You have been making cool stuff and you are ready to show it to the world? I think you may be ready for a Craft fair! Here are my thoughts on my first art and craft fair.
Craft fairs can be fun
If you invite a friend to sell next to you and across from you it is easier to relax and if things get slow you have someone to talk to you! Plus I was the newbie and my friends could answer any “dumb” questions I had and assured me that I would be fine. I could listen to how my neighbor talked about her craft and that gave me some direction. Having friends was definitely fun and inviting friends to stop by let me know that I would at least have someone stop and talk to me during the day! It was fun to see them! Meeting new friends was fun too! It does help that I am an extrovert and even though I love making art alone I also love to talk about it. (probably why my regular job as an art teacher makes sense, right?)
Craft fairs are a great way for many people to see your work
There were over 1200 visitors to the craft fair over the 5 hours that it was running. I am sure that is more people seeing my art than ever before!! Many people paused to look at the art and I received many nice comments. Several people asked me about custom work and it is doubtful those folks would have seen me on Etsy or Facebook since I am still building my “following”. Also I could ask them what they liked about the work or which one was their favorite. This painting: “Hope Dog” was a favorite among many I asked.
Craft fairs make you very space conscious
Measure out eight by six feet and this is your shop for 5 hours. How are you going to display everything you want? How are you going to wrap up sold merchandise and collect payment? Where do you store your supplies? How can you do this without spending a mint? These and other questions were answered by either 1. Searching on the Internet or 2. Creativity and sometimes both. I was happy we were able to display so much using furniture that I already owned, borrowed or altered in some way. Display easels were my daughter’s idea and with them we could display art without having to worry about hanging it up.
Craft fairs force you to be organized
Limited space and limited time along with my limited budget, forced me to try to be as efficient as possible. Of course my brain hurt during the days before the fair trying to think through things and staying up late reading all those checklists of things to bring to your first craft fair! But it did pay off because I did get there with almost everything, set up in time, was able to cover all my expenses with my sales and we even were able to spend three hours visiting at my in-laws later that day!! As usual I was reminded that God has it all in his control and that it is my job to trust Him and love others and he will work it out!