The Trendy Sparrow: Craft Fair: Lubbock, TX

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Craft Fair: Lubbock, TX

A while back I participated in my first craft fair. Looking back on this experience I realized that while I know I did some pretty great things, I was definitely able to learn from my mistakes. I wanted to use this experience to help any new comers to the craft fair world get started on the right foot. I want to use this post to discuss some tips and tricks I learned during this craft fair adventure.

If you're anything like me, you don't want to have to spend so much money on getting a cute booth together that after the craft show is over you find yourself in debt. That brings me to my first tip:

1) You do not have to break the bank to have a cute booth. 

a photograph of my finished booth

One thing I did to help save some money is I made my own paper banner. This banner showcased my shop's name "The Trendy Sparrow" and allowed me to display my shop's name without costing me a fortune. I used spare scrapbook paper I had laying around the house to cut the triangles. I then used a Sharpie to write the letters on the triangles, and finished it off by using brads to attach the banner flags together. The banner cost me $0 to make simply because I used scrap crafting materials I had laying around the house! Other items I used for the booth weren't very expensive either! 

2) Make your business cards easy to get to


It's great when potential customers want to stop and chat, but believe it or not, not every customer wants to stop and have a lengthy conversation with you. You might be in the middle of describing a product or checking out a customer and might not be able to say hello to everyone. This means you should have your business card somewhere at your booth that is easy for passersby to stop and grab one. I placed mine right next to my biggest sellers (my guestbook cards) so that the cards were right where a customer's eyes were likely to be drawn to. Most of my items are wedding related. Therefore, customers may not buy anything because they aren't in the middle of planning a wedding, but by taking a card they could end up being a potential future customer (or show my store to a friend, family member, coworker, etc). So if you are getting ready to do a craft show and don't have any business cards, get some. I have mine printed at Vistaprint because they usually have good deals going on. 

3) Be creative with your displays! Don't be a cookie cutter!

Various ways I displayed items

Don't just display your items on a table and expect everyone to come running for them. Make your booth unique from everyone else. Most importantly, make your booth scream YOU! The items I sell usually have a vintage vibe to them so for my booth I used vintage items to create the effect I wanted. I used repurposed vintage suitcases (by painting them blue) to hold my items. Cards can be a difficult item to display because you don't want them to come across flat and boring. The suitcases drew customers in to look at the items within them. I also used clothespins to hold up envelope stickers on another suitcase. This achieved 3 things: good display, vintage vibe, and they were very inexpensive! Think about the items you want to sell and what props would look good with the items you sell. Don't just use a technique because it's a trend. 

4) Make it clear what you are selling


Buyers want to know what you're selling from the get go. They want to know the difference between props/displays and items they can actually take home with them. For this craft fair, I took an old piece of wood, painted it with chalkboard paint and used it as a sign to write what exactly was available at my booth. This is great because I can use it again and again! I can even change it up if I am selling different things at different fairs. I happened to be selling cupcake stands at this particular fair. Therefore, I brought actual cupcakes to add to the display to show customers exactly what they were and how good they looked displaying cupcakes. The best part is lots of customers came over because they looked so attractive. I also gave out a cupcake to everyone who bought something. That information spread like wildfire...all of the sudden my booth was packed!

5) If you make custom orders, make it known. 


A huge portion of my business comes from custom orders. If you sell more items than want you actually have your booth, try having a display of your other items that customers can purchase online. I chose to use a scrapbook to display other cards and madlibs that I didn't have with me at the booth. I ended up getting lots of online custom orders later because people knew what I had available!

6) Have a partner in crime. 



my friend Andrea is on the left and I am on the right

I cannot begin to stress enough how important it is for you to have someone with you at the craft fair. I know so many of us think we can do it alone. We make the items ourself, why can't we run the booth my ourselves? That's a pretty simple answer: food, bathroom breaks, busy crowds. Craft fairs take all day. As you can see from my booth, there are lots of items you have to carry and set up. You'll need to be able to leave the booth to go to the bathroom. You'll need to go eat. And sometimes the crowds get so big that you simply can't help everyone. Having a partner at the booth with you is essential. And don't forget to thank your friend for helping you out with a free coffee or meal.

Craft shows can be really fun and can bring in all sorts of new business to your online store. Hopefully these tips I learned from my first craft fair will help make your's a success!

Information about this craft fair for anyone in Lubbock TX can be found here.


1 comment:

  1. Having a very attractive stall in a craft fair doesn’t have to costly. It’s just a matter of being artistic and creative with the resources you have at the moment. If you can show a very presentable and well-designed facade to the customers without exceeding your budget, then I call that a win-win. So in the end, planning for the fair is really essential. And it’s good to know how joining in some events like this gave you some lessons to share with your followers and other business enthusiasts. Thanks for sharing!

    Clint Shaff @ Franchise Match

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