Sunday, September 13, 2009

Craft Fair Readiness

This is my second year going to craft fairs and festivals. It seems that I get invited to 2 or 3 more when ever I go to one and this is the busy season. I am going to a festival or show three weeks in a row in September, one in October, two in November and another in December. It is alot of work and can be very exhausting, but I have learned a few things that make going to them easier.

The first thing that helps tremendously is tagging your items with an inventory number and pricing as you make them all year long. (Also keep an inventory list with the appropriate numbers on excel and keep that updated all year long - this helps with year-end tax filing!) This way, all items are 'show ready' and you aren't spending the night before tagging your items. The second piece of this is that I store my items in the plastic bins that I use to travel to the show, so I just grab and go on the morning of the show.

The next important thing is to have a list of what you need to bring. I have put together a suitcase (with wheels) that is always ready to go. I use this bag to store them in all year, so I am always ready to go. This case includes:
Sales Slips
Calculator
Pens
Notebook
Credit Card Machine (and credit slips)
Handled Bags
Washing Instructions
Business Cards
Cash Box (I leave the change in there all year so I never need to worry about that!)
Tax ID documenation
Custom Order Forms
Measuring Tape
Updated Inventory List
Scissors
First Aid Kit
Tissues, Napkins
Signs
Tablecloths
Aprons

The Night Before:
Get plenty of small bills for the money box
Canopy, Tables, Chairs and Displays are lined up in the garage
My ever-ready bag and tubs of my work are stacked up in the pantry
Watch a movie and RELAX!

The Morning:
Shower
Pack a cooler with plenty of drinks and snacks
Pack the car
Drive to the show and unload

Daryl made me some really neat displays for my tables. I just love them!
This one is made with a piece of driftwood we found and is perfect for my felted bangles:


This one is perfect for my scarflettes:


And this cutie for Christmas Ornaments ~~



I hope this list will help others who are going to fairs and festivals. I was a nervous wreck for my first one and hope that if you are going to your first, this may help you a little!

5 comments:

Liz said...

This is a very interesting post with lots of good info! Thanks.

Mountainside Crochet said...

You sound wonderfully organized, Valerie. I have a similar setup - particularly the inventory sheets and items stored in plastic bins throughout the year. Makes it so much easier to load the car for a Craft Fair and be sure you're not forgetting anything.

Happy to hear your recent 'Fair' was successful for you and wishing you much the same in your other upcoming events.

SillyLittleLady said...

Those are some great displays! I've only done one show and I'd absolutely love to do more but with college and work and homework and work and classes and work...you get the idea hehe, its really hard to do shows these days. Good luck with yours!

Doris Sturm said...

Sounds good if you have a lot of inventory - which I don't. My biggest problem about going to shows is lack of man power. I can't physically handle all this setting up, lifting and carrying all by myself.

How did you do? - I probably don't need to ask! Your having a credit card machine speaks volumes!

Enjoy!

Seville83 said...

This is a really well thought out organized post, I hope to be able to run through a craft fair on my own someday, and I'll definitely keep your information in mind if I ever have the opportunity to do this :)