My 1st Craft Fair by Joe & Anna Marketplace
I recall the memory vividly, as if it happened just yesterday. Arriving early in the morning, I found myself at the building while darkness still enveloped the surroundings. Carefully unloading my car, I began setting up my table. This marked my very first craft fair experience. Nervousness tingled within me. Nevertheless, I summoned the courage to push aside my anxiety and proudly showcase my handmade products to the public.
It may seem odd that I was so nervous, considering my 20+ years of teaching, where I had stood in front of thousands of children and parents and run trips, workshops, seminars, parent’s evenings, corporate events, work experience and careers guidance, to name but a few! But this time, it was different. This was my own business, and putting myself out there felt daunting. What would people think?
My display was simple, utilising inexpensive wooden crates to add some height to my table. I had been selling my candles online for about four months.
Online sales had been rather slow to be honest, okay, really slow. I believed it would be easier to sell my candles if potential customers could pick them up and experience their delightful scents firsthand.
At this particular event, shoppers had to pay a small entrance fee to access the vendors. A line of people eagerly waited outside, anticipation building as they anticipated the event’s opening.
And so, the moment arrived.
Next to me stood a seasoned vendor, who was participating in her 30th event. She specialised in selling silver jewellery and her display was impressive. She even used professional lighting to illuminate her table.
Her calm demeanour reassured me that everything would be fine.
As the shoppers began to trickle in, I had my favourite scents displayed on the table, inviting them to indulge in their aromatic allure.
Within the first 15 minutes of the event, I made my first sale! A Plum & Patchouli scented candle found its new home.
Nervously, I processed the credit card payment and carefully bagged the candle.
The event turned out to be a success for my debut. I certainly learned a few things along the way, but once I deducted the event expenses and the cost of the candles, I ended up with a profit of over £200 for the day.
That amount far exceeded what I had made selling online. I was captivated.
I had initially been apprehensive about engaging with shoppers. However, once I found my rhythm, I discovered that the shoppers were incredibly friendly, and there was nothing to fear.
I felt a sense of accomplishment, albeit accompanied by weariness from the day’s endeavours. Methodically, I packed up my belongings and made my way home.
Now, I was eager to sign up for my next event. Having one under my belt, I had gained valuable insights from the neighbouring vendors about which events were worthwhile and which to avoid.
I felt as though I had become a part of the “vendor community,” as if I belonged to a special club.
And I was right – selling my products in person, where people could touch and smell them, proved to be a relief. It made a significant difference.
I celebrated my courage in facing the possibility of failure and embracing the opportunity regardless.
If you find yourself on the fence about participating in an event, I tell you not to be afraid. It’s an excellent way to sell your products. Over time, you can refine your table display and improve upon it.
Take that first step, dip your toes in, and sign up for that initial event. You may be pleasantly surprised by the rewards that await you.
Have a lovely day!
Love, Katy x