Sunday, October 2, 2011

craft fairs: to do, or not to do?

I know that, in order to get your stuff out there in the world, you need as much exposure as you can muster. Of course, for arts and crafters, that means craft fairs. And what better time of year to find a slew of fairs, than 'the holidays'. The holidays, being that stretch of time beginning with the first wisps of cool air leading up to Halloween, followed by the only large non-denominational holiday of Thanksgiving, ending in the generally over-the-top gift rave of Christmas...which of course just sort of blends into New Year's.
Well, that time is upon us now. And my shop has sat dormant out there in cyberspace for the past year! My last sales were for last Christmas, when I listed everything at rock bottom prices with the intention of closing shop at year's end.
But I just couldn't do it. I love crafting and I love that people still love handmade gifts. I love being a part of a creative community. And I love being able to use crafting as a sort of therapy to relieve all of life's stress.
So,'s craft fair time. But do I want to do it? Do I have it in me?
Two years ago we did the annual fair at the farm where my sister works. It was fun. But it was cold and we were out in a building out back and down a hill. Possibly missing out on some foot traffic, but sheltered from the cold wind.
The next year, we tried again, but requested a table in the to the elements, but close to the other crafters and the general store (where the food and hot chocolate are!). To be honest, I think this one was a spring or summer fair...especially judging by the way I'm dressed! This time I had more paper bowls and journals and less cards. Neither time was particularly profitable for me, but we got a deal on the table since we shared and we got a farm member discount.
Auntie and I had also done a second Christmas craft fair after the first one we did at the farm. We sold nothing, and the space was cramped. We weren't happy at all. But...I got an invite to be a part of that one again. And I just feel like it's a good way to not only get exposure to actual shoppers, but also get me motivated to make product.
My sister has, of course, invited me to be a part of the fair at the farm again, in November. I just can't decide.


  1. Craft fairs are a ton of work and when you put all of the work into it just to "break even" it is like pouring salt on a wound. I have done some really great ones and some really terrible ones. I have also done a wide array of crafts so my profits have always depended on the craft I was crazy about at the time. I found that my paper crafting (while being most enjoyable and relaxing of all the crafts over the years) was the least profitable. I am not sure if people just don't get it or if they can't see paying so much for "just paper" or what... So, I am honestly not sure what to tell you. Maybe you could make something "Christmas-y" out of paper like some sort of ornament. Eh.. I just really don't know. I think I am still wounded from my last craft show (a few years ago) where I went about $200 in the hole. So, I may not be the best one to offer advice.

  2. I agree, Angela! paper crafts are a hard sell. I have been making paper ornaments since the beginning, thinking 'hey! people collect ornaments...these are cute!' but I think i only sold one. Then I thought JOURNALS and sold one. thanks for taking the time to's actually nice to see it's not just me! :)

  3. Don't feel like you have to do my fair. I won't be offended if you decide not to participate. *^_^* You're art is so cute and clever! I just wish more people could see it.

  4. i don't feel like i HAVE to do your fair, renee. it's one of only a few i know of out here. if it wasn't all the way in falmouth, i would probably be more likely to just do it. plus, i'm in the same boat as last year...not much actual product...just bits.