Whether you are trying to attract serious wholesale buyers or casual craft show onlookers, your craft show booth display is almost as important as your craft itself. As Nicole Stevenson said in Craft Show Secrets, “you’re showcasing your creativity and you’re building your craft business.”
You need your craft booth and craft fair display to reflect your talent as an artist, the value of your product, and the aesthetic of your brand. But hauling around a whole bunch of product and stylish ways to table display it isn’t easy. So why go to all the trouble?
Join Nicole Stevenson in “Secrets of Selling at Craft Fairs: How to Get In, Make Sales, and Grow Your Business” and WATCH NOW!
Because craft shows are about more than the total of your sales receipts.
Discover how to market what you make with Megan Auman. Learn more.
Craft shows can nourish your business in a whole variety of ways. In Craft Show Secrets, Nicole, who co-produces Patchwork Show: Modern Makers Festival, called out six different benefits to setting up your craft fair booth at a show:
Growing your brand and customer base
Getting feedback on your products
Traveling as a business expense
Connecting with wholesale buyers and media
Building your creative community
Making money by turning your passion into a product
With so much on the line, it is important to get your booth design, table, displays or display stands, and overall space right. To help you prepare and get inspired, we pulled together an inspiring collection of craft show display ideas and craft show tips that will help you discover ways to stand out from the crowd.
1. A dark wall contrasts the bright colors on the prints, all held up by simple binder clips to hold it up. The Pistachio Press display (as photographed by Oh So Beautiful Paper) is simple, yet impactful.
2. Way back in 2007 a Richmond Craft Mafia maker used a little ribbon and a whole lot of vision to transform an old trunk into a display booth. Not only is it an eye-catching product display and jewelry stand, it can store and transport products.
3. Pallets can be found on places like Craiglist, Amazon or Etsy at a very low cost (and if you look hard enough you may even find them for free). Take inspiration from Joy Lyn Photography and create a beautiful retail display out of pallets to hang your handmade goodies at your next craft show.
4. Displaying crafts at outdoor craft fairs or festivals means you will probably have a canopy. Try this clever trick from Grit Goods to hide those unattractive canopy poles, while creating an inviting display for your items.
5. If you want to incorporate craft show display shelves into your booth design, try this easy apple crate shelf. Constellation and Co. offers up an excellent DIY shelving units tutorial that’ll show you how it is done.
6. WiredOrchid repurposed shutter doors for a freestanding wall display. You can remove some of the shutters to create shelving units for items that cannot be hung.
7. A cute and simple idea to display clothing is to create your miniature clothesline above your table like Flock Home did for this tabletop display. Not only is it an functional use of vertical space, its also adorable and can be used for so many different handmade products ranging from baby clothes to greeting cards. (BTW, Creative Income has some great advice on going vertical in your craft show displays.)
8. Janie Severin, of ARTifcatsBYJANIE, repurposed a mannequin by adding horizontal shelving units to create a very cool bracelet and necklace display.
9. A vertical display can also be made from chicken wire and an old screen like Homeroad did for their at-home photo display. Chicken wire is relatively lightweight which makes it nice and easy to transport and display products.
10. Customize a hanging display by using PVC pipe and ends from the hardware store like Mimi Green did for her dog collars. There are so many potential configurations the possibilities are endless!
11. If you have a lot of different items to display use baskets, like Belle and Union did, to organize each item making them more accessible and organized.
12. A fun way to show off jewelry displays is the Briolette way: in a corked bottle. Not only does this make a great market display, it also serves as perfect packaging.
13. There are so many creative ways to upcycle existing objects into creative craft displays and newspapers are no exception. Here Retail Details rolled up old newspaper for a watch display that could work just as well for bracelet display or create wider rolls of newspaper for necklace displays.
Join Nicole Stevenson in “Secrets of Selling at Craft Fairs: How to Get In, Make Sales, and Grow Your Business” and WATCH NOW!
Discover how to market what you make with Megan Auman. Learn more.
Relating your craft show booth or table to a store window is a good way to look at your space from a different perspective and ensure you have elements that will catch the eye. (Here are other retail best practices you should apply at your next craft show)
And although you may only have a few feet, you also want to think of your table or booth like the inside of the store, and create a layout that draws shoppers in on one side, allows people to shop without blocking your eye-catching elements, and allows people to pay without blocking your main shopping area or eye-catching areas.
Check out CRAFT SHOW LAYOUT TIPS for the 3 zones your table or booth should have and how to properly set them up.
You may also be interested in:
>> WHAT SELLS BEST AT A CRAFT SHOW
>> 50 PROP IDEAS FOR A CRAFT SHOW
>> BOOST CRAFT SHOW SALES WITH THIS TYPE OF PRODUCT
>> CRAFT TRENDS FOR 2019
>> LAWS FOR SELLING HANDMADE
You only have a few seconds to grab shoppers’ attention as they walk by and encourage them to come take a closer look.
