Sunday, 21 February 2010

Craft Fairs 1.

Craft Stall Evolution

So you are thinking about doing your first craft fair.

Where do you begin?

Let’s start with a simple question, how long has it taken you to make your stock?

Why should that be the first question? Simple, a great many people can spend hours and hours making there stock, and then only spend 10 minutes working out how they plan to display it.

I’ve developed my stall over time, but go through phases now where I’ll spend as much as a week or two planning a stall face lift.

The stall is laid-out every day in a large meeting room (I will generally use my own tables at crafts fairs). I work over every aspect of how the stall will look. How the stall works for me, and for the customer.

I get people to come and look at how it’s laid out, and give me there honest thoughts about how things look.

My big problem every time is too much stock, I love to offer the widest variety, and have this big fear that if I don’t put something out, it would be one of the things that would sell.

I now just make jewellery to sell, but when I first started, my main product was wooden toys, house signs, and I then added candle holders, then key rings, book marks, and finally Jewellery.

How did this evolution come about, I went with what was selling and what was easier to transport and display (of course, I became engrossed in making nicer and nicer jewellery as my skill at it progressed).

The photos below show one of the early stall’s, where every product just had to be seen.

Now, having worked out how to make my jewellery, and spending more time wandering around other craft fairs, I have started to look back and see where the time now needs to be spent.

Over the last week (half term holiday), I have once again been reviewing some of my display.
I take the long term view, what I can’t afford today, I’ll wait for.

Last year, I saw lots of stalls with bunting up, and many had taken the time to put a letter on each bunt, the only problem was, you could spend ages trying to work out what it said.

Toward the end of last year, I posted that I wanted a hand made banner for my stall, I wanted it handmade, I was in no hurry, because once I had it, I could use it.
Helen Jane of was kind enough to undertake this commission, working to a simple brief, she was able to use my font (this was a key part of what I wanted, I use the same font on everything, I call it part of my brand recognition policy), and produced the banner seen below

Anyone who looks at my shop will notice the same font is used on my full banner there; I use several small printed versions of this on my stall (see below)

I use the same on various posters, which are A4 and are used in clear plastic display stands

Here's how they look on the stall (this is a earlier version in different colour)

I also use the same on my wood description and care inserts which are now given with every sale (these are 8cm x 10cm).

Even my price tags, which i make myself, use the same font, and once again the shop address online (this tag was a reject, due to bottom cut not being square), (size is 2cm x 5cm).

You will notice several things about the images. They all have that uniformity of banner, paper; style and colour (once again part of my push for brand recognition).
Here are some photos of last years stall, at various different locations, and sizes

I now have a stall that is becoming more focused, and giving a much more professional look. As I have said above, I will always keep reviewing how the stall looks. over the next week i will be building the stall once again, and getting people to look and critique.


  1. ooh good post! I have just booked my first couple of fairs and planning of my stall is next on the list. Elissa

  2. Some useful advise Woody, I love the idea of matching fonts, paper and colour throughout, thanks, Clare

  3. Great advice Woody! Keep it coming! thank you!

  4. Good advice, my problem is always too much stock & not enough room, always worried that if it's in the box it won't get sold!