The story so far.
In my previous blog post ‘craft fairs, soul searching and a great day out‘ I shared my disappointment and frustration at the poor sales I have had from craft fairs this year.
the customer demographic?
aliens? (just checking you’re still reading)
I shared photos of my previous stalls, inviting feedback, and I also invited feedback on my flickr photos here.
I was blown away by the response, thank you all for your frank feedback about your craft fair experiences, which mostly seemed to be similar to mine. It promoted a real debate on this issue. Do craft fairs work?
Well, I’m back, and I’ve done 2 more events since I last blogged about it.
100% Handmade in Ilkley 31st October
Back in the Ridding Hall, Ilkley, where I was 3 weeks before with the Keighley Arts Factory, but this time with an event organized by Leeds Vintage Fairs. Interesting to compare the differences, my analytic brain likes that!
my stall – glammed up considerably from how it was here enabling me to put more jewellery out, give it a bit more ‘shape’ etc
venue – Sally and Sam only had tables around the edge, and the middle had lovely shabby chic tables/tablecloths etc for people to have lovely pots of tea and wonderful food.
footfall – really good, interestingly Sally and Sam were disappointed, as their events in Leeds are normally busier.
promotion – great, Sally and Sam have built up an email list of over 3000 people through their Vintage fashion events, they put fliers through doors, boards up on the road in to Ilkley, and promoted widely in Leeds. This gets the daytrippers to stop by.
So, how was it? Well, after recovering from the shock that I had forgotten my new round black bead mats and mirror mats, I set up and was really pleased with the look of the stall this time. I haven’t made all the changes people have suggested, yet, but most of them.
And…I did really well! YEAY! Including a sale of an expensive set, which is always so flattering when people are prepared to commit to spending that much, and are giving it as a gift.
It was a great day, meet some more great craft people, some contacts which led not only to my Christmas Bazaar that I did yesterday, more about that later…and some more things in the pipeline.
So why was it more successful? Well, I am clearly no expert and I think my stall looks much improved, but mainly I think it was the promotion. I know that every events I have done has been promoted hard, but if it’s not the right kind, it is really ineffectual. Sally and Sam have a customer base they have gradually built up from their vintage fairs in Leeds, and you could tell that the people who came were mostly the right people for the event, and came with the idea to spend on desigener / maker goods. There is no substitute for this, I guess it just takes time as well as hard work. Events need to build a reputation to get the right people to come.
Christmas Bazaar at The Devonshire Arms, Bolton Abbey
This was totally different to any other events I’ve done. It was a Ladies Luncheon Charity Day raising funds for the local Sue Ryder Hospice. Situated in the prestigious Devonshire Arms Hotel in Bolton Abbey, we were in a collection of small and intimate function rooms, and the ladies arrived all morning before going in to lunch, and came round again after. There were a few other people that came throughout the day.
I went with Chrissie from Hat Therapy and we both thought the venue suited our work. I think my stall looked it’s best yet, the table was a good size. Also there was Emma from Cakewalk in Ilkley and Cathy from ‘Dear Emma Designs‘ both of whom I met at 100% Handmade.
Another great day! The visitors took their time to really look at everything, asked questions and were very interested. I had good sales and a couple of commissions, too. It was beautifully organized and I would definitely do one of these events again.
I donated my ‘beauty bright’ prehnite, rose quartz and freshwater pearl charm bracelet for the Sue Ryder Charity auction next week