have a craft show coming up on May 1, which will be my first show in several years. I am beyond excited. I love the energy of shows—getting to meet other makers and people that want to support local makers! Throw in some food trucks and music and I’m sold.
Since it has been some time since my last show, I’ve been thinking about my displays over the years. I just love thinking back to the very first show that I did back in 2016 (above).
I was SO nervous. I had never put myself out there before. What if I sold nothing?! What if nobody liked the stuff that I made?!
I was living in Eugene, Oregon at the time and they have a great weekly outdoors market that was several city blocks big. The smallest booth space available was a little 4x4 space, so I decided to just go for it. I constructed a little booth for myself out of PVC, concrete, and canvas—and then I sewed and sewed and sewed to fill it up. And you know what? It was absolutely perfect for what I needed it to be.
So here are 5 tips that I’ve learned over the years about selling at craft shows.
1. Know the space constraints and how your booth will be laid out. If you know the constraints ahead of time, you can really use them to your advantage. I really like having my booth contained—either by a tent or by arranging my display in an inviting way.
2. Layers are your friend. I typically use wooden crates for my displays because you can stack them all the way from the ground up to your tables. And then I’ll do layers within those crates, too. I try to have my booth be a visual feast for anyone that stops by!
3. Have lots of stock. Along with #2, it really helps to have a lot of stock to fill your booth up with. You never know what the hot item is going to be or what particular item a customer may be looking for. Stick any excess underneath your table and restock as the day goes on.
4. Do a practice run before the event. If you’re doing a new set up or a booth for the first time, it really helps to do a practice run beforehand. That way, you can see how long it takes you to set up, if you need any additional display pieces, or if you need more stock made. It may seem silly, but it has really helped me in the past.
5. Learn from the other vendors. This really should be #1 on this list because it has been so valuable to me. When I was first starting out in Eugene, Oregon, I would be surrounded by people who had been doing that market for 20-30 years! Their support, tips, and encouragement to me were so helpful as I was just starting out. Even today after years of doing craft shows, I’m always happy to hear tips from other makers!
I’d love to hear about your journey into craft sales. I hope that you’ve found my tips to be helpful!