Friday, October 26, 2012

Craft Fair Prep: Day of Sale Reminders

On the day of your Sale you’ll probably be pretty excited! We were…and we forgot a whole bunch of stuff. Uh-oh! So here are some things you won’t want to forget!

Day of Sale Reminders!

1. Money, Money, Money, Money!! Don’t forget to go to the bank the day before and get a whole bunch of ones, fives, and tens. Have a few twenties—but those will probably come with the day, so don’t worry too much about it. But seriously, go the day before. We forgot about this our first sale….and the bank didn’t open until after the sale had started….husbands to the rescue! We remembered for the next oneJ

2. Place to Write Checks: Have a decent place to write checks and a pen. Once again this was a rookie mistake of ours. I think this year we’ll have a clipboard. Also, have a sign that spells out the name of the person who you want the checks made out to…with us it is paramount, cause Nathania and my last name sound nothing like they are spelled!

3. Storage: Both for the containers you bring your wares in, and your money. We stored our containers under the table…and had a pretty table cloth to go over it . Hide your mess…it’s worth it!  Also, figure out where you’ll put your money. We had a cigar box last year that was hidden. This year we’ll have aprons, but we’ll probably still put the big stuff in a safe location.

4. Chairs: Bring something to sit on during the lulls. It will be a long day…we had one chair…for our first one. SOOO not comfortable! Some places provide a chair, others don’t. Bring one or two just in case!

5. Food Glorious Food! Bring enough food to last the day…and beverages! That is unless you want to get the fair food…but it’s usually a hot dog and pop. Water is key…you’ll feel better if you bring some!

This concludes our Craft Fair Prep miniseries. Are there any questions? We would be more than willing to do another post answering questions!

Good Luck and Happy Crafting


Friday, October 19, 2012

Craft Fair Readiness: Designing your Booth

3rd day of ready? This is probably one of the most important aspects of selling your wares at a craft fair--designing your booth. Your booth is what draws people in. If it looks crowded, thrown together, or boring--you may not have as good of sales...and you're at the fair to sell stuff!
So, here we go:
Designing your booth

1. Think Out Your Booth: Think about your design ahead of time. Tape out your booth space, practice your set up. Make sure the ideas in your head work ahead of time. We had an idea, and then practiced it...and it didn't work...but we had time to change it because we tried it out ahead of time.
2. Utilize the Vertical: Most booth spaces aren't very big, usually just big enough to have a table or two. Just laying your stuff on the table doesn't really attract people to the booth. Using vertical gives you more room to display, shows off your stuff in a more attractive manner, and draws attention to your booth.
3. Use a Unique Way to Display: We used a Christmas tree, some tree branches and an old suitcase to display our wares. This gave our display a unique look. Don't get me wrong, bookcases/shelves have their place, but having a unique/different way to show of your stuff will set you apart. Think outside the'll pay off.
4. Decorate for the Season: Some craft fairs have contests for their vendors. We won the most Festive Booth award at one of our shows last year. Getting into the mood at a Christmas show makes this more fun...but also may give you some good reasons to use different things to use to displays things.
5. Tell the World Who You Are: Put up a sign, have some business cards, or contact information. People like to know how to get a hold of you afterwards...or to look you up the next year. This is especially important if you're wanting to grow your business more!
6. Signage, Signage, Signage: Don't forget to label the price of your items with a sign. We totally forgot about this our first craft fair and we had to put up ugly signs...yah sure better than nothing, but definitely detracting from the booths look. Some people don't want to ask for a they'll just walk away.
7. Easy Access: Design your booth with accessibility in mind. Make it so your customers won't get bogged down when they are looking at your stuff. We didn't think about this our first craft fair and our booth got bogged down. Easier it is to access...the more people are able to look at your stuff!

Happy Crafting!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Craft Fair Prep: Find your Sale!

Here's round two of our Craft Fair Prep mini-series. After deciding what to sell, you need to

Find Your Sale

1. Pick a Fair You're Familiar With: To start out, we pick fairs we had been to and enjoyed. Knowing the type of vendors, size of the crowd(roughly), size of the venue, etc. can give you an idea of what you're getting yourself into.
2. Determine How Many Fairs to Do: Think ahead of time of how many you want to do. Sure it would be great to do 6 or 7 fairs...but not too realistic. You have to think about the time frame, taking into consideration how much inventory you may have to re-supply in a week.  Cost is also a factor in determining how many you want to do.
3. How Much Money Do You Have to Start Up? Craft fairs are not cheap. Most worth registering least here in AK...are $85 and up. On top of your costs for your craft...consider how much you would be able to recover at a fair, and then that can help determine which fairs to register for. Also, keep in mind that you may find a fair that is pretty cheap, may not have very many people coming to you won't sell much.
4. Plan Ahead: The fall fairs up here begin registration in June or July. August for sure. That means the really popular fairs fill up fast. Some require you to jury and those are usually 2-3 months before the fair. Also, if you're going to do a should be working on your inventory...or you may not have enough stuff, or you'll be pulling some all nighters!
5. Jury or Not: Some fairs require the vendors to go before a jury or send in items and /or pictures of the items to be judged 2-3 months in advance (hence planning ahead). We've only done one fair that required us to do this. Man were we nervous. We had  images of going into a room with 15 people sitting behind a table, with us having to do a presentation...yah not so much. We went in and sat a table with one person from the committee, who looked at our stuff, asked questions, took a few pictures and sent us on our way. We were notified a few days later. This year we were invited without having to jury. The point of this story is that you may have to jury to get into the fair you want to. Each fair has different rules...but juries aren't scary:)
6. Electrifying: On all the applications we've ever filled out...they ask if you need electricity. It usually cost 10-15 dollars extra for a booth with electricity. Also, those booths are in short supply so if you need electricity...sign up early!