Of course, your amazing products will help do that but below are 10 other tactics you can use to enhance your booth and make sure you’re noticed from across the room.
These are techniques major retailers put to use because they translate into dollars:
Colors are a great way to evoke emotion and make a statement. It’s such a powerful display element, I’d go so far to say:
Every craft show display should (properly) use color.
The right colors will communicate a message (think light blue for calming spa-like atmosphere or yellow for fun, cheerful products) and attract your ideal customer. You can’t know and appeal to everyone’s taste but is the person you’re trying to attract drawn to soft pastels, bright neons or deep, rich hues?
The absence of color is another way to stand out, letting your products do the talking. White walls, floor, table cloth, props, and uniform is bound to make shoppers stop and take notice.
USED AT A CRAFT SHOW:
Here’s a quick look at a craft show display by Don Fisher that uses color. Please see more of their photos and an explanation of all the visual merchandising techniques they’ve successfully implemented, at the end of this article.
USED IN RETAIL:
An eye-catching hot pink color is pulled from the product label and used in some oversized tassels that mimic the tassels on the bottle in a Jo Malone window. This window also uses REPETITION with the same product being displayed 3 times. (Image Source: VM)
An all white window with bright lighting at JOSEPH really catches the eye (Image Source: VM)
Repetition is another merchandising technique that should be used in EVERY craft show display.
It should start with your products. A craft show table should NOT be full of 101 different products; with no two being the same.
Limit your selection (which was proven to have increased a jam vendor’s sales by 27%, just by limiting flavor options) and be sure there are elements repeated within your products.
For example, every piece of jewelry a maker offers may be made out of copper and use geo shapes. The color of stones may create variety but still use repetition; each copper, geo-shaped necklace, ring, and bracelet is offered in a purple quartz, rose quartz, and green quartz stone.
Once you’ve sorted your product selection, you can use repetition in the way you display them.
*If you need help refining your selection, or putting any of this information together to create your next amazing craft show display, you can sign up for 5 DAYS TO A STANDOUT DISPLAY (it’s FREE).
More examples shared in 5 DAYS TO A STANDOUT DISPLAY.
Odd numbers tend to be more pleasing so if you’re going to repeat an element, repeating it 3, 5 or 7 times is the way to go.
USED AT A CRAFT SHOW:
Here’s a quick look at a craft show display by Poppiejanes and their effective use of repetition through shapes of products, colors, and patterns (notice in the top left how the vendor is even wearing a black and red buffalo plaid shirt to coordinate with her pillow covers). Please see more of their photos and an explanation of all the visual merchandising techniques they’ve successfully implemented, at the end of this article.
USED IN RETAIL:
The same product is repeated 3 times to highlight these accessories at Tods. (Image source: VM)
Color, pattern, lines and products are all repeated throughout this Louis Vuitton window. (Image source: VM)
A clutch is repeated 3 times in a window at Anya Hindmarch showing off the product and varying color options. (Image source: VM)
This visual merchandising technique should also be present in EVERY craft show display (the rest of the ideas in this article can be used at your discretion).
Compositions lead the eye around your booth or table. This is done by deciding which element is going to grab the shopper’s attention first (usually the bigger, brighter display at eye level or above), then creating a trail for the shopper’s eye to follow, from one display element or product to the next.
This is why laying products flat on a table does not help attract more shoppers or encourage more sales.
When everything is on the same level, nothing catches the eye or creates a path telling shoppers where to look next; it’s overwhelming to shop and to make a decision (which lowers sales).
Line & composition can be a difficult element to master but is also an incredibly important one.
Once you understand it, you’ll notice it being used in store windows, in-store merchandising, photos, advertisements, etc.
It’s an art and it works.
It’s important to use line & composition throughout your entire booth AND within each element.
For example, when standing back and looking at your display, one product grouping or display element should grab the eye. Within that product grouping, one product should catch the eye and then lead to other products (ones that are less expensive, less profitable, good add-ons, etc.)
Your eye is naturally drawn to bigger/higher/brighter/etc. objects in a display (e.g. the pink bag below). Then, the overlapping, angle, height, direction products flow, etc. creates lines that direct the eye and make sure shoppers see what you want them to see, when you want them to see it.
Below is a visual example take from MAKE MORE MONEY AT CRAFT FAIRS; a more detailed explanation of how to use and implement line and composition is explained there.
USED AT A CRAFT SHOW:
Here’s a quick look at Our Blue Abode‘s craft show display and their effective use of LINE & COMPOSITION. Notice how your eye is drawn down from the wreaths on the wall, and onto the product groupings on the table. I explain how she’s successfully created flow and share more photos of her displays at the end of this article.
