Last weekend I tried my hand at selling my creations at a craft fair for the first time ever! I certainly didn’t sell everything I came with, but it was a great learning experience for me and it’s got my head swimming with ideas of new things to make and more local venues to check out.
This particular fair was held at a small local shop called the Halcyon Store which happens to be run by my aunt. The town of Halcyon is a small community which exists within the already small town of Arroyo Grande. It was started around the turn of the century by a religious sect and has long been known for it’s independence and eclecticism. The store has been there for years and years and is a fixture of the tiny community. It is currently a post office and gift shop which specializes in new-age/ethnic/spiritual type products.
I sort of got into the fair last minute (kind of an impulse decision on my part) and was really scrambling to get everything made in about a month. I made 25 reusable shopping bags (all from thrifted vintage sheets), about 30 hair bows, some origami jewelry, some earrings from resin flowers and covered buttons, and a few necklaces. Phillip contributed by painting some paper mache skulls and masks in Day-of-the-Dead motifs, and I rounded out the booth with a selection of our vintage items. My cousin and her daughter also joined in with some things of their own, so despite my fears we really had a full booth.
I had spent the month researching craft fair tips and collecting things to use for displays, so by the time the event actually rolled around I was pretty prepared. I ordered a credit card reader from Square, which came in very handy and was easy to use. I made signs on Photoshop Elements and had them printed and laminated the day before. I actually brought everything to my parent’s house the night before to do a trial set-up in the garage with the tables and EZ-up. The one I wish I would have done more in advance was price all of the vintage items and clothes- I was still pricing on Saturday morning!
The actual fair was pretty laid back. We showed up an hour and a half before the start to set up, and we were able to drive right up next to the spot, which made things easier. My mom and cousin were there most of the time, which was really nice and made it easy to go for potty or food breaks, or to walk around and check out the other booths. The fair definitely has a distinct “hippie” vibe (tarot card readers, tie dye, Tibetan imports- you get the idea), so I wasn’t sure my booth really fit in as well as I would like. I think it would have fit in better with a more “indie” type of fair. I’m going to start going to more local fairs and events to scope out which venues might be a good fit.
I posted a reminder with some pictures on facebook and I was lucky to have lots of friends and relatives show up to support me, which I really appreciated. All-in-all, I think it was a great experience for me which has helped get me motivated to take my crafting to the next level of a side business for me. Despite the stress, I had fun making stock for my booth and putting the displays together, and it was gratifying to actually make a little money from it all too!
I’m planning on spending this weekend getting most of my remaining merchandise up on my Etsy shop (I might save a few things for Christmas presents!). I’ll be sure to post an update if anyone is interested in seeing it.