By no means am I an expert at craft fayre trading – in fact, at a recent Local Makers’ Market event, it became apparent that I massively need to up my game in the way my stall looks! However, I had a good nose around and picked up a few handy tips, which it only seems fair to share.
1. WHERE SHOULD I SELL?
Absolutely research the fayres and markets – go to visit events before applying for a stall, if possible, or you risk wasting your precious time and money. I have been to a couple that seemed great on the posters but in reality, were just jumble sales. Needless to say, the handmade, frilly dresses I was selling did not go down too well! Similarly, school events are great if you have cheaper items for children, but people don’t usually go to their school’s summer fayre wanting to pay out lots of money for goods. Think about who your customers are and who is likely to go to an event of that kind – do they match up?
2. WHAT SHOULD MY STALL LOOK LIKE?
Plan out your display carefully. Take inspiration from other stalls you like the look of and Pinterest is absolutely your best friend here. Be creative and think about how you can add different levels to your display. Even just putting a box underneath your table cloth (which should be cleaned and ironed!) could make all the difference to helping your items stand out. I have been guilty of having too much just laying on the table and it’s not aesthetically pleasing one bit. ‘S’ hooks are great for hanging different items and make sure you take some pins and tape in case you’re lucky enough to have wall space behind you to display some bits! Just make as much use of the space as you can but don’t overcrowd your table or it can just look messy. Natural displays are very popular at the moment – the prettiest stalls seem to have lots of hessian runners and bunting, plants and wooden stands. This doesn’t quite fit with my branding but looks super cute for lots of people.
3. WHAT SHOULD I TAKE WITH ME?
This is by no mean an exhaustive list but remember to take the following with you on the day: anything to help you display items nicely, tablecloth, business cards, flask of tea, sellotape, something with your shop name or logo on, card reader (I use PayPal and it’s brilliant – in fact, at my last event every single customer paid by card), change, tissue paper, bags and a smile! Oh and a little packed lunch – otherwise, as well as the table fee you’ve already forked out for, you’ll already be working at a loss for the food you’ve bought there. Unless there’s a delicious cake stall then definitely buy the cake.
4. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Chat away! Make conversation with people that come over to look at your stall – discuss the materials you’ve used, explain the processes involved, ask them questions or if all else fails, ask if it’s still rainy/sunny/cloudy outside! By engaging in conversation, you are straight away building a relationship with your customer and even if they don’t buy anything from you at that point, it’s a good opportunity to give them a business card before they walk away. And don’t forget to mingle with other stallholders too – its a great networking opportunity and a chance to scope out those that are not competitors, but have a similar customer base so you can support each other on social media, for example.
5. ANYTHING ELSE?
Last, but definitely not least, enjoy yourself! For me a craft fayre or makers market is a day out – a day off from being ‘mum’, a chance to chat away to other stallholders and customers and hopefully make some money doing so!
All images: Pinterest