USED IN RETAIL:
Depending on which way someone approaches this Harvey Nichols window, their eye is either drawn to the brightly lit group of 3 mannequins, and then follows the angled line and writing to the 2nd group of mannequins or the opposite; the contrast of the white hashtag on the black background grabs the eye first and leads it down the angled “work hard, play hard” line to the 3 mannequins. (Image source: VM photo credit Melvyn Vincent)
You could literally draw a continuous line from one display element to the next. The overlapping of products, props, and mannequins, the way the mannequins are angled (even the line of the leg on the mannequin in the tan coat directs your eye to the next element) and the use of light and dark (notice how they’ve used different color mannequins in the second grouping. A white mannequin makes the black dress stand out and a black mannequin makes the light sweatshirt stand out. The sleeve of the light sweatshirt also pops out when placed in front of the black dress).
The beautiful floral art grabs your eye at LK Bennett as the over sized paint tube & brush lead your eyes down to the product (colorful shoes). On the other side, if your eyes are down as you walk by, the flower paint spilled on the sidewalk will lead your eye into the window in the reverse direction. (Image source: VM)
Consider the flow of your craft show table too. You want shoppers to:
CRAFT SHOW LAYOUT TIPS thoroughly explains how to break your display into zones that encourage stopping, shopping, and buying.
The end of your table should act like a website pop up. “But wait! Before you go…” If they haven’t purchased, you want to make one last attempt to grab their attention.
If shoppers aren’t going to take the action of purchasing, what’s the easiest action they can take so you can stay in touch and have the opportunity to sell to them in the future?
HINT-HINT 😉 It’s signing up for your newsletter. If you think you don’t have enough content to start and send a newsletter…think again.
Here are 365+ newsletter ideas for a handmade business.
You 110% NEED a newsletter for your business. It’s THE most effective way to stay in touch with your target market and is 4 times more effective than using social media. Here’s how to start one in 10 minutes.
Make sure every shopper is leaving your space with a good feeling and a way to remember you.
5 DAYS TO A STANDOUT DISPLAY has tips to ensure no shopper ever forgets your booth, brand or the experience you create for them.
A spotlight on a display or product immediately catches the eye and draws it to your product.
Mood lighting can be effective too but you don’t want your space to feel drab. Shoppers need to be able to see what they’re buying so be sure you’re not impeding sales in an attempt to create dramatic lighting.
You can get creative and not only use lighting to highlight your displays but also make lighting part of the display.
The light fixtures and light draw attention to each individual shoe at Charlotte Olympia. (Image Source: VM)
Gucci directs spotlights on each mannequin to make their bold colors stand out even more (Image source: VM)
Macy’s uses light bulbs and their cords to create a tree design and add extra lighting to the window. (Image source: VM)
Adding larger than life elements can immediately grab a shopper’s attention. As they walk around the venue seeing everything in proportion, an oversized picture or prop will make them stop and take notice.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money either…you’re crafty! Cardboard, foam, paper mache, etc. can all be used to create lightweight, oversized (or undersized) objects that can hang above your table with the use of fishing wire. It will catch the eye of shoppers as soon as they walk in the venue.
Examples are shared in 5 DAYS TO A STANDOUT DISPLAY, but imagine a giant ball of yarn made from a styrofoam ball wrapped in rope and spray painted the same color found in a logo or product collection. Add a flat surface to the top and bottom and you have a cool display shelf for knitted goods.
How fun is this oversized pop can mimicking the print on the mannequins dress in a Moschino window? (Image source: VM)
Larger than life beauty tools draw attention to the makeup Kate Spade is selling inside. (Image source: VM)
Big props create color and interest through needles knitting a pattern at H&M and promote the knits they have in-store. (Image source: VM).
Hairpins are something that might be used with these Hermes scarves. (Image source: VM)
Which objects, shapes, colors or textures will make a shopper stop and take note of how polar opposite they are to your products?
You can also create a contrast to the surroundings. If the event is busy, bright and loud, your quiet, serene setting will be quite the contrast to the rest of the atmosphere. If the weather is cold and snowy, a warm beach theme will also stand out in contrast.
The crisp, clean Alexander McQueen dress stands out in contrast to the dark background. (Image source: VM)
7 – HUMOR
Who doesn’t love to laugh? Humor helps us let our guards down and feel more comfortable…and a comfortable shopper is more likely to stick around and buy.
Don’t try too hard; you don’t need each passerby to keel over in laughter; a simple smile or chuckle will immediately make them relax. Be sure your humor isn’t offensive and it doesn’t need explaining…keep it simple!
French Connection uses their FCUK campaign to have some fun with phrases that will make you chuckle and maybe even shock you at first glance. (Image source: VM)
A giant whoopee cushion uses humor, scale and nostalgia to make you take notice of Fred Perry’s back to school children’s clothes. (Image source: VM)
Don’t you love seeing something that reminds you of your childhood? It evokes a strong feeling, which is incredibly important when it comes to being memorable; do you remember products that made you feel nothing?
