I'm doing it! August 27! Any advice? Warnings?

concretenprimroses(4B NH)August 19, 2011

I am setting up to sell plate flowers and a few totems at the Newport NH Apple Pie Craft Fair, sponsored by the library. I sent in my $60 for a 15' x 15' space, which hopefully I will be sharing with a friend who makes lovely bags and pillows. I haven't been for years, but I have friends who love it and say it is a wonderful fair. Apparently more than 2 thousand people come which is a lot in our semi-rural area.

Another friend has a pop up canopy to lend and some lattice. Dh remembered the plant stand his mom gave us when she downsized(3 step back shelves) which is somewhere in the cellar disassembled. I hope I can find it, it could sit on a table and the plate flowers would look great on it.

An artist friend suggested a name and a logo for my things.

So: neat and attractive display, be friendly attentive and smile, have appropriate bags and packaging, anything else?

I'm thinking of $12 to $24. Does that sound reasonable?

I'm so excited.


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You have perfect prices ! One thing I want to mention --- be very careful where you stand your totems. When they're on the ground and kids walk by -I guarantee you they'll run up to it and want to touch it. I went through that with my stained glass. Bottom racks were like candy to kids. Alot of parents watch their kids -- but the ones that don't are trouble. Don't be afraid to tell kids not
to touch - maybe their parents will get the hint. The same thing goes with showing breakable stuff up on stands - it could get knocked over & someone could get hurt if it breaks. People are sue happy these days.

I hope you have fun ! It's so exciting to get out and watch people oogle your crafts! I'd still be doing fairs if I had someone to do it with. It's just too much work for me. Just thinking about your fair - I'm alittle envious now ! :)

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 11:58AM
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rock_oak_deer(8b TX)

You can also go to facebook and Whimsies by Mary to ask her advice.

Good luck with the sale, sounds like you've thought this out pretty well.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 1:00PM
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Kathy...Good Luck on your Craft Fair. I hope you do really well and enjoy the experience.


    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 7:03PM
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No advice or warnings forthcoming from this quarter
but definitely cheering you on back here! And....
EXPECTING a good report afterward.

bless ya,

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 11:12PM
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Just have fun and be friendly. The booths that I always end up spending more than I expect to are the ones that have friendly sales people. There's something about a smile and a friendly chat that seems to open up the wallet. Whenever I come upon someone that's reading or when the sellers are having a serious gossip session among themselves I feel like I'm intruding and tend to just glance as I walk by.

I'm sure you'll do great. I'll be cheering you on as well.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 12:24AM
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THIS type of craft always does better 1st thing in the spring. Don't get discouraged if sales are slow. Since your in NH, people are done thinking gardens, maybe gifts. I found in NY March-May are best, people have the garden itch! lol


    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 3:26AM
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How exciting. Bring water and something to snack on and something to sit on. Keep the space open so people can move around and look at all you great work. Be friendly but not everyone likes to chat. When I'm at a fair I like a friendly hi but feel more comfortable looking around without having to chat. I like that you have two price points. Make sure pieces are marked with the price. I never like to ask. Can you display a picture of some in a garden setting so to help people picture what they'll look like when they get them home? Good luck and have fun!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 8:03AM
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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

Thank you for all the good ideas and encouragement. I think that I will bring a tall stool (and keep my folding chair under the table in case I get desparate, he he.)
I hadn't thought about plate flowers selling better in the spring. I'll have to blow up a picture of mine in the snow, and make a sign that says, brighten a fall or winter garden!
Safety is a problem I hadn't really thought out. I wonder if I should get some of those cheap electricians ties and make the flowers difficult to remove. Then I could take them off when they sell. On the other and, someone tugging could pull over a whole display. Sigh. I think I'll have to set up the display pieces in my back yard first and see how they work and if a little piece of rebar would help.Fortunately this is outside on the town common, and next Saturday is supposed to be beautiful!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 10:04AM
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beatrice_outdoors(6a MA)

Ooohhh! Sounds like a lot of fun! I'm envious, too. I miss those days. I hope I'm not repeating information you may already know, but just in case...

It might be good to either group like-priced items in one area and make a sign that says something like "this table $19" or price each item individually. Color stickers makes pricing easy too. Green sticker=$12, red=$19, and so on.

Bring a small dust pan and brush, and sturdy trash bags, in case something does get broken. You can watch them like a hawk, but kids will be kids!

If you have any fall color flowers (amber??) put those up front for fall decorating ideas.

The printed word helps a lot for those folks who do not want to talk, so a sign saying what they are, how to use them, etc. could be enough to keep them there for a minute reading, and encourage them to ask questions.

I'm in MA and have not seen any around here at all. How about a sign that says, "Be the first in your neighborhood to have the newest garden craze!!" and post pics from magazines and websites that show them in use? If you don't have any from mags or websites, definitely bring pictures from your own yard to spur people's imaginations.

Make a list of gift ideas-Christmas, birthday, mother's day, etc.

Make sure you bring lots of $1s and $5s to make change! And use an apron to keep the money close at hand, not in a change box.

When I've done fairs and flea markets in the past I used a red full apron. It gives a "homey" approachable look and the red catches the eye from a distance (or so I was told!!).

Before the fair box one up like you're going to ship it, take it to the post office and see how much it would cost to mail it a few different ways (parcel post, overnight, priority mail) and keep this info handy to use as a selling point, for either you or the buyer to ship.

