Hey everyone! I hope you are doing well and getting the hang of your soy candle making if you’re new to it. I haven’t posted anything new for awhile if you haven’t noticed lol I’ve been so busy with this and that, remodeling the outside of our house (new insulation, siding, windows and more!) and a bit of writers block too.
It’s craft fair/bazaar season and the holidays are fast approaching! I’ve been wanting to do a craft fair post for awhile, but I wanted it to be super helpful, and since I have only done a few craft fairs, I decided I would enlist someone more experienced than myself to answer some questions for this one!
Laura Scheuy, from Candles By Laura, has been so kind as to offer up her tips on preparing for and having a successful craft fair selling your soy candles! So check out the questions and answers below, and give her some support by visiting her website and FB page which are listed at the end of the article as well.
If you have any other questions, be sure to leave a comment below too!
10 Craft Fair Tips for a Successful Show…
1. How do I find craft fairs in my area? In my experience, the best way to find events is by word of mouth. Talk to your fellow vendors, people in your community, participants in your hometown holiday craft fair. Ask them which shows they’ve done and if they have any recommendations. There are a number of Facebook groups that have been started just for this purpose, too.
Eventlister.com is an online resource that is also a great place to find local events. You can search by date and zip code.
2. How much does it generally cost for a spot? Wide range – anywhere from $10 on up to $350 or more for a weekend event. Most shows I attend average $40 for an indoor 8’ x 6’ spot, but the outdoor farmer’s markets are much less for a 10’ x 10’ space.
3. What research should I do about the event before attending? (Is there a way to know which events would be best to attend?) Again, Eventlister.com is a great resource. For a minimal membership fee, you can read/write reviews for shows. Contact the event planner, ask them about the show’s history. Ask other vendors that have attended before what their experience has been. There are all kinds of Facebook groups as well.
4. How much inventory should I bring with me? It’s been said “A good day of sales is 10x the entry fee”. If the show cost you $25 to get in, bring a minimum of $250 in inventory, I usually double that. That’s a great start. Once you’ve gotten some experience and you return to shows year after year, this will change.
5. How early should I get there to set up? Each show/venue has its own rules, but I recommend no less than one hour to allow for hiccups, changes and it provides a less stressful set up if you’re not rushing. If your display is elaborate or you have a lot of product, you should certainly get there at the earliest time that is allowed.
6. What are some tips on setting up the display?
- Fill your space whether it be with product, or height in your display.
- Make it inviting. The more traffic in your booth, the better chance you have of making a sale.
- The weather is also a factor. If it’s raining, I want to invite people IN my booth to get out of the elements, but on a beautiful day, I set up more in front so passersby can see my product at a glance.
7. Is it good to do sale or bundle pricing? While shoppers are enticed by a deal and it could bring more traffic to your booth, be sure your sale or bundle does not cut into your profit margin. Everyone likes to get something for nothing, but consider your worth. You are handcrafting your product, be sure you’re compensated appropriately.
8. Can I have a candle lit so people can smell it burning? That is entirely up to the venue hosting the craft fair or event, but if it’s allowed, I would encourage it. If open flame is not allowed, but electricity is available, wax warmers are a great way to change out the scents throughout the event.
9. Can I take orders if I run out of items? Sure! However, be sure to explain to the customer about all your shipping/delivery options to be clear that if they are out of your delivery range, you will ship them and that will be an extra charge.
10. What should I pack for the event? Oh my, now this is extensive and depends on the size of your space, but bare minimums:
Your inventory, of course,
Cash box (small bills)
Credit card equipment (if applicable)
It’s always good to have a “toolbox” full of office supplies such as tape, scissors, pens, clothespins, clips, price tags, calculator, etc.
On a personal level, be sure to bring water, breath mints, snacks (that won’t get all stuck in your teeth) a bag for your garbage, a sweater or jacket and hand sanitizer.
This is just the short list.
On a final note:
Stand up! Do not sit behind your display on your cell phone and wait for people to come to you!
Engage with the people passing by. A simple “hello” and a smile. Instead of reading a book or making your craft during downtime, talk to your neighbors, walk around when you can! Learn from them! You’ll meet a wonderful group of people that are all in it for the same reasons you are.
Laura Scheuy started her soy candle business, Candles by Laura, LLC, in 2007 out of a simple love for great scented candles. What started more than a decade ago as a hobby, turned into a full-fledged business in just a few years. Now Candles by Laura can be found in several retail shops in New England as well as weekly farmer’s markets, monthly craft shows and always in her online store, www.candlesbylaura.com. Follow Candles by Laura on Facebook at facebook.com/CandlesbyLauraBolton