You've probably heard about how awesome craft fairs can be for your brand and your income if you're a maker like me.
It's a great way to meet other creatives in your area and a valuable opportunity to meet customers face to face. If it's your first time doing a craft fair or you're considering applying for one, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed at first...I remember how intimidated I was by all the amazing artists I saw on Instagram and at markets like Renegade and Porter Flea - I mean, have you seen Christi Ahee's booth set up? I definitely wasn't sure if I was ready to actually be a vendor at one of these markets, but I'm so glad I went ahead and applied to a few before I was completely ready.
For the application process, it's important to ask yourself these questions:
- Do I have enough products to sell?
- Do I know the ins and outs of my brand and am I able to easily define it in a few sentences?
- Is my brand cohesive?
- Do I have an online presence?
- Do I have awesome photos of my products to share with the market?
These are the types of questions you'll be expected to answer in the application for most markets, plus these are good questions to ask yourself anyway!
* Pro-Tip: There have been markets that we haven't been accepted to. Just remember, you never know the review process, how much room they have, or why they may not pick you. But if you don't get accepted to a market, use that as motivation to apply for an even better one!
Okay, now we're to the good part. Let's say you just received the email that says you've been accepted to your dream craft market. First of all...YAY CONGRATS U DID IT OMG. Second of all...do a happy dance and pat yourself on the back! And last but not least..
Here are my 10 steps to totally kill it at your first craft market
1. HAVE AWESOME SIGNAGE
You want your customers to be able to clearly find you, so signage is super important! Make sure it's big enough to see from about 10 ft away and that it matches your branding. Here's a great example from Alyssa Leanne Hope via Renegade Craft Fair.
*Pro-tip: your local printer should be able to create a sign/backdrop for you! Or if you want to get crafty, find someone who has a cricut.
2. HAVE AN EMAIL SIGN-UP
This is a great way to start building your customer list! Make sure to follow up with people who have signed up shortly after the market.
3. PRACTICE SET UP AT HOME
This is key. Make sure you know the dimensions of the booth set up and think about how you want to display your products. If you've got paper goods like me, check out Clear Displays.
*pro-tip think about where the customer's eyes will go. It's great to have one of your best selling items out in front to catch the eyes of passersby.
4. BRING BUSINESS CARDS
Another big one! Markets are a great way to introduce new people to your brand and potential clients for wholesale or custom orders. Make sure they remember you and have a way to get in touch after the market.
5. HAVE PRICES CLEARLY DISPLAYED
This is usually outlined in the market guidelines, but this is one to think about when practicing your booth set up. Where would you look for a price tag?
6. OFFER AT LEAST ONE DISCOUNT
This is one thing I communicate to my customers right away (as well as putting it on display). The deal I offer on cards is usually my best seller at markets. Here's a fun way to display your discount from Golden Pines via Renegade Craft Fair. Also, check out that signage!
7. WRITE DOWN YOUR INVENTORY
Honestly, I don't always get to this, but when I do it is super helpful. It's a great way to see what actually sold the best and what products I may need to reconsider. Get into the habit of counting inventory before and after your markets to improve your sales at the next event.
8. TELL YOUR FANS + EVERYONE YOU KNOW
It's important to spread the word that you are doing a market, so make sure all your friends, family, and customers know what you're up to!
*Pro-tip: some makers offer an incentive for their customers to attend the market with a freebie or discount when they visit your booth.
9. ENGAGE WITH CUSTOMERS
This is very important! Not only is it helpful when trying to get a sale, but it's worth so much more than that. It's about connecting with potential customers and clients in person and giving them the best experience of your brand that you can offer. Make sure you keep that smile on and be ready to answer any questions or offer insight into how your products came to be. People love getting to know the person behind the brand!
10. HAVE FUN + DON'T TAKE YOURSELF TOO SERIOUSLY
It's important to remember that these events are supposed to be fun, although they can be stressful and are no doubt a lot of work. Even if I'm exhausted after a busy day at a market, it's always worth it. Connecting with people through Aviate Press is my favorite part about the job.
I hope you enjoyed this lil' guide! If you're a maker who goes to markets regularly, what are your thoughts on prepping? I'd love to hear it!
Comment below with any questions or feedback.