This past Saturday, I hit a milestone for my growing biz: my first craft show! I am so lucky to live in a great neighborhood. After a post on our FB group showed a large number of crafters and artists in our neighborhood, our HOA decided to host a craft fair. I was so excited to be a part of it. The fair gave me a chance to experience running a booth at a craft show without having to invest a ton of time and money.
Because the Internet was so helpful in giving me ideas for craft booths, I want to share how I did it. I’m no expert, and I still have a long way to go before I have the booth I dream about, but it’s a start.
First, I have to thank so many friends who helped me out. I borrowed the tent from my friend Stacy who makes really cute jewelry over at I’ve Been Framed (I love her pin-up
girl rings and pendants!). A craft show veteran, she gave me a ton of advice and encouragement in addition to letting me borrow her tent. Two neighbors let me
borrow their folding tables. My amazing hubby spent the morning helping me set up and then most of the day running after our little tornado of a son. Everyone I know gave me great feedback and encouragement. It meant a lot.
As for the actual setup here are the details:
- Coffee Cuff Table: I used a card table and put a 97-cent white
disposable table cloth over it. I then tiered three white ruffled cake pedestals on it and poured coffee beans on each tier (no real coffee was harmed – they were decaf beans). I arranged the cuffs on the tiers, putting a “Thanks a Latte” gift display on top. I decided to give away the gift, so I printed up some entry forms and put them on the table with a glass jar for people to put the entries into and a pen. I also had the different ways that the cuffs can be used on display. I finished off the table with some business cards and my logo with the accepted forms of payment in a frame.
- Main Table: Again, I covered it with a 97-cent plastic tablecloth. Over that, I put a teal sheet (a whopping $5) that was folded lengthwise like a runner. I folded back part of the sheet and put some plastic storage bins (the same ones I used to bring my stuff to the fair) under them to give me some height. I then arranged the items all over it. Since I couldn’t afford a banner, I got a cheap frame and printed out my logo with web site and Facebook addresses. I originally had it in the middle, but decided to put it off to the side. It felt too self-serving to have it front and center. I used a giant martini glass to display the coasters, clear plate stands to hold up a notebook and a zippered pouch, and my actual camera to show off the camera straps. It meant that I couldn’t take good photos of the booth, but a few people said that they wouldn’t be able to picture what they were or how they would look unless I had done that. In the future, I may just do a photo or something else. I don’t like the idea of putting my Nikon out on display. I put business cards on either side of the table.
- ‘Decor’: I used two cheap fabric shower curtains along with the super-cheap plastic rings that go along with them. I (well, the hubs under my direction) hung them so that they would go around the inside corners of the booth. I had wanted to create a backdrop, but didn’t know how to weigh down the bottoms so they wouldn’t be flopping in the wind. So I decided to try the corner thing and I think I liked it even more. I gathered the fabric with some zip ties and fluffed it out a bit. It was great because it helped hide my ‘personal’ area. I debated about the curtains a lot. I had the idea, but didn’t want to spend the money, didn’t know if it would be worth it, didn’t know if it would look good. But I went with my gut, and I think it made a big difference. I got a lot of compliments on it, and some craft fair veterans said that they’re going to do it at their next show!
– First sale! A teal floral & green dot camera strap to a high school photography wiz.
– Overheard a lady tell her friend: “Her stuff is kind of like Vera Bradley stuff, but I like this better.”
– Meeting so many people right in my neighborhood.
-My square didn’t work. It’s my phone. Sometimes it wouldn’t read the card, sometimes the network didn’t work. I had to switch to cash-only, which cost me at least two sales.
-Realizing at the end of the day that I didn’t take time to get good photos. There are no good shots of the booth, and there is nothing to say that I was there. So sad.
Overall, it was an amazing experience and am looking forward to growing my shop!