Craft fair tips from Awesome Merchandise / by Carley Batley

Over the years we’ve had the pleasure of producing merch for talented stallholders, sponsoring craft fairs and even getting  stuck in ourselves, setting up live screen printing stations at Northern Craft. Along the way we’ve picked up a whole host of craft fair tips and tricks from creatives. Here are some of the best:

Setting up your stall

So you have all your products, but how are you going to display them? This is a question that lots of creatives find themselves asking, and one that jewellery maker and craft fair first timer, Searlait McCrea came up against at the last Northern Craft event. Her top tips? Get creative and don’t worry about what other stallholders are doing.

“Don’t put too much pressure on yourself! Every seller and stall is different, so try not to compare your own to others you’ve already seen.”

However, don’t let creativity take away from your stalls purpose, if you’re attending a craft fair it’s likely you have two aims; 1) To sell your products and 2) To raise awareness of your brand.  Making sure you have flyers or business cards out for people to take away will ensure people can find you once they leave the fair.  Searlait also found that people like to be able to easily see pricing, so clear labelling is a must.

What to take?

When you only have a limited amount of space, it can be hard to know what to take with you to a craft fair, especially if you have larger items. On a recent visit to Coffyn Furniture’s workspace, we asked the Northern Craft veterans, Kellye and Matt for their advice.

“A lot of the items we considered being small, actually seeming quite big to an audience who want to be able to pick something up and take it away in a tote bag,” explained Kellye.

However, their smaller items, such as their branded enamel pins and desk tidies went down a treat. They also picked up commissions for their larger pieces on display.

Matt, Kellye and Searlait all found that if people like what you do they will find you after the event, so don’t try to stock everything you have ever made. A brochure or set of postcards are a great way to showcase work you have available online or through commissions.

“When it came to it, selling out of certain designs and not having the right sizes in others wasn’t anything to worry about,” says  Searlait. “Buyers who were really interested were more than happy to follow up for a custom order or to buy through the online store.”

Have fun

Yes, preparations for a craft fair can be a little stressful, but it’s important to remember to have fun. After attending a lot of craft fairs ourselves, either running a stand, or just as a happy punter, we can vouch that the craft fair community (stallholders and visitors) are a friendly bunch, so there’s no need to get worked up about.

Laura Wilks, one of the Esty Leeds Christmas craft fair sellers who gave advice on our blog, urges hesitant sellers to got for it.

“Just do it! It seems daunting and scary, but the only way to get into it and get better at it is to do it. Find a craft fair community and get all the help you can, there is so much support in the creative community that you don’t have to do it alone. We all started somewhere, it’s about learning and developing as you go along.”

We look forward to returning to Northern Craft again this August. Don’t forget to come say hi!

Check out our website for more ideas for merch to fill your stall and different ways to to make your products retail ready.

Awesome Merchandise will be helping Northern Craft visitors to screenprint their own tote bags at our summer fair on Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th August, 2017 at Northern Monk Brew Co.