Hope this is helping, now go find your fair:)


Friday, October 5, 2012

Craft Fair Prep: Deciding What to Sell

New Mini-series....and this one I'm actually going to keep up!
What I thought I would do is a little series on prepping for a craft fair or bazaar...why they are called two different things I'm not sure, they mean the same thing...but I digress...
back to the topic at hand:
Craft Fairs!
I'm going to cover the following topics:
Deciding what to Sell/Inventory
Finding and Registering for your Sale
Designing your Booth
Things to Remember the Day of the Sale

I will also do a day of answering questions if anyone has any....

So here we go with round one!
Deciding What to Sell and Inventory

Before you find a sale you need to decide what to sell. Determining specific items it crucial. There are few areas that you especially want to look at.
1. Is it Something People Want? We didn't even look to sell anything at a fair until we realized that people wanted the items we were selling. I sold a whole bunch of mittens at school before we thought about a fair. We knew heading into the fair that there was a market for our items, which is what you want. Going into a fair that you've spent money want to know that they will sell:)
2. Price Point: Don't charge and arm and a won't sell anything. But...make sure you're making some profit on your items. Take into consideration what you would pay for your item, how much time you put into the items, and what your materials cost.
3. Some Variety is Good...Too Much is eh: You're gonna want to have a measure of variety, but if you have too much, your booth is going to look cluttered. Personally the booths that have too much stuff are ones that are some that I avoid. I like to see booths that are cohesive, presented well, and there isn't too many different things. Plus having a focus makes getting an inventory together a lot easier.
4. Inventory, Inventory, Inventory! Once you've decided what to make....make a lot of those items. I would advise doing so right after you send in your application...or to be honest 4 months ahead of time. We were really bad at this last year and it resulted in 2-3 all nighters, which was not fun at all! We've done much better this year! Selling out of stuff at a show is great...but if it happens at 10 in the morning, the people in charge may not be too happy. And you're not usually allowed to take down your booth early either. Make more than you think you'll need. It'll pay off!
5. Keep a Inventory Sheet/Log: Another area we may have learned about the hard way. Keeping track of how much you have will give you piece of mind and keep you on track for know what you have and don't have for your show. 

Up next week...Picking your Sale!
Let us know if you have any questions:)


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday: scarf

This is my friend Alex...isn't she pretty? Alex and her husband Peter came up to visit this summer. We had a great time seeing them again. It had been wayyy too long. Well, Alex is a fashionista. She has fantastic taste in clothing. I on the other hand do not...I'm a jeans and t-shirt kinda girl...but I do love me a good scarf to dress things up. Well Alex was wearing this scarf when she came up here and I loved it. It has snaps so you can wear it in so many different ways. I asked her where she got it...and of course it was at a store we don't have here...and it was way out of my budget.
What do you think I did?

That's right...I measured her scarf and made my own. For a grand total of $7. 
Anybody else wanna make one?'s how:
You'll need about 2 yards of stretchy-knit fabric. I used a striped jersey. 
Know what is even better? I couldn't find any striped jersey at Joann's here...which is our one fabric store that sells anything besides cotton. I found the exact fabric I needed at none other than...Value Village! This should be no surprise to you at all!
My scarf was 68 inches long. I cut the piece of fabric in half lengthwise...about 32 inches wide.
After you get it the length you want it to be, fold over each end twice and pin in place. I had about 1 inch, folded over twice. 
Sew into place.
You don't need to sew the edges lengthwise. The jersey doesn't fray. Even on Alex's really expensive scarf they weren't finished.
Over lap your two ends, and mark where your snaps are going to be. My snaps are 2 1/2 inches apart.
I used 15 small snaps from Joann's, and I followed the directions of attaching the snaps from the back of the package.
Snaps are actually really easy to use...this was the first time I had used them and it wasn't difficult.
Now if you're thinking that this is too complicated you're wrong. You need to be able to sew in a straight line, measure and yield a hammer. Easy peasy!

You should make one!

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Monday, October 1, 2012

Foodie Pen Pals

I participated in the Lean Green Beans Foodie Pen Pals this month!
The Lean Green Bean
It was so fun and I loved the package I got from Linda over at
She was super sweet and sent me some great things from about a long ways, I think Florida may be the farthest state from AK!
The package arrived and I was so excited! I love getting snail makes my day! I love checking our mailbox...but am usually disappointed with bills and junk mail. Sigh...
Back to what Linda sent:
She sent:
Mustard and Hot Sauce...Gator Sauce--super spicy, just the way I like it
Her own homemade vanilla--crafty lady!
Some Bread sticks...delish with pasta sauce
A vegan hamburger mix---still have to try it!
and the most delectable banana bread ever--it was gone it two days!
and the recipe for the best banana bread

 See how cute the banana bread was? Yah...didn't stay that way for was in my belly!

Here's the vegan burger patty mix...gonna try it this week!

Thanks again Linda!

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