Making Your “Stuff-To-Bring” Checklist In Advance Of The Show:
This weekend I ended up getting ready for a Christmas Craft Fair coming up at a local beer and wine brewery near me. Originally I wasn’t planning to do any craft fairs this season, because I have been so busy launching the new Polymer Clay Tutor Members Library. But a friend asked and the show is small enough that I had the inventory to pull this off.
It will also be a good opportunity for my daughter Willow to sell her dog treats (Willow’s Wonderful Woofies). We are going to share a table. Willow has been selling her handmade W shaped dog biscuits since she was 9 years old. She actually has a pretty good business going now, for a 12 yr old. But that’s a whole ‘nother story.
Since many of you may also be getting ready for upcoming craft fairs, I figured I’d share my “stuff-to-bring” list here at the blog. Hopefully I haven’t forgotten anything!
Inventory: About 2 to 3 times the amount you hope to sell which I figure should be about 10 times the booth fee. Therefore, if it is a small show like this one which has a table fee of only $20, you should bring around $400 to $600 worth of inventory in a range of price points. This is my rule of thumb. Since times are tougher right now, I am going to bring the majority of my stock in lower ticket items like earrings and pendants. I will also bring some niche specific products like wine charms and hand painted wine glasses since this fair is in a wine making facility.
Packaging: Gift bags, boxes, ribbon, etc.
Cashbox: Float (change and small bills), credit card machine with slips and receipt book.
Office Supplies: Pens, pencils, calculator, scissors, stapler, tables, extra price stickers, duct tape, scotch tape, rubber stamp and ink pad.
Marketing Materials: Business cards, extra hang tags and jewelry display cards, brochures, handouts, etc. Also a book to add peoples emails to for a mailing list is a good idea, for letting people know about future events, etc.
Table: Only if you have to bring your own. A tall stool instead of a chair. You want to stay at eye level so you can connect with your customers.
Display Items: Table cloths, racks, baskets, trays, raised over-turned boxes draped with cloth, mirror if selling jewelry, lighting, signage, table cards. Be creative here, it makes a huge difference to your sales.
Snacks: Easy to eat in tiny bites food like trail mix and water.
Beading Tools: Extra clasps, jump rings, wire, wire cutters, chain nose pliers, round nose pliers, extra ear wires, clip-on earring findings, etc. Great for resizing, customizing or fixing jewelry on the spot. Also consider making jewelry, beads or canes at the table. This will get people interested in your process, plus build on your inventory when things are slow.
Sunny Disposition: Nothing is worse than a crabby person manning a booth.
So have I missed anything from this list? If you were selling handmade jewelry at craft fairs and jewelry shows, what else would you bring?