I'm going batty! ... But in a good way.
On October 27, I will be participating in a local craft fair sponsored by Faith Lutheran Church. I've been a vendor at this craft fair the past two years, and I've learned a few lessons along the way.
1. Offer something new. http://madeinlowell.blogspot.com/2012/07/surviving-bad-craft-show.html
2. Offer something other sellers don't.
3. Stock up on cute little kid-friendly items and stocking stuffers.
4. Save most bigger ticket items for Etsy. (Items can become shop worn in a day, especially if your booth is positioned in very close proximity to the food court. Hmmm. Greasy fingers pawing my stuff. Grr-rr-rrr!)
Because this show falls right before Halloween, cute little Halloween mini-totes and seasonal table runners have been my best sellers. I'll continue to offer both of those items, as well as SOME of the oven mitts, walker bags and baby bibs I sell on Etsy: http://www.handmadeology.com/what-to-do-with-your-etsy-shop-when-attending-a-craft-fair. This year I'll also be offering finger puppets, pictured above, and (I still have 12 weeks!) zip pouches and pencil cases.
The finger puppets were made using a .pdf pattern by Precious Patterns, a great little mother/daughter Etsy shop featuring patterns designed by Mary Ayres: http://www.etsy.com/listing/105100862/halloween-felt-finger-puppets-sewing. I'll also be making some jungle animals finger puppets with travel friendly roll-up carrying cases: http://www.etsy.com/listing/103467635/jungle-animal-felt-finger-puppets-sewing. The jungle animals will be small child friendly-- no buttons. The finger puppets can only be sold online in limited quantities with credit for the pattern, but the Precious Pattern shop policies state, "If you would like to sell our finished items at craft fairs, feel free to sell as many items as you would like."
I tried to diligently follow the pattern for the "test batch" of finger puppets pictured above, so I whip-stitched everything by hand. But in order to keep my price point low and my volume high, I'm going to need to machine-stitch the outside edges, either with a tiny blanket stitch or straight stitch.
Do you vend at craft fairs? Or attend them? If so, what lessons have you learned?
LeAnn aka pasqueflower