Craft Business · Uncategorized

Craft Fairs – The Display

Going to craft fairs is one of my favourite activities. I love seeing new trends, talents and get some inspiration for myself. I also try to make connections with crafters to invite them to my Christmas Craft Fair that I organise every year in Blarney. I love introducing new crafters to the visitors at the fair.

As I see crafting as a business, I always look at how people display and sell their ware. Some items are harder to display then others. For example, hand-knitted baby clothes, cards and jewellery can be very difficult to arrange nicely.

Below are some of my thoughts on a good display.

  • Don’t overcrowd

    • You want to get as much on the table as possible – but keep in mind that too many items can be confusing to potential buyers. Can each item be seen properly? Do people have space to pick up things without anything collapsing? You have space under the table, store your items there until you have space again. You don’t need five of the same – if people are interested but want it in a different colour – they will ask.
  • Build up

    • Laying everything flat on the table doesn’t look very attractive and it will look more like a carboot sale than a special craft stall. There are different ways of displaying your items. Below are some examples for different items. (Photos taken from the web)
  • Display Prices

    • Ensure that your prices are visible as not everybody will ask you. Most people have a price point they won’t overstep and having to ask for prices might lead to an embarrassing experience for both sides. Seeing the price ensures that people who stay will consider buying. Displaying your prices also ensures that there is no need for you to know all your prices by heart. It has happened more than once that I was quoted a price for an item while my friend a few moments later was given a different one for the same item. That can offend some people and they will avoid your stall in future.
  • Business Cards/Leaflets

    • I have mentioned this already in my previous posts about craft business – some craft fair visitors might just browse and won’t make a decision on the spot but would like to ponder about a purchase. If you don’t have leaflets or business cards displayed with your contact details, you are loosing a potential customer right away. Stallholders have come back to me, saying that they were contacted after the fair for a purchase. So, make it easy to be found and contacted.
  • It’s handmade – Proof it!

    • One of my favourite things to do at craft fairs is to watch crafters making things at their stall (saying that, always be aware when visitors are at your stall). It is firstly proof that the items are really handmade but it also opens communications up as people might feel more relaxed watching you and asking questions etc that can lead to a sale. Secondly, it also shows that items can be personalised.
  • Smile – The Best Display

    • You are part of the display – an extension of your craft. And your smile and openness is the best advertising for your stall. In case you are having a bad day – leave that at home. It has nothing to do at the fair – just think how you feel when you are going shopping and have a grumpy sale/shop person ruining your day. Same applies here. This is your business – and your smile is your sales agent.

Most of all – have fun and enjoy the experience

DIY · Uncategorized

Command Centre

 

A lot of my work is done at home – I write a lot for the local newspaper, my food blog and some of the clients I have. I have a lovely office and I have my diary (a real one as I don’t like online/computer calendars – it’s a personal thing). Very often, I get a phone call asking me if I would be free to attend this or that event or would I be free to MC an event. I then have to look for my diary, flip the pages quickly to see if I have any commitment on that day.

After a while, I grew tired of this and I considered ways of making access to this type of information more accessible. Looking through Pinterest (and losing hours over this), I found several ideas of so-called Command Centres. This is what I needed. As my desk is towards a wall and I have a shelving unit on the other wall, I wasn’t able to just screw something to the wall so needed to think outside the box. And here is what I came up with – rather than having individual items on a wall, I decided to create a board on which everything is placed, hanging on a rail on my shelving unit so that I can move the command centre along the shelf when I needed something from behind. All the measurements below are based on my needs – you might need different ones.

Command Centre

You need:

  • 1 sheet plywood 1cm thick measuring 50cm x 70cm
  • Sanding paper, different grade from rough to fine
  • Satinwood paint black (you don’t need much)
  • A brush
  • A blackboard measuring 21cm x 29cm (got it from a discount store and painted the frame in copper-gold)
  • A pinboard measuring 24.5cm x 24.5cm (also from a discount store)
  • A pad of monthly planner measuring A4 size (I got mine from Sostrene Grene in Cork)
  • A strip of magnet
  • 3 magnets
  • 3 pegs (I got mine in Tiger Store in Cork)
  • 2 hook screws
  • nails
  • hammer
  • 1 rail measuring longer than your board with hanging hooks (I got mine from Ikea)

I took the sheet of plywood and drilled a hole on either side of the top sheet large enough so that the hooks from the rail fit through and sanded it down with a rough sanding paper first before using the fine grade one. I didn’t need it to be perfectly smooth. I then painted it with black satinwood paint (I added two coats to make sure it was all nicely covered), covering also the sides.

 

Measuring the items that needed to go on the board, I nailed the balckboard directly onto the black plywood. Next to it, I added the pinboard (I drilled a hole in the middle and used a hookscrew to fix the board to the plywood.

I then drilled a hole on either side of the planner pad, large enough to hang on the hookscrew. I held the pad in position on the board, marked the holes and srew in a hookscrew so that I was able to hang the planner pad in position.

I then added three pegs (I used first doublesided tape but that didn’t last long after I added a photo to the pegs, so used hot glue in the end) and glued the magnet strip and added the three magnets.

I had a craft magazine that had pop-out bunting (it’s a few years old actually), so I used the triangles to complete the bunting and hung in on top of the command centre.

And et voila, when someone calls now, I just have to turn around to check if I am free on a certain day. I use the blackboard to keep track of my projects and the pinboard for anything that might float around the desk otherwise.