Tuesday, 15 February 2011

The Craft Fair That Wasn't

Or a (cheap) lesson in what not to do...?

I had booked the fair at a school on the basis of it being a) cheap and b) very near home but in the posher quarters.  So I hoped that there would be lots of arty teenagers (it having a specialist arts status) and that crafts would go down well.  Er...wrong.

I sold a stunning...nothing. Excuse me while I go and blush, and then laugh.  Next time can't be any worse, eh?

First, let me show you the stall.

We were right by the doors where people were loading, so it was a somewhat bracing start to a rainy and windy Sunday.  However, when the doors were closed, we were in a good position in the main hall, so had lots of foot traffic.  And from 11am to 1pm, it was really, really busy.

Above you can see some handmade teacup candles, the goblet candles (I was hoping for some Twilight-loving teens), decoupage hearts, and the lovely Mrs Prickles and her hog as made by my mum.

Then there were decorated silk journals, pencil boxes, petal baby hats, which I later took out of their bags and some tealight holders, plus magnetic hearts.  And some vintage silver plate birds.

There was a lot of interest in the baby hats, decoupage frames (just lurking to the right in the picture above) and my lovely pirate box (in the blog header).

So was it my stuff, or was it the fair, or the combination of both?  I started watching what people had bought, and most of the bags seemed to contain plastic toys for preschool children.  Aside from that, very little seemed to have been bought.  So I think my next run out needs to be a proper craft fair, and then I will get some feedback on the makes, and my current pricing.

I found a lovely enamel jug to decoupage for £1 and a stunning 50s book for a slightly overstated £2.  So grand spend for the day of £7, excluding a couple of gorgeous veggie samosas, and a flapjack.  Yum!

And at the end of the day, OH had a lovely and generous surprise.  The cake lady opposite (of the yummy flapjacks) discovered it was OH's birthday, and donated him a delicious heart cake from her remaining stock.  I tried to get a picture before it was attacked, and almost made it.  I would love to link to her website, but sadly the address she gave OH doesn't seem to be working.  If we see her again on the circuit, I will post her details.  She left her crumbs for the birds, so expect to see some low flying birds here in Middle England.

I'm sure I spy purple glitter on OH.  Very fetching!


  1. Very lovely indeed of her, and sorry all that energy wasted a learning curve indeed, we all need them at times, but they do seem hard!
    Shaz in oz.x

  2. What lovely things ..such a shame that they didn't sell. A craft fair is probably best as school ones attract those after a bargain.... and cakes. You might have sold more closer to Xmas....but even then it is hard to guage peoples reactions to crafts. I did one about 10 years ago at xmas, when DD and I were into making jewlery. We had a stall heaving with bits ...all very cheap as we only really charged cost + a nudge ... all mounted on cards or sitting in boxes and only managed to sell about 20 pieces. The day was long and the hall was busy....we went home tired and frustrated ...never did one again.

  3. Oh gawd if it's anything like the school fairs round here then Angie is right, more of a stand back or be trampled affair.

    Even so, am surprised you didn't sell anything. I would have had a goblet candle straight away. If you still are doing them nearer Christmas you can definitely put me down for one for my sis... and I may even treat myself too!

    Am watching your fair adventures with interest for when I get up the guts to do one myself :P

  4. It has happened to me too. Don't worry about it. Your stuff is lovely.
    I think it just depends what people have in their minds before they arrive.

    My friend and I have noticed...they always go for the food. If only your stuff was edible, you would have sold everything...now, there is an idea....edible notebooks and edible candles!!
    Sue xx

  5. Crafters often have this problem, you will find blog after blog not selling anything! I think people are very tight when it comes to handmade :-(

    Im not sure where you live, but my daughter and I travel from warwickshire to northampton Bicycle Basket Baazzar once a month - it is a vintage and handmade fair which attracts lots of alternative types!

  6. Thank you all for the votes of confidence (I'm treasuring those "lovely" verdicts), and words of wisdom. I've had a good laugh about it, and realised that my first fair was better than I thought!

    Carmen - I have goblets left to turn into candles, so will keep you in mind. ;-D

    Annie - the Northampton Bazaar sounds fabulous. I'll have a look at that one. I'm the right side of Birmingham (should such a thing exist), and it sounds intriguing.