My first craft fair.

The Handmade Holiday Event went by in a whir of distraction and sparkly sights. Mary and I stayed up late the night before, trying to figure out what exactly we were doing. We never quite figured it out, but we went ahead and did it anyway.

Of course, we arrived for set-up later than we had planned. Looking at all the other displays of professional crafters both humbled and inspired. Tips for the next craft fair gleaned from admiring the displays at this one:

  • Don’t use individual product tags- they distract from the products.
  • Layer various fabrics as tablecloths to add texture to your display.
  • Alternately, place baskets or books under the tablecloths to lift and display some items without interrupting the horizantal viewing line.
  • Stack crates around and on your table to create a vertical effect when you are selling paper products or objects which need a bit of space and signage.
  • Cover corkboard with fabric or burlap and place it in a frame. Then use this to mount and display various jewelry or hanging crafts (my crosses would have done well).
  • Alternately, spread chicken wire in a large painted frame and nail it to the inside of the frame so you can hang, dangle, or string just about anything.
  • MAKE SURE YOU HAVE BUSINESS CARDS. I goofed on that one.
  • Spray paint a pegboard, cut the arms off a few plastic dolls, spray-paint the arms and squeeze them into peg holes to use as display hooks for various items.
  • Make a plywood sign for your brand and use glitter and glue to attract attention.
  • Use cool bowls to hold business cards, candy, or small items.

Mary sold i-spy bags and just-a-pinch potholders. Compared to my crazy, hodge-podge display on a dirty, stained tablecloth which the dark closet obscured early this morning, Mary’s display attracted many eyes. Crisp, clean, and professional, thanks to her laminating machine and her eye for detail.

I love this photo of Mary looking soooooo serious while eating her chicken sandwich. Only Mary can look pretty with a somber, post-craft expression on her face.

I didn’t do a good job of noting my sales, so there are a few items that I sold but can’t quite recall. The reversible upcycled bibs were popular, and the skull skirt sold quickly. One nice lady purchased the blue bloom cross for a friend of hers.

She also lingered over Luther (pictured below), but decided he should not leave the Coryell nest just yet. So lucky Luther came back home with me.

I didn’t actually get to wander around the entire room and see all forty of the craft tables, but what I saw was impressive. I promised myself I’d cover each crafter I met and admired on this blog over the course of the coming week, so stay tuned to learn more about local craftisans.

All in all, the conversations and nifty people proved to be the best part of the fair. I loved talking to customers about how certain crafts evolved and emerged- how the munchkins play muse to all sorts of creations. And I loved all the stories strewn like candy along the way. Patrick dropped by on two separate occasions so Milla could nurse. He brought Tino along, and then he brought the entire Coryell Castle crew. I love my family and our adopted Uncle Tino…

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