Items from our past, or “before and afters” reminding us how far we’ve come, will encourage people to stop and have a closer look.
This Moschino window brings us right back to playing dress up with our Barbies. The oversized toy packaging grabs your attention and makes you envision how the bright and fun outfit will look on the mannequins…or you! (Image source: VM)
Theo Fennel’s window immediately reminds you of the sound and feel of spinning the tin top that’s used as a prop, along with wooden blocks (spelling out Theo), both used to display beautiful jewelry. (Image source: VM)
Something moving among static products (aside from other people) can catch a shopper’s eye.
You don’t want it to become a hazard or annoying (strobe lights are not the way to go), but something that makes people want to stop and watch a prop go through the whole motion, can work to your advantage.
The more complex the movement is, the further out of reach it should be (up high or behind your table). You don’t want moving objects to be in the way of products shoppers are trying to browse.
Movement can also be implied through displays to show off components of your products or to create a feeling. Pulling the end of a scarf up using fishing wire can imply the movement of wind and make the shopper think of chilly days.
This Anthropology window is so serene. Fans gently blow scarves to show how delicate they are while sunlight highlights the beautiful colors. (Image source: VM)
Movement is implied in this windy Hackett window, creating an interesting scene to stop and look at. (Image source: VM)
An element of surprise is involved in many of the ideas above but you can make an even bigger impact by creating a moment shoppers aren’t expecting at a craft show. It should leave them amused and excited to tell others about it.
You can also add intrigue. Make shoppers do a double-take and hang around a little longer to check something out or solve a puzzle.
For example, encouraging shoppers to come closer to peer into a shadow box or behind curtains to see what they’re missing out on. Having something out of place or missing intrigues the mind and forces it to figure out what the missing piece of the puzzle is or how to solve the equation, which gets shoppers hanging around a bit longer. Perhaps long enough for you to make a sale?
You may be surprised to see an island backdrop set up in the middle of the city for you to have your own photoshoot. And if you’re not quite camera ready, it’s a great opportunity to head in and try some of Liz Earle’s beauty products. (Image source: VM)
A broken chair may make you take a second look as you walk past The Conran Shop, which is pointing out that their furniture is well constructed and will last a lifetime. (Image source: VM)
I know what you’re thinking; Well this is all fine and dandy but how do I apply it to MY craft show display?
Let me get you started 🙂
Assess how many of these elements you’re using in your current craft show display.
You don’t want to use too many of these visual merchandising techniques or you run the risk of overwhelming the shopper.
Start with your products and your brand. What’s their message?
Think about your:
Figure out how you will communicate that information through your display.
Sound like a lot?
It’s not hard to do but it also doesn’t come together without some effort. I’ll walk you through the easy steps in the FREE email course: 5 DAYS TO A STANDOUT DISPLAY.
You can set up your products at a craft show without all this effort and makesales.
But my guess is…since you’re here…you want more sales.
To do so, you must make an impact with your display and tell your product’s and brand’s story.
I’ll walk you through each step of setting up a powerful display that actually impacts sales in the FREE email course: 5 DAYS TO A STANDOUT DISPLAY.
“I am brand new at doing Craft Sales. I started in November 2017. Did my first sale sold nothing. Did my second sale and sold a couple of items. Took the 5 day challenge and made a profit at the last sale.”
~Just for you cards by Kathryn
“I applied some steps from the challenge and it was AMAZING, it really helped and improved my display. More people came to see the booth and many bought from me.”
~Beatriz, Owner of Pretelie from Brazil
Try testing your new-found knowledge. Take a look at each photo, think about the visual merchandising techniques they have implement and then read the caption.
Abagail from Our Blue Abode, sells beautiful home decor pieces and these are a few photos from craft shows she’s participated in. She clearly has a talent for creating compositions and photography. Please check out her website or follow @ourblueabode on Instagram
In these two displays, there are several well-implemented design techniques, but she’s focused on a few key ones:
Here’s another example of Our Blue Abode’s display at another event and an example of many visual merchandising techniques successfully implemented:
I have been admiring this company for years. I first noticed them because of their craft show display, I just think it’s so genius and creative.
Don Fisher was started by Julia Castaño (and her boyfriend helps where he can…like dressing up as Captain Don Fisher). Julia is a graphic designer based in Barcelona, Spain, and has studied branding and design. She started her business with fish-shaped pencil cases and now offers a wide variety of fish-themed bags. Check out their website and products; the details are amazing.
