Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hosting a Craft Fair

Starting up a new business while working a full time job is challenging.  I continue to look for ways to market my business and would love to do jewelry shows and craft fairs, but I can't see myself spending an entire weekend doing a show and then back to work on Monday.  I just don't have the stamina for that and I don't want my jewelry business to become a burden. 

One way around this dilemma was to host my own craft fair at home.  I hosted one last November and it was a huge success.  I will be hosting another one on May 5th and hoping that it is even better than the first one.
Craft Fair
Get Your Bead On Display at the November Craft Fair

If you are thinking about hosting a similar event, here are a few tips:
  • Invite crafters who make high quality items 
  • Don't have more than two people selling the same thing (jewelry, soaps, art, etc.)
  • Have a good variety of vendors
  • Make sure the vendors are spaced far enough apart to allow traffic to flow
  • In lieu of a booth fee, ask each vendor to contribute a small item to be used as a door prize
  • Offer drinks and light snacks at your event (you might ask your vendors to help with this)
One concern with this type of event is opening your home to strangers.  I decided to only invite people I knew and asked the other vendors to do the same.  This way, we would have some connection to the people attending.  I found that people who attended were there to make a purchase -- I averaged approximately $20 in sales for each attendee.  

If you've hosted a similar type event, I would love to hear about your experience and any additional tips you might want to offer.


  1. I love that you did this with handcrafted items. I've been to many a catalog business event like this, and would be thrilled to attend one with handcrafted items. Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Ginger. I agree - this is much more fun than a catalog party. And I love that customers can shop different for types of items and walk away with items that are unique and/or one-of-a-kind.

  2. I tried to set up one of these in 2009, but everything fell through at the last minute. And then my husband was completely against having it in our home... I haven't tried again since then, but maybe I'll try talking my husband into it again this year.

    1. Sorry your show didn't work out. I would definitely encourage you to try again.

  3. This is a terrific post!

    I have a couple of other things that I've seen done at a craft fair set up kind of like this but at a hotel in conjunction with a symposium...

    -- One year they asked for a donation of 10% of sales (it was an Ovarian Cancer survivors retreat in lieu of a booth fee.

    -- Giveaways ... I give away one piece and one gift certificate. The gift certificate helps get people to the web site. The actual piece of jewelry has a smaller gift certificate in it as well.

    -- If you offer food, make sure it's not something that is sticky or messy (don't want to ruin the goods!). Don't ask why I know about this one.

    -- If you belong to a housing community that has a facility, see about renting that out (the fee could be divided among the vendors). You can invite even more people that way. I've also seen one done at a health club that had a social room.

    I am trying to get into home shows as traveling is killing me -- I'd love to see another post about this!

    1. Thanks for your input, Lori -- you always have such great ideas. I especially love the idea of giving away a gift certificate -- I think I'll try that this time around.

  4. Now...I'm thinking to have one =)
    Truly challenging to have our own craft fair. I live in housing, it seems to be a good idea to provide mini craft fair for for my neightbor.
    Thanks Cheryl to post this article...really inspire me.