I’m currently sat in my room. Laptop on bed. TV on. Glass of vodka and lemonade – with a hint of Mojito Mint syrup on my bedside table. Ready to type up my latest blog.
What a rock and roll lifestyle I lead!!!!
So while it’s still ‘fresh’ in my mind, here is a blog about my first craft fair of 2019 along with a little bit of an insight to craft fairs in general. Obviously, it’s a different experience for every craft fair and to each individual. But it will give you an idea.
Oh, and I am handwriting this blog first. As not only does my laptop need charging but it’s also upstairs. My blog notebook and pencil are nearer. Yep. C.B.A to walk up a flight of stairs, get my laptop out – along with the cable – then to rig it all up. Nope couldn’t be bothered.
Today at the Arts and Collectors Fair, held at the Garstang Arts Centre in the town of (you’ve guessed it) Garstang. Situated along the A6 between Preston (to the South) and Lancaster (to the North).
It was the first of four craft fairs:
- February 16th (today)
- April 20th
- June 15th
- August 24th
We have a great selection of stalls, ranging from:
- Cushions and fabrics
- Wooden pens and gifts
- Books, fairy doors and plaques with a fantasy theme
- Ornamental eggs
- Four jewellery stalls
Now, I know that seems quite a lot but – now hear me out – we all sell different designs. One is slightly more children jewellery oriented, the other two use more gemstones and are more up-market/higher quality. Then there’s me; my style is just varied. It’s the best way to describe my jewellery.
It’s great. We all get along, have a laugh, but from each other. I bought a new notebook just because it had a dragon on it!!
The stallholders of the stoneware and one of the jewellers were new to today’s fair. I’ve met Sandra before who makes the stoneware at events hosted by Neuro DropIn. So I’m sure she was pleased to see a familiar face, as I was. I know the other stallholders but it was great to see another familiar face.
The newest jeweller, told me she’s back from living away from the UK for over 40 years. She did jewellery and fairs in New Zealand, so she was bringing her craft with her. She makes some great pieces, as do the other jewellers. Including myself of course!
Although this is my third year. The lovely woman who sells the cushions and fabrics, for some reason, calls me Liz! I have a branded t-shirt that I always wear (Emaz Beadz), yet she calls me Liz. From time to time she does actually call me Emma but it must be that, in her head, I look like a Liz. I don’t mind, over the years I’ve been given various names. I think she would be quite embarrassed if she were to find out. So…. let’s keep this between us, eh?
Last week, I got my stock ready so it wouldn’t be a rush this morning. HA!!!!!! I forgot a display stand and didn’t realise this until I was literally walking through the door of the Arts Centre. Never mind. I adapted my stall and used it as a tester for my next event with WINK. I even gave out flyers too, not just to other stallholders but customers too. To top it off, I also brought the wrong light box display too. How!? You see, I have two and the one that I have with ‘Emaz Beadz’ uses both the letter Z from each light box. Because you only get the one letter Z in these things. Nope. I brought the other one, which has no letter Z. Again, I adapted and used the letter S instead. (I don’t think anyone really noticed.)
My stall placement was different to usual. When I started going, I was in a corner. Then last year I was in the middle of the room. Today, I was nearer the door. Now, after having a stall in various spots, it doesn’t matter thst much. Some people think that stall placement is important but I don’t think so. If people want to buy, they’ll buy. Though it was good to see the fair from a different view. Made a change.
Out of my sales today, I made my stall fee back, plus a little bit more. Not enough to give up my proper/normal job I may hasten to add!! From these sales, I sold two necklaces. i have had them in my stock for a long time and was thrilled that two people bought them, yet I was also a little sad. It’s like saying goodbye to old friends. When you keep putting the same items on display and putting them away after each fair, you expect that they just become part and parcel of your stall. But they have been bought by people who will enjoy wearing them. That’s the aim of the game.
An important part of a craft fair is food. Normally I take a few bits to nibble on during the day. Not to Garstang. Oh no! The organiser takes orders from us and goes to a local cafe. I always order a cheese and onion pie (yum). Daft as it may sound, but it’s a highlight – I look forward to eating my pie at this particular craft fair. The Arts Centre also offer light refreshments (tea, coffee and cake) and today they didn’t have green tea, but I had green tea with blackberry and blueberry plus a slice of elderflower crunch cake. That was my lunch today and it’s pretty similar to the other Garstang fairs too.
There was a steady flow, which I think was helped by the Town Cryer and dry weather. I’ve found, the better the weather more people tend to venture in and have a look.
Finally, I follow the Just a Card campaign on social media. It’s for small, independent businesses where the aim is for people to buy just one thing so that they can keep going. On their website, they have flyers and leaflets that can be used in shops and craft stall alike. I took their flyer and adjusted it, so it can fit into one of my photo frames that I display on my stall. It has the Just a Card logo and I’ve used it at a couple of events and I really do believe that it has helped me get a few more sales. I’m going to be purchasing the Just a Card pin badge and wear it with pride at all the events I attend in the future.
So, that’s my craft fair today. It’d pretty similar to most of the fairs I attend. My next one is in Saturday 8th March with WINK – check out my events page for further details – and I hope that it’s just as much of a success as today’s was.