13 May 2013

What I Learned At My First Craft Show

Whew! What a weekend! I'm here to report that even though I didn't make any money I still consider this adventure a success. It was fun to plan a booth design, and get the experience of participating in a craft faire. Here are a few resources I used and some of the things I learned along the way.

The view from my booth!
My booth!


Display ideas, to-do lists, tips, etc!

Post on Etsy

Post on ArtMind

What I Learned

Smile + pretend you like people. I'm an introvert and I don't particularly enjoy talking to strangers, which is bad for craft shows, haha. I took the advice to bring some of your craft to do a little too strongly and tended to spend more energy on my drawing & painting than on making potential customers feel welcome and cared about. Luckily I had Jamie there to tell me I was being too aloof, so I was able to remedy the situation part way through the day.
Me in the cardboard clouds! ♥
Make sure people know it's locally made. Except for the Mother's Day cards people barely glanced at my other wares... I think if they had known that I was the artist + designer and that all of my products were made + printed locally they might have taken a second look... So next time, I'll probably make a sign that says "Made Locally" or something.

Don't do shows that charge an entry fee. The show I participated in was actually a small part of a larger event... a music festival for local music scholarships! Great cause, but after people have to spend $15 just to get in the door, they aren't likely to buy random cards or stationery... Plus, they were there to drink beer + hear some great local bands, not shop!

Figure out a better way to show off my stationery. I think the suitcase looked nice, but the best part of the designs were all hidden! So I need to come up with a more functional approach...
My suitcase display pre-show
All in all it was a lovely afternoon spent listening to some great local musicians and sweating our brains out, haha. Can't wait til the next one! Not sure when that will be since my primary goal in the next few months is to survive my husband being in Nebraska for six weeks and then to move to Santa Cruz!! Busy summer ahead...

♥ Ciara Kay


  1. Every day is a learning curve. Just keep at it!

    1. Aye aye! I'm looking forward to the next time I get to try this with all my newfound knowledge... haha. :)

  2. Good point Jamie made about displaying your stationary where you can see the design...maybe lift them up higher somehow inside the suitcase with false bottoms (I know you already had them lifted up so maybe that won't work)..or display a sheet of each design on an easel/posterboard, then you can use the cute suitcase 'rack' to hold the actual inventory?

    1. I was thinking of displaying individual sheets like that, yeah. I was thinking of hanging picture frames with sheets clipped to them, so something similar to your idea.