Wednesday, 16 November 2016

What is a good fair?

Just before my largest craft fair of the year I started to ponder on the subject :) Why I need a fair at all and what is a good one?
At first it's of course fun and excitement! Meeting people, getting their reaction, making new acquaintances or friends (even better).
But from practical point of view? What's in it for me?
- I could sell things which I do not sell through Internet. They are bulky or heavy like pictures and cushions or I do not know how advertise them properly like fish. I still want to make them and the fairs provide opportunities of sales.
- Felt is difficult media, it's much easier to sell in real.
- Not only to sell but to attract attention of  "important" people like those who run shops, galleries and other craft events. You may not even know about them and it could be more difficult to get into uninvited.
- Spread the word about yourself especially if you make something unusual. I become known as "a fish lady" :)!
- Advertise your classes if you teach. I've got one fantastic student for the fish course!
All these points above may be hard to estimate in money equivalent so let's talk profit!
What fair is good in profits? How to calculate it?
1. Put all the expenses together. Everyone could get it different and it very much depends on the particular fair, but general points are: - the cost of the stand.
                               - if the fair is far away  - the traveling and accommodation cost. In my case I need to include the cost of my husband's day away of job because I do not drive and anyway I need his help for a large shows.
                               - comparing to Internet sale there are extra expenses for staging the stand. They could be one-off (table  covers) or regular like extra packaging.    
2. Put your sale profit together.
3. Now it's a tricky one. I know a lot of people consider a fair to be a successful one if  #2 is more than #1. Not exactly.
I do sell through Internet and in a real shop. If I was to sell there (not at fairs) I would avoid all expenses #1 but will lose 35-40% of commissions.  So I deduct say 30% of my profits #2, then deduct expenses of #1. If the result is more then zero I am in profit! How much it's to everyone to decide!

To finish on a lighter note I'll show one of a few cushions ready for the fair. Hope to sell it and make some profit :)!


  1. Best of luck on your upcoming fair. They are such hard work but hopefully well worth the effort. The pillow is wonderful.

  2. I'm sure you'll sell your lovely cushion - it's very pretty!

    1. Thank you Lyn! I've not sold any flower cushion actually, apparently it's not a right season for them!

  3. Good luck for the fair Galina aka "fish lady", I am sure you will do well. Your comment made me smile and reminded me of being introduced to a new spinner's guild member as the "hat lady", I don't consider myself to be a milliner but her introduction made me realise I do make rather a lot of hats! :)

    1. We were singled out! Good!
      Thank you for your well wishes Teri, it went very well! See the next post...