This is a photo from their first craft fair in 2013:
Here are a couple of photos from a more recent craft show, after a logo and brand update:
In these two displays, there are a lot of well-implemented display techniques but they’ve focused on:
When I was scrolling through Instagram, Poppiejanes‘ photo of their craft show display instantly caught my eye. Poppiejanes sells pillow covers that have a farmhouse vibe; many also have a “buffalo” theme, incorporating a buffalo shape or buffalo plaid. Check out their Etsy shop or Instagram feed for more amazing photos of their work and lots of inspiration for your home.
I wanted to point out how she’s successfully implemented these techniques throughout her display; even within a smaller section on her table. I also love the attention to detail shown in this close-up photo.
More craft show examples to come…
Thanks for reading!
You’re so far ahead of the competition if you just took the time to read through those professional merchandising techniques.
I’d love to hear your thoughts now…
Reference: Visual Merchandising & Display (4th Edition) Martin M. Pegler
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How does one annual event become a cannot-miss, long looked forward-to major celebration? Although the town lacks the massive cultural capital of Miami, Delray Beach is rapidly becoming a center of local culture amidst Palm Beach County and this upcoming weekend will tell visitors why. In addition to the traditional Delray Beach Craft Festival taking over several blocks of famed Atlantic Avenue, Stitch Rock, South Florida’s largest indie craft market, will be taking over Delray’s Old School Gymnasium on Saturday, October 3.
Since the first Stitch Rock in October of 2007, the event has blossomed from an Etsy spillover to a must-attend day in Delray. The brainchild of artist and entrepreneur Amanda Linton, Stitch Rock has only increased in popularity over its existence. Linton originally simply wanted to put in place a market where she could buy the local wares she saw on Etsy, but it’s spun into so much more and helped inspire a thriving craft scene across South Florida. “Pretty much the reason I started it was because I wanted to shop for the goods I saw on Etsy,” she said. “I couldn’t understand why no one else had tried it, so I gave it a go.”
Upon arrival at Stitch Rock, you’ll find not only unconventional craft vendors from all over Florida, but food trucks, popsicle stands, cupcake vendors, live music, fashion shows, and most of all, plenty of hard-working local artisans who deserve some of your hard earned cash.
“We’re all just out there hustling. It’s really nice being a vendor and seeing your friends and fellow vendors and how far they’ve come,” said Melodie Blaize of SnipTease, who’s especially well known in Miami for her customized clothing. “I’m excited about this weekend. Stitch Rock brings its own awesome community and there are some people I only see there once a year.”
But why indie craft fairs? What distinguishes events like Stitch Rock from larger, more commonly occurring events throughout South Florida? Nate Shelton, editor of the art & craft show magazine Sunshine Artist, believes that indie craft fairs definitively serve an often unserved market. “As wonderful as traditional craft or art fairs can be for any community, indie craft fairs have a unique ability to capture the attention of consumers who might otherwise shy away from the ‘same-old, same-old’,” he said. “Whether the exhibitors at these events use time-tested crafting techniques to pay homage to today’s most adored pop-culture properties, find all-new ways of working with classic mediums, or even lead a resurgence in crafting methods previously thought to be lost to the sands of time, they truly offer something for just about any taste under the sun.”
And as with Stitch Rock, which incorporates food trucks and live music and other performances, indie craft fairs become experiences all of their own.
Organizer Amanda Linton may also be South Florida’s busiest woman in crafts. In addition to planning Stitch Rock and selling her own wares at the event, she runs the Slush Box gallery at Ink & Pistons Tattoo salon in West Palm Beach and has also masterminded events such as Art Rock in West Palm Beach, Downtown Open Market in Boca Raton, and Retro Indie Market in Boynton Beach.
In many ways, Stitch Rock is the culmination of many more frequent events that occur throughout the tri-county area. Smaller scale events, including the art walks that are phenomenally popular from the heart of Wynwood to the industrial fringes of Boynton Beach, appear in many cities up and down the coast, but Stitch Rock remains the powerhouse of the off-kilter crafting scene in South Florida.
When asked why she believes Stitch Rock is so very popular, Linton is humble, believing that much of the event’s success is due to its perpetually excellent vendors. “I think one of the main reasons people love Stitch Rock so much is due to the consistency of knowing you will find tons of great quality vendors year after year,” she said. “Also, having the show only once a year makes it special and something to look forward to.”
Necklaces made by Kattilac Gems. (Courtesy of Stitch Rock)
Upcycled light fixtures made by Ransom Designs. (Courtesy of Stitch Rock)
Bracelets made by Kattilac Gems. (Courtesy of Stitch Rock)
Crochet spider web from Coven of Craft. (Courtesy of Stitch Rock)
In the early years of Stitch Rock’s success, several other similar events popped up in other cities, including the Indie Craft Bazaar, which hosts events in various cities across Broward, and Hollywood’s Odd Duck Bazaar. Miami’s most notable indie craft fair, the Brickell Bazaar, opened up on Tobacco Road in May 2011, but unfortunately could not continue to pull in crowds like Stitch Rock and, based on its web presence, was absorbed into the Indie Craft Bazaar organization.
