came out very sturdy and absolutely gorgeous. 
    Push Pins - DOLLAR STORE

    For selling




  • Sign up sheet for mailing list or custom orders - MADE THESE AT HOME.

  • Pens for customers to write checks - DOLLAR STORE
    Clipboards (2) - I got one for free from my Bank of America Banking Associate (Thanks Malou!), and bought the other one from Office Depot. 
    Change - I took about $200 in change in various denominations.
    Calculator - I used the native one on my phone.
    Money Box - Malou to the rescue again! She gave me 2 money bags to use so I didn't need to buy one
    Credit Card Processor (Square or PayPal) - I went with Square, and used my iPad. The Square Register app is fabulous! It allows you to list all your items before you even get there and set how much tax to collect, so you just tap the item being bought and the price + tax is already calculated for you. I loved using it!
    iPad or phone - I took the iPad as I dont have a data plan. The school gave us guest access to their wireless network.

    For Me




  • Cool outfit - I rocked something comfortable. :)





  • Water and snacks - I took my own cooler full of food. I had some leftovers from the previous night's dinner, a lot of fruit (pears) and water.





  • Supplies (to craft while at the event) - I was hoping to finish another pair of mitts and attach buttons to the headbands I had made but I had very little time to sit and just craft, even though the fair wasn't busy. I kept trying to engage passersby and get them to stop and take a look at my items.





  • Table and chair - The fair organizers provided chairs and tables so I didn't have to worry about those.




  • Comfy Shoes - Wore my favorite flat shoes. :)


  • Discussions on the Etsy "Craft Fairs...it's a living" group also provided me with a lot of links and articles for prepping and getting ready. In fact, I posted a question on there about scarf displays and got a lot of responses pretty quickly.
    http://www.etsy.com/teams/8070/craft-fairs-its-a-living

    I got inspiration to get my own scarf display stand built after I saw that one of the members of the Etsy group had posted how she built her craft fair display in this blog post:
    http://mokopocreations.blogspot.com/2011/05/diy-art-show-booth.html.

    After doing a Google Search for scarf display stand ideas, I got inspired by various drying racks and quilt racks. This scarf display stand from http://www.theartofthers.blogspot.com/ was my first choice for a stand, and I had hoped to get something similar built.

    Here are my other favorites: 
    I hope you found this post helpful and informative. Please leave any questions/feedback in the comments section and I'll respond as soon as I can. I'll be back with more knitted items next week. Enjoy the rest of your week! 

    3 comments:

    1. WOW,this is such a great and useful post. I know I will be coming back to it later.

      I am glad you had the opportunity to be a part of this fair. Sorry that you didn't sell as much as you expected but I know that this was a wonderful learning experience.

      You know you are an inspiration. :-)

      JKQ

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    2. I have to say that finding this website has been a Godsend! I've both enjoyed reading it and been highly informed.
      I too will be entering into my very first craft sale, I'm selling my hand painted silk scarves. Wish me luck.

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      1. You're very welcome! :) All the best with your craft fair.

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