Sunday, 25 August 2013

My First Craft Fair

I attended my first Craft Fair as a seller last Thursday and it was a great success!  Yes I made a modest profit after expenses but the main enjoyment was meeting the public and other sellers. 

It was a Craft and Gift Fair and held in an old wooden Scout Hut which was rather charming.  It had a good mix of sellers ranging from wildlife photography, vintage jewellery to knitting plus a very nice cake stall (at last someone that does proper Tiffin)!

I was given a corner with two tables which threw me a little as I had planned my layout on only having one; thank goodness I had taken along plenty of tablecloths with me.  Luckily I had plenty of time to rethink my display so it all worked out in the end.  I was also given a chair (which was comfy thank goodness) and had a nice little corner at the end of my table that allowed me to sit and do my crochet during the quiet times.

The Fair was in held in Bakewell a beautiful historic town in Derbyshire that is on the tourist trail.  So a lot of the people that attended were holidaymakers (with children) who had not planned to come along and nor were they looking for anything specific.  Luckily I had lower price items such as my Hedgehog Pin Cushions which proved popular to browsers, adult and children alike.  This highlighted that if I am going to attend further fairs in the future I need to have a wider range of lower priced items, some being attractive to children.   

I also got a lot of positive feedback, as people remembered their grandmother’s embroidered tablecloths and thought it lovely that someone was doing something with them rather than leaving them in a cupboard.   This gave me the opportunity to explain how I had got started and although they often did not buy anything they did take away leaflets and business cards and will hopefully pass these on to friends and family.   

It was hard work and the preparation for such an event must not be underestimated and although I thought I was organised everything took twice as long as expected.   For example I normally only print out labels etc as and when I make an online sale but suddenly I had to do this for 30 or so items plus I needed additional material such as price tickets and carrier bags.

Also you have to have a thick skin!  Some people stood talking about my stall as if I was not there and a couple of times when someone was admiring my stall their friend said they thought my items were too expensive or they had seen something better!

Still I would highly recommend it but you need to be prepared so I have added a check list to My Pages which will hopefully be of help to any Craft Fair novices like me!  

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Folksy Summer School 2013

Last weekend I attended the Folksy Summer School, it was held at the Discovery Centre in Ecclesall Woods, Sheffield, a lovely setting and the weather was with us.

Unfortunately I was unable to attend the second day but thoroughly enjoyed the first day.  As well as a great goodie bag we had talks from makers and experts, demonstrations, good food and “nice people” (a Mini Moderns joke)!   

Luckily I took a big notebook as there was a lot of information to take in.  It certainly gave me lots to think about but three things really stood out.

Tell a Story:
  • Not just what you do but why do you do it
  • Tell people about the journey your projects take, the good and the bad
  • Tell people about yourself 

  • It’s more than a logo
  • Use contact opportunities to reinforce your brand, goes back to telling a story
  • Reinforce your brand with existing customers

Identify What You Enjoy:
  • Look at all elements of the making journey
  • Look at expanding into other aspects such at teaching or demonstrations
  • But don’t forget you still need to do the boring stuff!

So as part of my forward plan I will:

  • Review my online profiles, more "why” not just “what”.  
  • Look at the information I send out with my items, make it more personal.  
  • Start a “To Do List” making sure the boring/urgent items get done as well as the nice/non urgents!  

And finally this blog, the summer school made me realise that I enjoy writing as well as making so I will be putting aside time to improve it, post regularly, tell the story........

Friday, 9 August 2013

Its a First!

Well two, for me!

My first first is attending a summer school.  It takes place this weekend and is being run by Folksy, the online market place where I sell my makes.  It has talks, demonstrations and lots of advice for crafty sellers.  I am particularly looking forward to meeting fellow makers and hopefully making some new friends!  

My second first is selling at a Craft Fair, I have at last taken the plunge and booked a couple of Thursdays at a regular Craft and Gift Fair that is held in Bakewell. 

So wish me luck, I will post updates and let you know how I get on.

P.S.  I am in the process of updating the layout of my Blog, many thanks to Janet and others who offered me support and advice on the Discussion Groups at Linkedin.   I will pull together all their advice and share it with you.