Craft Fair Tips

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Craft Fair season is coming up so I thought I’d dedicate a post to my own little craft fair tips having spent years running fairs (since 2009) partaking in fairs and visiting them too! I definitely do not have all the secrets and I can’t tell you how to sell out of your stock every time but my few pennies -worth may be useful.

Do Your Research – One of the first fairs I ever did was a craft market as part of a Father’s Day event at my local food hall. They sell local produce, have a garden centre and at the time a small cafe. It’s expanded a lot since then but you get the idea. There were a few things that worked against me selling my wares at this event. Firstly I was surrounded by crafts people who made terracotta plant labels, handmade quilts and wood turners, the visitors didn’t seem to “get” my work because it didn’t fit with the usual idea of “crafts”. Also, because the market was part of another event where all the attractions were free, people were less keen to take their wallets out. They didn’t come to the event with the intention of spending money.

Make sure you find out about the event before you commit to it.

Plan Your Stall – Mock up how your stall will look before you get to the event. you want to make sure you take enough display equipment, stands and signs. Display your products on different levels so it doesn’t look too flat, draw your customer’s eye to the items you want to promote by making them prominent within your stall.

Price Everything – There is nothing more off putting for a customer than to have to ask how much something is. Most people don’t want to offend you by putting something back if it was more than they intended to pay. That doesn’t mean your prices are wrong necessarily, it might just reflect how much is in their purse that day.

Understand Your Customers – This is a difficult trick but you need to learn which people you can talk to and interact with and which ones just want to be left along to browse in peace. This comes from practice. Always look friendly and happy to talk if they want to speak to you. Don’t sit behind your stall looking miserable, even if you’re not having a good day!

Stay Positive – There is often no rhyme or reason to why you might be having a bad day with sales. I’ve even had really successful Christmas markets (you think you’d be able to see anything at that time of year) and very slow ones too. Sometimes it’s your day and sometimes it isn’t. Don’t beat yourself up too much about it.

And one for the market organisers, they can’t plan the weather, no matter how good they are. I’ve attended markets in September when the weather has been scorching and everyone has gone to the beach instead of shopping. What can you do eh? Stay positive!

Promote Yourself – Make sure you have a big sign so people know who you are. Customers may not purchase from you on the day of the fair but will think of you when looking for a gift in the future. Keep your business cards well stocked too, if they’re eye catching they’ll end up on fridges and noticeboards.

Promote The Market – Get on your social media, tell your friends, put posters up and spread around the flyers. Support the market by telling all the people you know about it and encouraging them to pass the word around too. If everyone does that, everyone’s potential sales will go up!

I organise craft and vintage markets in Ipswich as I Make Fun Stuff. For more information, visit our website.

 

It’s been “a bit of a week” or “Instagrammers of Note”


It’s been a busy old week and a bit of a frustrating one as well but when it comes down to it as long as I get plenty of time at home, I can create whatever I want when I’m there and I’ve got my loved ones around me I’m pretty satisfied.

With that in mind, while I’m lolling about at home, and pretty much anywhere I’m chilling, you’ll find me scrolling Instagram. It is so easy to get obsessed with this image filled app. So as I’ve had “a bit of a week” I’m sharing with you my favourite Instagrammers, because it’s pretty straightforward to blog about and because these are the visual delights that perk me up when the day is just not “the one”.

Present and Correct

@presentandcorrect – for beautiful stationery, especially the vintage stuff!

A Beautiful Mess

@abeautifulmess – just glorious photos of all kinds, fashion, interiors, art, crafts etc etc

And Smile Studio

@andsmilestudio – always loved Viktorija’s posts but more so now she’s posting videos of her illustration process and gouache painting.

Like Meddings

@lizemeddings – love Lize’s illustrations, especially the colour combinations.

Amanda Arneill

@amandaarneill – probably my favourite instagrammer who posts hand drawn type. Just perfect.

Camille Walala

@camillewalala – oh the patterns and the colours!!

Intwosandthrees

@intwosandthrees yes she is my friend, but I love her instagram account for the great way she displays her work.

Let me know in the comments any instagram accounts you think I’ll like!

 

 

 

 

New York Travel Journal 2016 – So Far – Part Two

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Time for another update on my travel journal. It’s a slow process, I know, but it’s such an enjoyable one I wouldn’t want to rush it.

I am inserting these pages with my Social Print Studio prints in between the ones that I did while I was in New York and when I got back. How I do this, considering it is a ring bound book, is I carefully cut down from each punched hole to the edge of the paper and then, again carefully, ease the page out from between the rings. Then I can pop it in at any point I like!

The first thing I do is pick the prints I want to use and move them around the page to come up with an idea of the composition. I then look for which colours are in the prints or, in this case, look at the colours I’ve used on the opposite page. I’m really into patterns but I don’t want to overwhelm the small page so I chose a simple stripe to “journal” on and a beautiful turquoise pattern to go with the speech bubble style card I used on the opposite page.

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I start by sorting out the patterned paper and how I want that to sit on the page. It’s all about what looks good to the eye really. I like layering (one of the reasons I love screen printing so much) so I like to pile things up a bit.

Next up is the washi tape, oh how I love you washi tape…. another opportunity to layer some things up! Some circle stickers, something which I have an abundance of, some phrase stickers from a previous A Beautiful Mess Messy Box and the “lucky” is a Heidi Swapp acetate word. Oh and a gold heart from the On Trend 2 collection by My Mind’s Eye.

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And that, my friends, is it, for this page. Until next time…..