The California Crafters Club of Etsy (CCCOE) is a group of independent artists, crafters, & artisans from California who sell their wares on

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A First Craft Fair

Are you planning on doing your first craft fair this holiday season? All sorts of craft bloggers have great advice. And once you start reading these posts, it's easy to get overwhelmed.

Just like when you opened your Etsy shop, you started someplace and learned as you went along. The same is true for a craft fair. Don't worry about having everything perfect your first time out. You should think of it as a learning opportunity.

If you've done your research, you should have a basic idea of what to bring and how to set up your table. But I do have a few tips to help you get through your first craft fair.

1. Start Small

You don't want to hit the big events your first time out. It's a good idea to do a few small shows to get comfortable with the whole process. Many churches have holiday events that are inside (no worrying about acquiring and setting up a canopy), and they even let you rent a table. All you have to do is bring yourself and your wares.

2. Practice Your Setup Ahead of Time

Take a couple hours (or plan to use a whole Saturday afternoon) to put out all of your items in the space you'll have. It'll give you some idea of how everything is going to look. As you do this, you'll see what sorts of signage you will want and how much you'll actually need to make your table look full. You might be surprised. 

The other bonus to this is it'll help make your setup easier on the day of the craft fair. When you know about what you want things to look like, you won't spend precious setup time trying to figure out how to get everything positioned to your satisfaction.

3. Bring a Buddy

Things go easier when you have someone for support. Your best friend owes you. Your spouse would love to spend the day with you. Bribe them with dinner or that item that they've had their eye on. You get the day to sit and visit. And if you need to use the restroom or you want to send someone to pick up lunch, someone is already there.

4. Say Hello to Everyone

There's a reason why retail establishments ask their employees to greet people as they walk in the door. It makes you more approachable. It establishes rapport. Some will ignore you, and many will grunt out a hello in response as they quickly move past your table. But some will stop and chat. And a few of those might just buy something from you. 

5. Check Out the Other Booths

This is a great networking opportunity. Say hello. Get cards. Check out their setups. Support them by purchasing something. (You know you have Christmas shopping to do, too.) You may find some very helpful, experienced vendors who can give you advice as to where the good shows are. And the day is much nicer when you're enjoying the company of the other vendors at the event.


As you do more of these events, you'll get better at them. You'll learn what to tweak and what works just fine as is. 

What are some things you'd advise to someone doing their first craft fair?


  1. Some great advice here! Best of luck with your shows Liz!

  2. Love all this great advice! Fairs can be a lot of work but I've always found they're worth it.


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