Craft fair tips for a successful craft market
A couple of weeks ago, we participated in our first-ever craft fair. We started selling amigurumi in March 2020 (our brand name for our finished products is Zaggy – hence the sign), just before the world was locked down because of Covid-19 and so our sales have been mostly online. We were really excited to finally come face-to-face with our customers at a vendor event and just see people’s reactions to our stuff. It was such a great experience and we thought we would share our tips for a successful craft fair for any of you thinking of doing a summer craft fair with amigurumi (or even other crafts, since these lessons can be applied more broadly too).
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Craft Fair Display Tips
1. Make your craft fair display visually pleasing by using props such as baskets and crates that draw people to your stall.
When we decided to do the craft market, we did a mock craft fair display at home to figure out how we were going to get all the products to fit on our table in a visually pleasing way.
We decided to repurpose old fruit crates (yay mango season!) to create a little stand for our toys from our Juna series of amigurumi animals. The stand was cheap to make and gave it a very rustic look (they looked like animals in a barn!). A number of people commented on how cute the display was plus it allowed the crochet animals to be easily seen from a distance. Our Juna series toys were our bestsellers at the craft fair and the way they were displayed definitely had something to do with their success! The crates were complimented with cute baskets, making for an adorable craft market display. (The best part about the crates? We had one facing backwards under the top stand that served as a little shelf for us.)
2. Add a touch of handmade decor so that your craft market stall stands out. You can reuse this decor for future vendor events.
We had crochet bunting and a string of amigurumi hearts as part of our craft fair display. It really made our market stall stand out (we even had people asking if they could buy our crochet decor lol!).
3. Keep your display at varying heights.
Your display at your craft market should be at varying heights to draw attention to all of its parts (plus it gives you more room to display things!). Make sure you have something low for the kids to see – they are the best people to market your products to their parents 🙂 Our basket of larger dolls (our Zoya and Zayd crochet dolls) was on a lower table to the right of our table (we forgot to take a of photo it!). Its placement was good because children were able to see it at their eye level and pick out the dolls that they wanted.
4. Make sure that your products – especially your traditionally popular ones- are displayed prominently and can be seen.
We had cricket dolls based on our Zayd crochet doll, which surprisingly didn’t sell well (Pakistan is a cricket-mad country and these dolls are some of our best sellers online). At the end of the fair, a customer came to us as we were cleaning up and saw them and said, oh I never saw these! We realized that we had put them behind other toys and so you couldn’t see the uniform to know that these were cricketers – no wonder they didn’t sell!
5. Have a prominently displayed sign so that people know your brand name to create brand recognition
We had a large sign printed on an easel in front of our stall with our Instagram and Facebook handles. After the market, our follower count increased substantially! So even if someone didn’t buy, they may follow you in social media and buy from you at a later date.
6. Put similar items together
We put similar items together, which made it easier for people to see the diversity of our products. Our table was divided into zones with different types of amigurumi.
What Products to Take to Your Craft Fair
1. Take a diversity of craft fair inventory to tailor to customers with diverse needs and tastes.
We had a variety products with us. Broadly, they included:
- Amigurumi animals from our Juna Series
- Baby rattles and lovies (from our crochet baby gifts series)
- Smaller dolls and animals – our Kozu Palm Pals mini dolls plus some animals from Amigurumi Today
- Larger dolls from our Zayd and Zoya crochet dolls series
- Speciality toys including Harry Potter (both our mini crochet Harry Potter dolls plus larger dolls from Daisy and Storm) and our amigurumi Morphle plushie
- Design Your Own Crochet Monster Kits – we turned this into a kit that included the design your own monster worksheet, crayons, child-friendly scissors, and glue. People could buy the kit at the market and then send us a photograph of the finished monster to crochet for them. The cost of the kit included the materials included, the finished crochet monster, and delivery. The kit was really appreciated by parents but it didn’t sell quite as well as as we had hoped because kids prefer the instant gratification of a toy NOW (plus the craft fair was really busy and so we didn’t get a chance to market it to customers). Perhaps it’s a better gift item or online purchase – but it’s also a great option for when you don’t have enough product, as it can translate into future orders. (Update: since the market, we’ve gotten a bunch of orders for the crochet monster kit – the craft fair was great marketing for this kit!)
2. Take as much craft fair inventory as you can.
You don’t want to run out and you may surprise yourself in how much you sell! And if you don’t sell it all, well, that’s a bit off pressure taken off for creating product for your next craft fair, isn’t it 🙂 We ended up taking a LOT of inventory. Initially, this craft market was supposed to be in April and was cancelled due to a Covid-19 lockdown. So in the extra three months that we got, we had amassed a lot of amigurumi. We thought about whether we should take it all or just take some but, in the end, took everything with us. And, boy, were we glad we did! We sold significantly more amigurumi than we had anticipated and would have been disappointed if we had run out of product.
3. Keep products at varying price ranges
Handmade products can be costly and, while this is fair for the time that we put in, they aren’t affordable for everyone. Children were drawn to our stall but having low-cost items, such as our Kozu Palm Pals mini crochet dolls, allowed parents a more reasonable option that they could easily pick up. We now also have a couple of crochet keychains that work up fast and can add even quicker low cost items to your craft fair!
Other Tips for a Successful Craft Fair
1. Take Business cards with you
We didn’t have any, thinking that are they really necessary in this digital age? But people aren’t going to go to Instagram at that moment to follow you and may forget later – so you can lose potential customers. Luckily, we had our little thank you product cards with our social media information on them (that we put into the bag with our toys when they were bought) which we started distributing to people at the craft fair who asked for business cards.
2. Add price tags to all your products
We tagged each product individually so that people could see the prices themselves without having to ask us. We used very small price tags that we pinned onto each toy. They were subtle enough that they didn’t ruin the display.
3. Keep an inventory list that you can cross off
Take a list of your craft market inventory that you have that you can cross off as you sell items. Initially, we had also thought that we would also keep a receipt book where we would log each item sold. However, our stall was quite busy for most of the day and, honestly, just crossing off the list was all that we could manage for us to know what we had sold.
4. If it’s warm, take lots of water, snacks, sunscreen, and a hat!
Our craft market was on a really hot day (and in Karachi, hot means HOT!). We ran through our water within the first few minutes and it was difficult to get more, as our stall was really busy (plus who wants to pay hiked up prices for water!). Luckily, our family came to the rescue but do yourself a favour and be more prepared than we were!
5. Keep a small folding work table with you
We took a small folding table with us that we kept in between our chairs, which we used as our checkout table. It allowed us to keep the entire table for our product, while giving us a work space.
6. Bring change
Make sure you bring change with you! Think about the prices that you have on your toys and the denomination of the currency in your country – and bring change accordingly. You don’t want to be scrambling around for change!
7. Have options for people without cash
While we didn’t have a credit card option available to us, we allowed people to transfer money to our bank account if they needed to. If you have non-cash options for customers, it allows you to expand your sales because how many times have we all gone to a market and run out of cash?
8. Have packaging that stands out
We package out amigurumi in a black mesh bag with our logo on it – so that the toys are visible through the packaging. When we were planning the craft fair, we were wondering if we should keep brown paper bags for people to put their toys in, in case they brought multiple toys. But then someone told us that we should give the toys in our branded packaging, so that other people will see people with our toys and will be drawn to our stall. And, guess what – it worked! There were people walking around with Zaggy bags and toys, which was our best marketing strategy!
We hope this helps you in planning a successful craft fair. Wishing you the best of luck and let us know how it goes!
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