Craft Fair Musings: Confessions of a craft fair stall holder

 A bit of a ramble through things I think about, to give you an idea of behind the scenes of a craft fair…

Photograph by Jane Mucklow of her craft fair stall
My stall (with my gazebo at Sevenoaks Farmer’s Market)

On booking a Fair

Can I do the date?  Where is it?  Do I have enough local photos for there?  How much is the stall fee?  Will my husband mind looking after the children again?  Will there be a space for me?  Will it be a good event, and be worth going to?  Oh yay, there is space / Oh no, they are full already, will have to look for another one now… (Go back to the beginning)


Have I made enough stock?  Have I made too much stock?  Have I got enough bags?  Have I got enough change?  Is my card machine charged up? (And can I remember how to work my new one?)  Have I got my order book, receipt book, something to write with, calculator, pen, notebook, table cloths, banner, clips, sellotape, masking tape, breakfast, packed lunch, drink, chocolate, etc. etc.?  Coat, hat and fingerless gloves in winter.  Twinkly lights at Christmas.  Oh yes, and a copy of my public liability insurance.  Can I fit everything into the car? How many tables will I need / how much space will I get?  Did I leave anything important at home after all that?!  What if no-one wants to buy anything?!

On arrival

Where is it?  Can I stop right outside to unload?  How far will I have to carry everything?  Is there anywhere free to park the car for the day?  Will it be warm enough?  Or will it be baking hot in there?  Have I been given a good spot? (- plenty of space, near the entrance, facing the way most people will go? – Brilliant! / Oh no!  Hope people still come this way!)  Are there any other photographers there?  Are there many other card sellers there?  Oh, how lovely to have some friends as fellow stall holders.  Hope my neighbours are friendly.  How shall I arrange my tables?  Where am I going to put my canvas stand?  Can I fit my card spinner in too?  Both print holders or squeeze them into one?  Where am I going to put everything?!  Will I be ready in time for the opening?  Where are my business cards and my price labels?  Where am I going to put everything!?!

A busy event

Will it be a busy day?  Browsers or buyers?  Oh good, here they come…  “Hello!”  Like anything enough to buy?  “Thank you” for looking…”Hello!”  Like anything? “Thank you!”… And repeat, and repeat, interspersed with hopefully more actual conversation with interested people, and lots of actual selling…  Hope everyone else is doing well too…

A quiet event

Where is everyone?  Come on, where are you all?  Come and support all these lovely local handmade businesses…   Ok, I’ll make some more cards whilst I wait / write some to do lists / write a blog post…  Ooh here’s a customer, will they buy something, they say they like it, will they… Yay! / Oh no, why not?  They said they really liked it!  Come on customers!  …Ok I’m bored now, time for a wander around the other stalls…

Photograph by Jane Mucklow of her craft fair stall
My stall (at a Coolings craft fair)

At the end

Oh no, now I’ve got to pack it all up again, carry it back to the car, drive home, and then unpack it all.  My feet ache from standing up all day.  My face aches from smiling all day.  I’m knackered!  But yay, I’ve got lots of money to pay for more stock / Or hopefully rarely, Oh how rubbish I didn’t even cover the stall fee…

…And repeat all over again next weekend!

Craft Fair confessions blog post title

Behind the scenes of a craft fair

2 thoughts on “Behind the scenes of a craft fair

  • 26th November 2018 at 10:26 am

    Brilliant Jane!
    So, so accurate! You may also want to add..
    Where are the loos? Is there coffee/drink etc somewhere? Are my next door stall holders friendly enough to say, can you keep an eye on it whilst I go.
    Have I remembered my little rug/mat to put on the freezing cold concrete floor!
    See you at Coolings!
    Sheila. Joe’s Wood & Wax

    • 13th December 2018 at 6:59 pm

      Oops, sorry for the late reply – thanks so much for your comment, great additional tips, I definitely forgot the importance of finding the loo!

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