Posts Tagged 'craft fair'

How to Find Craft Fairs

NOW IS THE TIME! The time to start looking and booking your craft events for the year! But how do you find craft fairs and vending events to sign up for? A great question, and one I’ve been asked more than once! Here is where I find them:

1) Word of mouth.
Not always ideal when you first start out, but I’ve found some great events this way. Ask your crafty/ artsy friends and family about events they like to sign up for. If you’re already part of a regular market, ask the other vendors what shows they have coming up, if they’ve done them, and what they like or don’t like about them.

2) Check town websites and community Facebook pages.
My town started a Farmers Market last year, and I found that information on the town Website. I was the only craft-vendor to sign up! I also check the community Facebook pages of the surrounding towns just to see upcoming events and if I want to be a part of them.

3) Look for Facebook events.
Even easier than it sounds, and this is the number one way I’ve found events so far for this year. A friend will mark that they are “Interested” in an event, and it pops up in my news feed. I check out every single one, because you never know what you’ll find! If it looks like a fun event AND they are looking for vendors, I message the event asking how to sign up to be a vendor. You can also search through the Upcoming Events section on Facebook too, narrowing the search by area, month, and the type of event you’re looking for.

4) Sometimes, people ask you!
I signed up for a food truck festival in Worcester, and they asked me to sign up for their other festival in Spencer. I inquired about a town fair in Hubbardston, and they sent me the application for their Spring and Fall events. A blueberry farm down the street asked if I wanted to be a part of their Opening Weekend this year. Yes, yes, and yes!

 

Other things to remember:

Some events seem amazing and then you get there, spend 8 full hours in an under-heated room, and don’t even make back your table money (aka the money you paid for your table space). What a lousy day. And then next year, you’re invited to apply again. Ugh, no thanks. Whether you’re doing this as a hobby or as your full-time job, a wasted day is still a wasted day. You do not have to sign up for any event that isn’t a good fit for you.

The more you search for events, the better you get at finding them and at being able to identify a good fit for you and your craft. Some events will still be a miss, but you can make a notes about why it seemed great but wasn’t, and you know to avoid similar events in the future. I tend to avoid events where the contact person isn’t forthcoming with event information. So if I have to email someone and ask for more information and they send back just an attached application with no email content, I probably won’t sign up. I usually ask questions that are not always included on the application, and I don’t want to spend more time sending a second email with the same content as the first.

Similarly, if I show up to an event, that I paid to be a part of, and it’s hard to find the organizer and / or the organizer seems annoyed when I ask about my table location, the unloading area, or about anything that I do not know, then I won’t apply again. If your interest in me stopped after you cashed my check then why would I want to go back?

 

Anything I missed? Ask in the comments!

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We’re back on the fair circuit!

I’m super excited to share that I’m back at vending! I kicked it off last Friday at the Space’s Newbury Street First Friday Event, and it was so much fun. I’m definitely going to sign up for future First Fridays with them.

I’ve signed up for the Leominster Marketplace for the season and plan to be there every 2nd Saturday of the month. I also signed up for the Westminster Cracker Festival, which is at the end of October. I’m hoping to add a few more to the list, so if you’re interested you should definitely check out the “Events” page!

Upcoming Events

These next couple of weekends will be full of crafty wonderment for me / The Tragic Whale. I was at the Quashnet School annual craft fair last weekend, I’ll be at Coonamessett Farm tomorrow, and in Vermont the weekend after that! I’m really excited for a couple of reasons.

1) I’m much more confident in myself and my work than I was last year at this time.

2) It’s easier for me to engage people walking by my table and tell them about how I make my bags.

3) I don’t bring EVERYTHING I have. I bring a selection of different sized, shaped, and priced bags. This allows me to keep my shop open online, and gives me other things to talk about with people. If someone says, “I like this makeup bag but I would love a smaller one,” I’m able to say, “I have several other sizes,  including an extra small bag, a blah blah blah.”

I’ve added an “Events” page to keep anyone interested up to date!

Tomorrow I’ll be at Coonamessett Farm in E. Falmouth which means I’ll be sharing pictures via Instargram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, so get ready! My doctor suggested I look into it, and I’m excited because there will be a lot of local crafters there, and most of the shows I’ve done have been a jumble of crafts and people who just sell things.  Like this guy and his wife we call “Dog Socks,” because most of the fairs we did last year we saw them and they sell socks with dogs on them.

11 am to 3 pm, rain or shine! If you’re in the Cape Cod area you should totally come check it out!

SAE Holiday Fair

Today, Peter and I did a fair at the Station Ave Elementary School in Yarmouth. He was plugging for a table at a high school because he thinks we’ll do better but I thought it was a  pretty good one. The school band played for a little while and then the chorus sang Christmas songs, and a few vendors / visitors recognized us from the Orleans show!

We had an especially small table today because someone (me) bought a new folding table and didn’t look at the size before loading it into her car and driving around with it for a week. So instead of our normal 8 ft table we had a 6 ft table. Oops. I was going to trade it in but then I thought we could get a 4 ft one and make an L with them, giving us a little more room in the future. Or an arm rest!

Here’s our little spot in the gym:

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It was right near the entrance which is good and not-so-good. Good because people see us almost first! Not-so-good people people don’t always want to buy things right away. They want to look around, make a list in their head, and buy after. But by the time they hit the end they forget about us or already found other things to get instead.

This is Peter’s display:

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And some close ups!

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Peter has patience I couldn’t even dream of, opening and closing all those little rings to create such beautiful chain mail jewelry (and bikini tops)!

We’re looking for a show to do on December 15th so if you hear of anything in the Cape Cod area, please let me know!

Prepping for another craft fair :)

Peter and I are doing another craft fair tomorrow at the Orleans Elementary School (9 am to 3 pm if you’re in the area!) and I’ve spent the better part of the week sewing in preparation for it. But I also…

Bought a studio-style light to take better pictures when I don’t have a chance to get outside and catch that natural light!

Updated my shop with new inventory so the things I’m selling at the craft fair correspond with what I’m selling in my shop.

Ordered, and received, my Palpal Here! Now I can take debit and credit cards, which will open my shop up to all those people who didn’t bring cash to a craft fair.

I’ve also been working on a sign but I have a sneaking suspicion that it won’t be ready in time. Maybe for the next one!

Kerry does a craft fair.

Last Saturday I did my very first craft fair! It was scary and exciting and I had a lot of fun.

I shared a table with my friend, Peter. He makes some really amazing chain-maille jewelry. Here’s what my half looked like:

In true Kerry fashion, I forgot to take pictures of Peter’s half of the table, other interesting things at the fair, and just general things throughout the day.

I was originally very nervous about being in a craft fair because large groups of people make me uncomfortable and sometimes it’s hard for me to be nice to strangers. But it was easier than I thought! Although I only made a few sales, I had a lot of fun just talking to people and seeing what they were interested in. I learned that most women who stopped by our table didn’t need any bags but think I use cute fabrics.

I learned that it’s difficult for me to talk up my own products and that I need to work on my display. And maybe make a sign.

Peter and I already picked out another fair to do in February and want to squeeze in one or two more before Christmas. Hopefully I’ll remember to take more pictures next time!


Hello, I’m Kerry! Maker. Sewist. Fan of all things bright.

May 2019
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It's Fluff! Curious, master napper, likes to try new veggies.

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