Make sure buyers know the flowers and totems can withstand NH winters outside and not break or fall apart! I've been following the flower and totem makers in this group, and temperature extremes and how the glue stands up has been an important discussion point.

I would promote Made in the USA, recycling, save the planet, etc. I have been a big Christmas Tree shopper in the past, but have stopped in recent years because the stuff may be less expensive, but it's all made overseas. I need to get my garden gizmos SOMEWHERE, and if I were in your neck of the woods I'd be at your booth shopping!

Do you have any sort of business cards or something people can take home with them? If not, get the printable cards at Staples and include a picture of a group of flowers, and add your name, logo, and contact info. Keep them available on a table in view, but don't force them on people. Those who pick up on their own are more likely to hang on for future reference.

Make note of what sells, and what doesn't. Evaluate color, style, design, of what sold in case you want to make more of that style for the next time.

Be relaxed, have fun, and make contacts while you're there.

Good luck!!! And take pics of your booth for later!


    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 11:58AM
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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

Thank you Beatrice!
Great suggestions.
I am going to take picture by price group here at home once I price and print them on cheap paper to bring with me so I can note which has sold. I plan to write the price on the tags, but I like the idea of colored dots, I think I'll use those in addition. I like all your suggestions, now just wondering where I can find a red apron at this late date! I'll have to check the thrift stores for something red to convert.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 1:44PM
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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

Kathy/Toomuchglass, If we lived anywhere near eachother I'd set up with you! Thank you so much for the little flower centers. I'm keeping some for myself and I also made up some very cute new flowers.
My friend with the pop up canopy and the metal lattice obelisk just came over and showed me how to set the canopy up. Now I have to think of a safe way to raise up the obelisk a bit.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 3:21PM
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No warnings or advice except to enjoy yourself! It sounds like fun and I'm sure you will do well. Everyone had such great ideas.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 8:11PM
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Have fun, crete! Your products will sell themselves w/all the prep work you're doing! Enjoy your day! Jeanne S.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 6:59PM
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I like to add:

Let the neighbors talk
the birds will be impressed!

Have FUN!!!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 4:17PM
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I have only one thing to add to this great advice. I don't think it hurts to ask if they would like to take a card with them. Even if they don't want to buy they sometimes know somebody else who would be interested. I usually give out 2 and tell them to pass the extra one on to somebody else. The response is always good.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 12:42AM
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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

thanks Laurastheme.
In the bustle, I have't made the cards yet. I will do them when I make the price tags. Gotta get to work on them. Dh will cut up some plastic conduit for me which I am buying today along with some precut short pieces of rebar.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 10:01AM
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Sounds like you have gotten some really good advice. Have fun and hope to hear good reports when your done

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 10:35AM
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I was wondering how do you transport all your plates to the craft fair, and what type of bags and packing does one use?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 8:11AM
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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

We have a bunch of those big buckets that joint compound comes in (you can also buy pretty colored ones at HD). I realized that most of the plate flowers will fit in them, diameter-wise, so I'm hoping I can get 6 or 7 in each separated by bubble wrap.

I might have to buy bags. I contacted a friend who used to have a scrapbook store to see if she still had any of the ones for 12x12 paper which would have been perfect. She doesn't but I scrounged up 10 from my scrapbooking supplies. Dh says to use grocery bags but I don't want to. I plan to wrap them in newspaper put a piece of tape to hold the paper and put them in a bag with the caution to remember that they are breakable. I'm also going to bring a few flat rate boxes from the post office in case someone wants to mail them.
I wish I'd thought of the scrapbooking bags in time to buy some. I'm going to have to go with what ever I can get locally which probably isn't much. If they do well and I think I'll try again in the spring, I'll order some way in advance. Since they are clear, I could put a flyer in to show through and get some extra advertising.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 9:22AM
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I'am excited for you. Sounds like a lot of work but fun too. Like when you do garage sales, a lot of work but fun meeting all the people. Good luck and post pics!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 9:54AM
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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

Suebee, I also realized that a little wicker hamper is the right size to hold flowers, separated by bubble wrap. I have a rolling milkcrate/file box on wheels at work that I am going to bring home to see if the buckets will fit in. I suppose I could bring a dolly. Even though they have handles, I think it will hurt to carry them.
now the problem is the table I thought I was using may not fit into dh's car. i don't really want to take the truck.
Did my business cards. Now want to do some flyers to staple to the bags, or put so they show through the clear ones.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 11:51AM
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Your big day is TOMORROW !!!! Best of Luck to you !!!!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 12:23PM
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Excited for you!!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 7:13PM
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Good Luck and have fun!!!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 10:00PM
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sprout_wi(z4 WI)

I hope you can post photos and be sure and let us know how it goes. You will be great, I am sure. Best of luck to you for a successful sale!!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 1:28AM
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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

Arrrgh! I was so excited that I hardly slept.
Friends from NY were up and we really wanted to see them, plus yesterday was dh's b-day so I didn't get to bed until almost midnight.
Found out that I have a corner spot which is great but now my plan has to change, AND someone will be there called "The Glass Garden". Dh thinks it will be stained glass, but we will see...
Thank you everyone for all your encouragement and help. I'll post pics and report how it went in a new thread this evening.


    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 6:07AM
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