Thursday, November 15, 2012

Lessons Learned From My 2nd Craft Fair

I was excited to participate in my 2nd craft fair this past weekend.  The buzz of people milling about looking for handcrafted gifts for themselves or other loved ones is exciting for me.  Plus, with the holidays around the corner, the glow of the season seemed to permeate the air.  With this being just my 2nd craft fair since I started LoveNote Crafts last year, there were a few things I learned or at least paid more attention to this time around.

1.  Item descriptions: make sure they are clear for your customers.
One of the items I was selling were these cute little hairbows...for hair--for human hair, that is.  A customer admiring the wares was not sure what they were and asked if they were for dogs.  {Yes, dogs!}  She thought that because they were small, they were meant for our 4-legged friends.

Though I don't have them in the photo, I did put out little cards noting the item ("Hairbows") and price.  I guess they could be used for doggies, but note to self for next time--be more descriptive.

2.  Packaging: it makes a big difference.
I know for myself that when I'm shopping either via Etsy or a craft market, cutely packaged items show me that the seller has taken the extra time to make something look super cute.  I liken this to giving a gift--you want it to look heartfelt and thoughtful when given to the recipient.  From the lace- design-punched tags to the doily accented grab bags, I really enjoyed putting a personal touch to each piece I made and packaging each one with the love for handmade items and bringing a smile to someone's face.

Favorite items/packaging of mine include these grab bags.  The cute doily and burgundy satin ribbon are too cute!  Likewise, Each purchase was placed in a white glassine bag and sealed with a LoveNote Crafts "thank you" sticker.  Packaging really gives you the opportunity to continue branding your items and to show your customer you care.

3.  Product advertisement: wear what you're selling!
I got this tip from my sister who said that it would be cool to wear what I sell so that customers can see different ways to wear things.  So, I clipped a cotton hairbow to my hair and pinned a crochet heart to my sweater and wallah--free advertising!

I think both looked really cute--people liked the heart brooch/pin (I actually had this one for sale, but kept it for myself because I liked how it looked on my sweater).  I also wanted customers to see that I also use my own product and have fun doing so.

4.  Appropriate clothing: wear something nice!
I like to try and make an effort to look nice every day.  I felt like if I was going to be a girly-girl, the craft fair would be the perfect place to do that.  I wore a cream v-neck cable knit sweater and purple (yes purple!) skinny jeans.  I walked out of the house feeling great, but then one hour into the craft fair, my pants looked like this:

Cute leaving the house, but I did not realize my sweater would shed all over my pants.  Good thing I was behind a table most of the time otherwise I would have just looked "unkept".  Oh well.  At least the top (and heart pin) looked cute!

4.  Product organization: watch how people are looking @ items on display and move them around as needed.
I noticed that some of my items closer to the back of the table were not getting as much action as those in the front.  I tried to make my items (and table) as inviting as possible, but some items just didn't get touched as much as those in the front.  I moved some pieces around through the day, depending on what customers were looking at and noticed that when I did this, all items got more "equal action".  The setup looked pretty much like this throughout the day and people seemed to enjoy the setup.

5.  Checklist: have one!
There were so many things going through my mind in the weeks leading up to the craft fair that I found myself writing notes on post-its and losing them.  Having a central (if not standardized) checklist for each craft fair would be ideal so that all I have to do is check off items as I go down the list.

I like to stay organized so having the checklist (in a cute binder to boot!) helped me tremendously in keeping my thoughts in place.  It felt good to cross those things off!

All-in-all, I had a great time and am engergized to do more craft fairs.  I look forward to my next one and learning from my experiences to make each one more fun for me (and making my customers happy!).

Happy Crafting!

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