One of the big differences between indie craft fairs and established large scale, often juried, arts fairs (such as the Coconut Grove Arts Festival, one of the largest and most-recognized outdoor fine arts festivals in the country) is also the availability of goods at a lower price point. While there are definitely big ticket items available at Stitch Rock, many of the vendors there seek the business of young people and young families. In many ways, this makes Delray, a city with a demonstrably lower price tag than Miami, an ideal home for such a fair.
Stitch Rock has also maintained a funky yet family feel over the years. In its early days, the event was popularized by word of mouth, with the information spread mostly among groups of young women locally. As Linton said about many of Stitch Rock’s early vendors and patrons, “You make things that you can use, that your friends can use.” Each year, there seem to be more young children attending the event, which Linton believes reflects less on the market attracting children and more on regular patrons starting families. “A lot of us we started in our early 20s, and now many of us have kids,” she said. “It’s just a natural progression.”
An event like this could not exist without the influence of artists in from Miami, several of whom represent at Stitch Rock every year. One such artist, Cristina Montes, a self-described “geek mom,” brings her unique brand of knit and crochet toys (under the personal brand Crafstina’s Stitchery) to the event.
For Miamians who would like to see more events such as Stitch Rock closer to home, even the experts know that sometimes indie craft fairs can be difficult to sustain. As Linton explained, “It’s a tricky combination, wanting to give vendors a place to sell their goods and being careful not to oversaturate the market. I don’t have all the answers; I have just managed to figure out works for us in our market.”
Regardless, Stitch Rock is the perfect excuse to see what the arts and indie crafts scene is serving up beyond Miami-Dade County. Admission to Stitch Rock is $5 and gift bags go to the first 100 visitors. Doors open at noon and the fair runs until 6 p.m.
By Emily langerholc
Courtesy of Stitch Rock
Lotion candles made by Return to the Roots. (Courtesy of Stitch Rock)
Jewelry from FourteenEleven Designs. (Courtesy of Stitch Rock)
Refresh probiotic deodorant made by Return to the Roots. (Courtesy of Stitch Rock)
Jewelry from FourteenEleven Designs. (Courtesy of Stitch Rock)
Heart art by NicoleHatesYou. (Courtesy of Stitch Rock)
Homemade cosmetics. (Courtesy of Stitch Rock)
The holiday season is in full swing in the south metro area, where dozens of craft fairs and markets are popping up in time for gift shopping. Do you have plans this weekend? There are five craft sales from Englewood to Castle Rock that will feature hundreds of skilled vendors selling everything from clothes and household decorations to seasonal snacks and secret recipes.
Castle Rock Craft Show
Address: Douglas County Event Center, 500 Fairgrounds Road, Castle Rock
Hours: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4
The scoop: One of the biggest events of the year in Castle Rock is the annual craft show, hosted and organized by the Castle Rock Senior Center. “What started with a few ladies from the senior center 25 years ago wanting to sell some of their crochet items has turned into the largest craft event anywhere in the area,” said Deb Santy, assistant director at the senior center. “It is 100-percent run by the community, and all of the proceeds from this show go directly back into the community to have services and programs for senior citizens.” There are 130 craft vendors, 24 tables set aside for business and organization vendors, a large used book sale, a bake sale, a Grandma’s Attic section, a wreath auction and a silent auction with more than 80 items.
Englewood Holiday Bazaar
Address: Malley Recreation Center, 3380 S. Lincoln St., Englewood
Hours: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4
The scoop: Englewood’s annual Holiday Bazaar is entering its 38th year. Cheryl Adamson, education and cultural program administrator for the city, said there will be 113 vendors this year and, as always, the show is open to everyone. “We carry all homemade, handmade, personally made items that are all fantastic holiday gifts,” she said.
Jewelry and Holiday Gift Fair
Address: Recreation Center at Eastridge, 9568 S. University Blvd., Highlands Ranch
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4
The scoop: This is the biggest craft fair in Highlands Ranch, said Mimi Epling, event manager at Eastridge. With 142 vendors sprawled across the recreation center’s gym, suspended running track and every community room, there is sure to be something for everyone. “We’ve been doing this show for 11 years, and I have vendors come as far as Maine,” Epling said.
Grandmother’s House Boutique at Tagawa Gardens
Address: 7711 S. Parker Road, Centennial
Hours: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 7-11
Cost: $5 for all five days
The scoop: Patricia Swan and her husband have run Grandmother’s House Boutique at Tagawa Gardens for the last five years, though the event has been in the metro area for more than 30 years. Swan got involved in the show as a vendor about 15 years ago. “The previous owners wanted to retire, so we bought the business and my husband spent years developing a bar code scanning program that we incorporate here so that every purchase is done at a central checkout,” Swan said. “We supply microfiber shopping bags to customers, they shop from all of the vendors and then we check them out once. It’s nice for the vendors and the customers find it really convenient, too. We’re the only ones that do that.”
Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Show at Lone Tree
Address: Lone Tree Golf Club and Hotel, 9808 S. Sunningdale Blvd., Lone Tree
Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4
Cost: $3 for adults
The scoop: There are 60 small Colorado businesses represented at this juried craft show. “We have a really select group of artisans who are all very unique and who all have very high quality in their work,” said Diane Ware, who has organized this event for 25 years. “They are incredibly talented people and some of them don’t do a lot of shows, but they choose to do ours. There are some truly remarkable finds here and we feel really lucky to have them.”
This story was first published on DenverPost.com
A lot has changed with Shabby's craft fair booth display. When we Shelves built into the clothing rack enable us to display other goods besides clothes. craft.
One of my favorite pastimes? Attending fairs. Whether they are women’s fairs, book fairs or a craft fair – I love them all. I love going to craft fairs for several reasons, namely to get out of the house without my husband and children. Bahaha! I also enjoy meandering and browsing, taking my time to both appreciate and purchase other crafters works and to get new ideas for my own home.
Vendor fairs and I go way back. As a child I attended and assisted my mother at her booth in countless fairs. I would help set up, I would man the booth while she had bathroom breaks and I learned how important it is to mingle with other vendors during slow times. If you are thinking of attending your first craft fair as a vendor, there are some definite do’s and don’t’s when it comes to setting up your booth and how you engage with your customers – and other vendors too!
The obvious goal, when paying the entry fee to a craft fair, is to sell your wares and recoup your cost (and then some). But, you also want people to remember you and your name so that they can find you later on your Facebook page, your website or find you on Etsy etc. Take the following tips and see if you can’t walk out of your next craft fair feeling like a boss.
Presentation is everything! Your buyer’s first impression will many times make or break a sale. When setting up, think of the ways your booth will appear to passersby. You want to offer a wide array of items, in a wide range of price points, without over crowding your table. This is not an episode of Hoarders, but you definitely want to utilize ALL space available to you – including vertical space.
Take table cloths (inexpensive flat sheets from Walmart work well also) to drape over the table, use wooden crates to add depth and “shelves”, use old opened suitcases for charm, invest in a mannequin, convert an old photo frame to have chicken wire stapled to the back for hanging items (with mini clothespins) etc… The more eye catching your booth (without being overcrowded) the better.
Provide a mirror! I can not tell you how many times I have left an item I might have purchased if I could have just seen it ON myself. Try to have a good sized mirror (full length if possible) with a frame instead of hand-held. Of course if a large mirror is not possible a hand-held mirror is better than nothing, but again – presentation is everything. If you don’t already have a cute, decorative mirror, watch for sales (or use your coupons!) at Hobby Lobby, Michael’s or Joann’s etc and pick one up!
I can not stress enough how important it is to have business cards in multiple places. Have a stack at the front of the table and throw one in the bag when you package a purchased item. If they do not make a purchase, you can also give them a business card from your handy dandy stack.
There are numerous places to find inexpensive business cards online. Make sure you include where to find you online and how to contact you.
As a customer, I do not want to have to ask for a price. In fact most times I will not ask, instead I’ll just pass right on by. Don’t do that to your customers – or to yourself!
Want an even better way to price your items? Use your business cards AS your price tags (but also have some available in that stack). Create a small hole to string through and attach to your items. Think of it this way: if someone likes your work enough to pay you for it, they automatically get a business card that they will later have to remove (and hopefully stash in their purse, wallet etc). To me this is better than just throwing the card in the bag that will then get thrown away.
Be available but not pushy. My main craft will always be crochet, so I am sure to bring my yarn and my hooks and I crochet as I stand at my booth. (I try not to sit as it may come off as me being bored) This allows me to be present and available for questions, but in a way that doesn’t feel overly in-your-face to the shopper. Plus, I’m creating more product!
Alternatively, engaging with your customers is key. When I shop I want to be left alone, but I also want to know that should I have any questions (can you make this in a different color? etc) that the vendor is accessible. When I am on the other side of the table however, my approach is different. Definitely make eye contact, smile and say hello, read the person’s reaction. Their body language will tell you if they wish to engage in further conversation or simply shop.
Think small (ish) and think ahead! What kinds of things will people be needing in the next few months? In October, the best items would be Thanksgiving or Christmas related, whereas in March you might want to stock your table full of items pertaining to Easter, spring cleaning/useful things and perhaps even some items geared towards the 4th of July.
