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What if I don’t sell anything?- Craft Fair Experience

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Last weekend we were attending at a mini market with our Sea Glass jewellery on the Clevedon Pier ORGANISED BY BRYONY MAKES. /A Huge thank you for her for these beautiful events <3 If you are a local business I do recommend contacting her for her next event/

This was our 4th-5th market, but as every fair is different I never know what to expect, what kind of people would turn up, if they would like our items, or if they would buy anything at all.  But what if I don’t sell anything? Here is our latest Craft fair experience.

Getting ready for an event usually takes me about more than a week, including figuring out what jewellery to bring, what to make, deciding how to set it up or how many gift boxes need to be prepared ahead (including sewing the handmade pillows and printing all the materials). Before every event, I have to prepare myself emotionally as well and shift my mindset. As attending a fair usually has a price, and takes me so much time to get everything ready, I used to worry if that money and time invested in would pay itself back or not?

What if I don’t sell anything at all?

Before I explain more about how I shifted my mindset from fear to acceptance, let me take you back to the beginnings, and tell you about the thoughts I had before the very first fair we were attending.

The first experience

At the first fair (which was in Portishead in May, Organised by Bryony Makes) I was extremely nervous about selling. I didn’t want to be anxious about it, but I had this question in my mind lingering for so long amongst many other worries…Will we attract customers? Will our display be nice? Will they like it? But if they do like it, what if we DO sell our items? Would we have enough stock at the event? All the questions, worries and thoughts spiralled through my mind ahead of the fair until it happened and I realised it wasn’t how I imagined it anyway.

A big part of my anxiety about selling at a craft fair was the fear of the unknown.

Sea glass jewellery-  waiting for drilling

I tried to predict different outcomes and prepare myself for each, but I came to the conclusion that I can’t predict future events, and it is totally unnecessary to worry about what could happen and what couldn’t. 

According to my experience, it won’t turn out the way I thought it would, but the exact opposite… When I thought the event will be busy and I will sell many, I only sold a few, (which still made me really happy by the end of the day as I am over the moon after every purchase, even if I only sell one or two..). But when I thought no one would buy anything, I sold so many that I could have never imagined. SPOILER ALERT: This is exactly what happened at the last fair at the Clevedon Pier.

A DAY BEFORE THE EVENT

A day before the Clevedon Pier Mini market, I got really nervous. I found out about a big flower show, organised for the same weekend, not so far from the Pier, and also I found out about a free entry on the Pier for Bank Holiday Monday.. I thought it could affect the whole weekend really badly because the people might save their time and money coming to the Pier when it is free entry on Monday and also, they will probably go the the flower show anyway.. 

For this reason, I prepared myself for NOT SELLING ANYTHING AT ALL…I predicted a really quiet day, and while I usually come to peace with the thought of not selling anything at all I always console myself with the fact that there will be people to whom I advertise my items at least. But if no one will turn up, what will I do? 

I was aiming to find a way to make my day a success, even if the circumstances weren’t looking the best, so after a few sad moments in the evening, I changed my mindset and decided I would enjoy the day regardless of how many people would turn up. If no one comes, I will turn that day into an AMAZING PHOTOSHOOT and take new photos of our Sea Glass Jewellery! Yay! 

FIRST DAY- MINI MARKET

CLEVEDON PIER

The Pier is such a lovely place and I really wanted to get the most out of it while I was there. So I planned our day filled with moments like “gazing at the beautiful horizon”, “capturing lovely photos while I am wearing the jewellery”, “taking more and more photos of all the new products I made recently “ (I’ve been planning to do this for ages but never had time to do so. ) and also to write a new blog post, as I usually get so much inspiration while I am near the Ocean. So this was my plan, and guess what happened.

We sold so much jewellery, that by the end of the first day, we totally ran out of the prepared gift boxes.

For us, it was the MOST successful day we’ve ever had so far

We were so grateful after each purchase, and we are still incredibly happy.The whole day was an absolute joy! The event itself was a small and lovely Mini Market, only two stalls were there: Jaki Thorne and us.

Clevedon PierThe view from the Glass Box

Jaki creates beautiful handmade clay sculptures. She is such a talented lady, all of her products are simply beautiful, not to mention how lovely she is.

