Craft Fair Series ~ Packaging + Display

on October 22 | in Craft Fair Series, Small Business Ideas | by | with 9 Comments

Christina Dennis from The DIY Mommy and Golly Gee Baby is also the founder of WeeStock. WeeStock is an indie trade show in Alberta, Candada, featuring handmade and organic baby items; over the years Christina has learned a lot about how to sell successfully in craft fairs/markets/etc. Learn more about Christina in her intro, and be sure to check out The DIY Mommy, Golly Gee Baby and WeeStock. Have you had packaging and display successes? Please add your tips in the comments below. We’d especially love links to photo examples!

Selling your handmade products at craft shows is such a fun and effective way to market your business, see your customers face-to-face, and get valuable feedback on your creations. Besides having unique and high-quality items to sell, one of the next most important things to remember at a craft fair is to make sure your products are uniquely packaged and your overall display is appealing to potential customers. You can have the most adorable, hand-sewn little goodies to sell but if they’re plopped on a bare table (with no price tags in sight!) people might not see their value.

Here are some easy and inexpensive ideas you can use to make your table at a craft fair stand out from the others and give your products a professional yet unique look that says “buy me!”:

Establish a Brand for Your Business

It’s important that you already have a consistent look for your handmade company established before you sell at a craft fair. A distinguishable logo, a colour scheme that you use, and a business card are at the very least the three things that are wise to start with. Bring your business cards and a large sign with your logo on it to the craft fair and put them in obvious places near your table so that people can see who you are. If they don’t buy from you today, they’ll most likely remember where they can buy from you later if you have a unique and creative logo (and especially if they’ve taken your business card).

Ensure Prices Are Visible

Nothing is more frustrating for a craft fair shopper than to fall in love with an item and then not be able to immediately find the price. It’s wise to put a price tag on every single item (use a sticker or get creative with tags and string) or if the items are small you can get away with a large sign in an obvious location close to the items. If you’re running a special sale for the craft fair (which is usually an effective way to make sales at a show), make sure your promotion is really visible too; at least three signs is always a good idea!

Protect Your Products

If you’re laying your handcrafted works of art on a bare (and potentially dirty!) table, it can give off the impression that you don’t care about your products. Packaging and protecting your products with extra care tells your potential customers that you’ve got something very valuable here, and it’s worth the extra cost and time to protect it! It’s up to you on how much money you want to spend on packaging and protecting your products, but at the very least a fun tablecloth (fabric is nice) that matches your branding with its colours and style is a simple and cost-effective way to keep your products clean. You may also choose to individually wrap your products in plastic or fabric pouches, but always keep in mind your end buyer: would they appreciate a more “green” approach to packaging? Try using recycled materials for wrapping and packaging when you can.

Use Different Levels for Interest

It’s amazing how adding a few boxes, shelves or racks on top of, beside, or behind a craft fair table can add so much interest to a booth. Instead of laying all of your items on the table in boring little rows, try thinking about ways you can display your products at multiple levels to make your booth unique. Wire grid walls behind or beside a table are a bit of an investment, but they’re easy to set up and take down (and also to embellish if you want). Think outside of the box too – use vintage crates, driftwood, antique furniture, old bookcases, rope tied between two hat stands, a drying rack, hanging cork boards or really anything that you can attach your product to that matches the look and feel of your little brand. Have some products in front of your table at a lower level, some at table level, some a little higher on boxes or shelves, and then some even higher on string or hanging from a background. Not only does this look impressive, you can display so many things this way!

The Most Important Part of Your Display? You!

Don’t forget that behind all of the pretty packages, then unique display and the beautiful handmade items made with attention to detail and so much love is… You! The best way to market your creations at a craft fair is to show your visitors how much you care about your craft by engaging with them in conversation. Smile at everyone, dress in something that makes you feel beautiful, answer everyone’s questions the best that you can and take any constructive criticism you may get with professionalism. If you’re truly passionate about your products and share that with people, your passion will be inspiring and may possibly motivate that person to purchase one (or a whole bunch!) of your lovely things.

If you take the time to prepare your products for a craft fair by packaging them uniquely, display them with care and artistry at the show, and market yourself and your goodies with passion and a smile, you’re bound to find so much success. Don’t forget that every business card you hand out and every person you talk to, regardless of how much (or if) they purchase, could be a potential customer down the road (or they might have a friend that could be!). Craft fairs can be a lot of fun, and they’re such a wonderful place to learn more about how you can make your items — and your next craft fair display — even better than before.

We’re back tomorrow with another post in our craft fair series focused on interacting with your customers!…

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9 Responses to Craft Fair Series ~ Packaging + Display

  1. All i can say is Perfect, well written, great job!

  2. Exciting ideas, thanks for sharing them in this article.

  3. Helena says:

    I am loving these posts, and the comments, such valuable information to know with my first craft show coming up soon!

  4. Thanks to Sew Mama Sew! for allowing me to guest post this article! p.s.phyllis.sews I also have a display rack about the same size as yours at it is wonderful to transport and makes my display pop. Dana – totally! A little “hello” and a smile goes a long way

  5. Gene says:

    I agree with Dana. When I sell, I try to speak to everyone who walks by. At a minimum, if you are looking at my wares you will get a hello and a big smile. I care about every sale. One year my least expensive item was my best moneymaker. Those small sales add up and many of them are return buyers. I am there for the allotted time, so I want to make the most of it – and a smile is the cheapest thing you can give away but oh the difference it can make.

  6. Debb Lou says:

    I have just finished my first full year of craft shows… When I started out with Infinity Scarves and not wanting them to be on the table I looked around my home to all of my collections… old suitcases… they are the best for my scarves. I stack an open one on top of a closed one and drape the scarves around the edges… I have used metal wine bottle holders… tiered shelves .. and counter top bath towel holders. A little spray paint goes a long way on items found at Goodwill. My “fun” products are seasonal felted pumpkins and Christmas items made out of wool sweaters… this is fun … I bring out the old apple crates, enamel bowls, some more metal and some old quilts… I even spray painted a candle holder that held 5 pillar candles in a row… perfect for displaying small pumpkins. TJ Maxx yielded two metal dress forms and an ornate mirror for the table … would love an old dressing screen; but, my husband says “enough with the props”. I love when people want to buy my “props” as much as my craft items.

  7. Dana says:

    I meant to say “their” phone.

  8. Dana says:

    Great post. I have been both a buyer and a seller. One thing that will ALWAYS make me move on to the next table is if a seller doesn’t even look up from there phone to see who is looking at their wares. I don’t expect a whole forced conversation, but just a smile or a hello will ensure that I stop to look at their stuff. To me, that gives them impression that they don’t care if they make a sale….so why should I?

  9. The best thing I did this year was purchase 2 vertical metal racks that are 2 feet by 5 feet. I can hang every kind of bag I make on them and everything is selling! The racks paid for themselves in the first fair after I purchased them! A local store in Houston had everything I needed and I am really thinking about adding a third and using a smaller table! Each fair is exciting to see the response to the merchandise as it is now displayed!

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