Wednesday, 28 September 2011

The Craft Fair

I am here. Recovering from my first craft fair. I don't know whether I have picked up a bug or it's just tiredness from getting ready for the fair but I have been so tired for the last few days it's a wonder that I am awake now. I will have to get my sleep apnea machine checked out as well as that can make me really tired if it is not set to the right pressure. I have been out doing some food shopping today so hopefully the fresh air will have woken me up a bit.

The photos of the craft fair are disappointing. My niece took them and I don't know whether it was the lighting (a bit on the dim side) or a bit of camera shake but they are all a bit blurred.

Although I did sell a few things ( some bought by my sister in law) I did learn a lot from my first fair. To be fair the venue had let the organiser down with the advertising. They had promised to put posters up in the foyer and a sandwich board outside and when we got there nothing drew the eye to the fact that there was a craft fair going on in the hall, The organiser has also learnt from this experience and will make sure that there is more advertising done for the November fair. I am going to try to take some of those portable lights with me to try to illuminate my stall for next time.

I have learned that I need to gauge my potential customer base better. A lot of people admired my crochet remarked how beautiful it all was but it wasn't what they were wanting. I told everyone that came to the stall that I was a novice at the craft fairs and asked them for suggestions. They have given me lots of ideas. My customer base on Sunday was mostly fashionable young ladies mostly without children. My next fair will incorporate more items such as handbags (which I got asked for) and small gift ideas for Christmas.

I also had a rival stall who was selling hand knitted baby cardigans for as little as £2.50p!!  I enquired discretely and she is not going to be at the next two fairs. I don't understand ladies like her. She can only have made pennies in profit on those cardigans by the time she had paid for the yarn and the buttons. It makes the rest of the stallholders look as though they are overcharging. The prices have to reflect the cost of the raw materials plus the cost of the stall and transport to and from the venue. The only profit is what is left over after I have taken all these costs into consideration. Luckily my niece gave me a lift with my stuff and helped to set up the stall. I would have made nothing had I paid for a taxi there and back. I also have to take into account the money that I have paid for display props like the polystyrene heads, hands and dolls as well as the clothing rail. Even if I do well on the next two craft fairs I won't really make much profit until all the money for these is re paid into my account. Still as my Dad would say - You have to Speculate to Accumulate.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself on the day and that is the most important thing. I knew when I entered into this that I was  never going to make a fortune. It gives me an interest. Something to work towards and look forward to.

I could have sold loads of these fingerless gloves but I made the mistake of following a pattern (so unlike me) and they were too large for most peoples hands. Luckily I only made two pairs and my daughter in law has quite large hands so they will be put with her Christmas present. I got asked for them in black with military buttons on by a guy so I am taking his idea on board also.

This hat and scarf set was admired by so many people that I am surprised that it didn't sell. I wasn't making much profit on this as it was Collinette wool and the two hanks cost me quite a bit even on eBay

This hat did sell. It is made of handspun wool with a mohair content so once again I couldn't really charge as much as I should have as the wool was expensive. Still it didn't take me that long to crochet so it's swings and roundabouts.It isn't such a bright pink as the photos shows. It is a mix of pale pink, lilac and cerise.

This hat was picked up and admired so many times that I was sure that it would get sold. Perhaps they would have preferred a darker colour.

I sold one of these sweet little hats. I thought that they were rather pretty and felt sure that they would have both sold.

I didn't sell any of my baby items although they were greatly admired. Most people said they would have bought them if they knew of a baby. The lady on the next stall to me said that I should gift box them up in cellophane boxes and put ribbons on them and they would look more attractive. I will have to price out these boxes as I would have to increase my prices to adjust for this extra spending. The darker colours of baby wear were the ones that caught everyones eye. She also said that I should look out for any local baby fairs as that would be the proper market for my baby wear.

I sold two of the shawlettes in dark multi colours but they were made by my crochet partner Sue who decided to join in the fairs with me, I sprung this fair on her at the last minute and she was going to be away with her man on holiday. Hopefully she will be at the next one. We met up on Monday and swapped ideas for what would be more suitable to make for the next fair. That one and the Christmas fair will be concentrating on smaller gift ideas.

I still haven't photographed most of the baby things that I made lately. Hopefully I will have got some more energy by the end of the week.

I did have a great evening at the Kings Arms Knit Club on Monday. Quite a few people came in and we were laughing and chatting away. We attracted the attention of a would be writer who was rather drunk but wanted to get ideas from us for a play he is writing. There was hardly any knitting or crocheting done after that, Just lots of laughter. No wonder he said that he prefers the company of women as they are more entertaining!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

YOU'RE BACK! I am sure the stress of the fair has made you tired. All the at work and then finally a moment to yourself just caught up with you. You'll feel right-as-rain in a few days, I bet.

Such lovely things -- I would have thought they would have been snatched up quickly. Next time I'm sure.