Another day, another craft fair

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Craft stall at Xscape Craft Fair May 2013
Craft stall at Xscape Craft Fair May 2013

On this gorgeous Bank Holiday Monday, the warmest and by far the sunniest day so far, where was I?

I was daft enough to be selling at a craft fair within a leisure facility centred around an indoor snow slope. Well selling is probably exaggerating somewhat.

In recent times it seems a rare thing to have good weather coinciding within a bank holiday here in Blighty.

Which is why barely a soul turned up to the craft fair. And it also didn’t help that the ones that did come had difficulty in finding the conference suite we were squeezed into.

The place was dead. The hundreds of folks that had spent all winter visiting the venue had chosen the park and the sunshine over snow boarding, the cinema and tin pin bowling.

This was my fifth fair and on a craft stall value basis (it was a very expensive stall price) it was my poorest. A loss was made.

I get the feeling that the only ones making any money from these fairs are the ones organising them. I feel a bit of a mug.

At least the tables were sandwiched together so tight it was more trouble than it was worth to have a wander over to grab a coffee from the adjacent bar or peruse the other stalls. I didn’t fancy a Lego key ring or a flyer about holding a skincare/candle/clothing party at my house anyway.

However, on a positive note, I did sell 2 of my new crochet baskets!

Crochet basket No.2
Crochet basket No.2
Crochet Basket No3
Crochet Basket No.3

My partner’s thoughts on continuing this quest are far from positive, to say the least. I daren’t even consider putting any value to my time spent stood behind my stall, which is how he looks at it.

I came home and did a quick 12 miles on my bike to bash out my frustration.

Back to the day job tomorrow.


  1. Oh no! So sorry to hear that. Yes, I bet everyone was out in the sunshine. Have you thought about trying to sell online instead / as well?

    Your crochet baskets look stunning though.


    1. I’ve half heartedly set up a folksy page to sell online. Think I need to re-focus, improve my photos and generally update it with my new things. And then market it.


      1. Ha ha, oh dear, that sounds like quite a lot! I think all your products look lovely, for what it’s worth, so I’m sure they’ll sell like hot cakes just as soon the ball gets rolling…


  2. I agree with you that it is the organisers that make the money, I also think that people who do not know about crafts, think that the pricing is way too high, they dont understand how long it takes to creat even a small item, and then there is also the cost, and I think the people who do know about crafts, well they tend to create there own and visit craft fairs for a neb around, without actually purchasing anything. I crochet and my friends keeps telling me “you could sell that” then when i tell them how much the yarn alone costs they soon shut up lol.
    I hope your next fair picks up and I have followed your blog 🙂


    1. Thankyou for the follow. I have decided now to ditch the local type craft fair – too much money and time for little return. I will however still exhibit in the craft tents of the larger agricultural shows here in Yorkshire this summer. At least these craft tents are filled with all handcrafted items only.


  3. I’m sorry to hear about your flop of a show, and I can totally relate. I’ve had my share of shows where no one shows up for one reason or another, and it’s heart breaking, frustrating, boring, and downright maddening. My first show of the season is coming up and it’s a show I’ve never done before, so I really have no expectations. Hopefully I’ll do well.

    I really like your baskets! That’s one good thing about your craft – you can work on it when business is slow at the shows. Good luck with the next one!


    1. Made a whole basket while I was there!
      I was truly mad to have given up a beautiful sunny day with my partner.
      At least I don’t have to replenish any stock for the next one and can work on some stuff for me.
      Good luck with yours. Let us know how you do!


  4. I was in exactly the same situation yesterday and didn’t break even. However on days like this i try and make friends with my fellow stallholders as you never know what can come of it. I found out about 2 craft fairs i had not seen online anywhere and also gave information on some that i am attending to a couple of people. It may not be productive money wise initially but getting your name out there and making contacts will all help for the future. I think the lead up to Christmas is the best time to be a craftseller anyway so hold on in there and come September you will be laughing. I have to say that yesterday was only my 4th craft fair though and i have struggled with sales also but the few craft fairs i have done have taught me so much and i can’t wait for the next one.


    1. Sorry in the delay, wifi a little hit and miss here on holiday. Thank you for your positivity! I love doing the craft fairs but after 5 of them I am finding it harder to see how things are going to change. However, the 2 I have booked for August, the agricultural shows, are a completely different audience and the day should be good fun as well.
      I’m loath to book many towards Christmas as I don’t want to stump up all that cash but am aware that those fairs sell out about now. So I have just the one booked.
      So in conclusion I am going to look at the year as a whole and work out my strategy for next year based on all these experiences.
      Good luck with yours!


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