Can you make a living selling craft items?

 

 

It’s not long now, til Christmas. Well actually, it’s just over a week away!

Over this past week, I’ve been super busy creating new designs. Plus, I was gathering all of the goodies that I have in my Etsy shop for a Christmas Artisan & Farmers market, which was held in Stalybridge, Greater Manchester. I’ve never had a stall at this location before; it is a lovely, Victorian building, with white-washed walls and a stone-tiled floor. My stall was in a great position within the market, as the eating area was directly across from me, and the heating was radiated from directly above. People could easily see my prints, notebooks and other stationery items, whilst they were drinking coffee and munching on mince pies.

Here is my stall.

craft-fair-emmajayne-designs

Photo taken from Sunday’s Artisan & Farmers market. I think a young someone is trying to photo-bomb!

It’s full of colourful items and they definitely caught people’s attention! However, I was rather disappointed, as I didn’t sell as much as I’d hoped. I was actually hoping to sell out, as I’d made sure that I had enough stock for people who were buying for Christmas. Yet, people tended to look but not buy. This had me thinking, and after the event, I tried to assess why my products weren’t selling.

At this particular Artisan & Farmers market, most people were selling food, such as bread, cakes, jams and biscuits. Also, a majority of the products were cheap traditional goods (trying to be careful how I describe what other stall holders were selling, without sounding snobby) and they were neither innovative nor contemporary. These ‘styles’ have been around for some time. I wouldn’t really say that they were kitsch; even though kitsch is ‘dated’, there’s a certain quality which makes them attractive and desirable to buy. I sound terrible don’t I? My products are very colourful and contemporary in style. I do feel that my prints and stationery would be better suited to those places where people like to buy luxury items, desirable and more ‘arty’.

Can you make a living selling craft items?

Here’s a question: Can you make a living selling craft items at a craft fair? In other words, can you turn your hobby into a profitable craft business, at fairs? I see the same small businesses selling their products at craft fairs on regular occasions. I decided to find out how they do it. So I did a bit of investigation and found some information, which is interesting if you want sell at craft fairs. I think UkCraftFairs is a good place to start. Also, check out talented ladies club.

What I will do before I next sell my designs, is to research suitable craft fairs, where my products will best suited. I need to sell where I know people will enjoy my designs and a place where I will have a better chance of making sales. Also, I need to consider how my stall will look from a distance and fine-tune the whole presentation. Some stalls that I’ve noticed from afar have products displayed on shelves. Having shelves would mean that people who are shy or reserved can look without feeling the need to come up close. It can be off-putting for some, if they have to peer over the table. Some people like to browse and not give the stall holder the impression that they will be buying (even though, as a stall-holder, that would be the desired outcome!).

It’s important to look approachable, by just smiling, looking happy and making conversation. I do this anyway, but perhaps I need to pick up some sales techniques! That’s something else I could do with researching, and could possible be an idea for another blog post!!

Here are some photos I’d taken from Sunday’s Artisan & Farmers market, which I’d like to share with you.

 

craft-fair5-emmajayne-designs

Stationery items.

 

craft-fair2-emmajayne-designs

Selection of A3 and A4 prints.

 

craft-fair7-emmajayne-designs

My colourful stall! I even sold cute novelty rubbers, brightly coloured pencils, pom-pom book marks and gift bags.

 

craft-fair9-emmajayne-designs

A sneaky look at the what the marker looked like mid morning.

 

craft-fair6-emmajayne-designs

Brew time! Neil and I wearing our festive sweaters and Santa hats.

 

craft-fair10-emmajayne-designs

Yasmin helped out on the day too.

 

craft-fair11-emmajayne-designs

Yasmin and I taking a quick photo whilst Neil went to take a look round the market.

 

craft-fair8-emmajayne-designs

Me looking rather serious! It was midday and I was beginning to feel tired. I’d had a late night due to attending a Christmas party with Neil the night before, plus I got up early too! (I just love my sleep).

 

craft-fair12-emmajayne-designs

Drinking more tea to keep me awake!

 

craft-fair4-emmajayne-designs

Me waiting patiently for the mad rush, which in the end, didn’t come!

Do you go to craft fairs, either to sell or buy? I’d love to know, which ones you’d recommend!

Emma Jayne x