You also want to have a wide array of items, including unique items you can’t just find at Walmart. Keep much of it simple and trendy. Many times the smaller items, like the Aldi Quarter Keepers, dishcloth sets, chapstick keychains, mini-blind cleaners, sell better than scarves and blankets simply because it’s an impulse buy at just a few bucks – and those sales add up! Don’t forget that if they buy something small now with your business card attached, when they need something large like a blanket or a poncho etc, they’ll remember you (and be able to contact you)!
Do you have a selection of super cute hats for sale? Wear one! If not possible, or if you just have too many different items to wear without looking like a walking pegboard, try to display the items in the manner they would best be worn/used. A shawl just laying on the table won’t get nearly as much action as it would if it were aesthetically displayed on Catherine (a.k.a. my mannequin).
Spending a little bit of money to offer quality packaging goes a long way in the professionalism of your brand. The packaging does not have to be expensive to be effective. These merchandise bags would suffice, and just between you and me, Hobby Lobby has the best value on tissue paper (yes, even better than the Dollar store). Also provide care instructions, printed out on regular paper and cut to size (and be sure to include your business name for marketing purposes).
Photo thanks to Christine! (love that floor pouf)
I bought my mannequin Catherine, (named after the second beheaded wife of Henry VIII) to use as a photo prop for my crochet patterns listed here on Heart Hook Home. She’s pretty (albeit a little shy) and she’s got a great sense of humor. She was also one of the least expensive and best looking mannequins I found online. I am a deal hunter at heart, and Catherine and me are BFF’s now.
You might also have several heads for display if you’ve got the space. Here’s a decently priced head. Ha!
If at all possible, accept credit cards (Square is a great tool) and advertise that you accept them. Take up just a bit of your space to advertise a sign like mine below. I whipped this up using Canva, a free online photo editing tool. I added some of my most popular designs to draw people in. Create one yourself to convey that not only do you accept cash and credit cards, but you have other colors available as well.
Tip: Store a tote under your table containing various colors of yarn. If someone loves that hat but wants it in purple instead of blue, you can offer to have it ready for them in an hour (depending on how quickly you crochet, of course).
When presenting at a craft fair, you only have a limited space available to you. Why not create a hard cover photo book from Shutterfly, Snapfish, Walgreens or CVS showcasing items you have made in the past, but may not have on hand today? Pack that book full of the blankets you’ve made, any amigurumi (stuffed animals) you’ve crocheted, use it to showcase the different stitches you know and/or colors you have available. Keep it open to the page with your most popular design(s).
If you’ve got lots of little dishcloths or rings for kids, consider placing several in a special basket labeled “free gift with $50+ purchase”. You set the amount required, but if someone is spending $40 or $45, they might just pick up another $10 item if only to get the freebie.
You could also spin this a little differently and offer a spin wheel for small prizes as well. See what I did there?
By mingling I don’t necessarily mean with your customers. Sure, you want to mingle with them too, but if you take the time to get to know your neighbors (I hope they’re cool 😉 ) you might get information about other upcoming craft shows, item placement tips and tips on pricing etc. Also, you take note of each other’s inventory. They can send people your way and you can send people theirs!
As I said above, this is not an episode of Hoarders. Don’t put all of your items out (unless you don’t have a ton) instead replenish them as they are sold.
I feel like this should not have to be said, but here goes. One of the reasons I like to stand and crochet during a craft fair is because it keeps me from browsing on my phone. Nothing is worse than ignoring your prospective customers or looking bored. If you are up and moving, working, crocheting etc it shows that you are attentive and open for business.
You could save any unsold items for a future craft fair, or you could donate them to a worthwhile charity as well. If you do donate, make sure you get a receipt for tax purposes!
If you have someone with you at the table (your older children, a friend etc) make sure they have, in the very least, basic answers to any questions that may arise. Color choices, care instructions, different sizes etc. This way if you step away for a restroom break (which you should try to do at off-times) they will have those answers.
Not craft related, but my latest fair, a financial health fair at a credit union in Wichita, Kansas.
Sure, we are all here to make money, but try not to focus on the sales. Focus instead on having fun, meeting new people and learning from the experience.
One thing mentioned by Dianna in the Heart Hook Home Crochet Community really struck me: having a booth at a craft fair is a lot like going hunting or fishing. You spend money on supplies (entry fees) and you spend all day trying to catch a buck (or make a buck). Even if you come home empty handed, you have gained knowledge, experience and you’ll be more prepared going in next time. What a great reminder!
What do you do differently at a craft fair, if anything? Do you have any tips I missed? Let us know in the comments so we too can leave our next craft fair feeling like a boss!
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See more ideas about Craft fair displays, Craft show displays and Craft fairs. Ten Tips for Craft Fair Booth Design Stand D'exposition, Craft Stalls, Craft . Wit and Whistle Rock and Shop Market Art show & Craft fair display ideas >.
MalaramarOctober 06, 2018 9:41 AM