Jaki’s stall on the left, and ours on the right. I took a couple of photos of her beautiful stall, what you can check it out on the bottom of this blog post. Isn’t she talented?

Our day was filled with laughter, and so much fun, and also with some rain and so much wind…The weather was a little bit unpredictable. One minute it was full of sunshine and the next we could see every guest running towards us, soaking wet, looking for shelter in the glass box. But even this unpredictable weather made our day more special.

Watching a rainstorm while you are surrounded by the ocean is just such a lovely feeling. Well, my husband thought otherwise as he got so seasick by the end of the day just by watching through the holes in-between the decks under our feet all day /-but for me and for my daughter, it was such a beautiful experience to be there with the magical sea glass pieces that once belonged to the sea.

After the 1ST DAY

When we got home I spent long hours just getting ready again for the next day as I needed to sew more pillows, make more gift boxes and create the most popular jewellery for Sunday. Well, as it was a success on Saturday, I EXPECTED THE SAME for the next day, but again as usual, the opposite happened.

THE Second Day

Even though it was a huge success on Saturday, we only sold two Sea Glass jewellery on the next day. But it was still an amazing day! We met so many lovely people, including amazing stallholders, that for us worth every minute of being there. 

There were 4 stalls on Sunday, each of us selling our unique handmade products. Dan specialises in incredible wood-burning arts and pyrography, Jess (Bobbie and Bee) makes colourful resin jewellery while Alison (made by Alison) makes lovely cold-pressed soaps and beautiful fused glass items.

More photos at the bottom of this blog post

All of them are such lovely and very talented people. The day was filled with laughter and with so many interesting stories, so overall the whole weekend was definitely something I will always remember.

And though we only sold two items on Sunday, there were many people who were truly interested in our products and at least 8 promised to visit our webshop just before Christmas, so hopefully all the chatting will turn into a sale one day. 

So for us, even though the location was the same for both days, the sales result was totally different.. We sold all of the gift boxes on Saturday, meanwhile, we only sold 2 on Sunday. Same event, same products, different guests, different outcome, but the same happiness and joy on both day and lovely experience. 

CONCLUSION

THE SECRET OF A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE

You can never predict how will you do at an event, but you can have a positive experience regardless of how many items will you sell.

A positive attitude will not only make you feel better, it will help you DO better. So here are my favourite tips on how to get the most out of your next Craft Fair.

Lower your expectations 

Well, I don’t say expect nothing, as sometimes the best part of life is EXPECTING. But If you lower your expectations at least, you can appreciate the good things that come your way and you won’t feel that your high expectations may not be fulfilled. If you’ll sell that will feel wonderful, but if you won’t, it still can be a positive experience. 

SHIFT YOUR FOCUS

Let your main goal be to talk about your products; rather than being anxious to sell them right at the event. The fair is the perfect opportunity for chatting with customers, making connections and advertising your brand. Shifting your focus away from just sales and concentrating on other benefits of a craft fair can help you to stop worrying about ‘what if I don’t sell anything’.

APPRECIATE THE FEEDBACK

It’s always nice to hear good things about your work and craft fairs offer a perfect opportunity for face-to-face feedback with real customers. Being at the fair will give you insights into how to improve things, what to change, and general feedback about your items. 

GET TO KNOW THE OTHERS

Getting to know other stallholders is also a great opportunity for networking. You have a chance to meet some amazing people and hear their inspiring stories, and how they all started. The friends you have gained were probably worth the cost of the stall anyway, and who knows, they might recommend a great event to attend that you otherwise didn’t know about, or a really useful tip about how to improve your business.

Selling nothing at the event doesn’t mean it won’t lead to a sale one day

People might not buy on the spot, but often someone who has seen your work at a craft fair might buy from you days, weeks or months down the line. This happened to us after every fair. So many people came back to our website and bought our Sea Glass Jewellery. This is why networking at craft fairs can be much more valuable than sales sometimes. Make sure you hand out plenty of business cards and chat with a lot of people because they might come back to you at the least expected times. 

And the MOST important thing is:

 Enjoy the day, regardless of the outcome.

Take time to celebrate every little wins-no matter how small, and focus on enjoying the journey rather than the destination. There is something to appreciate in every moment when you are in them.

Feel it, sense it, embrace it.

SEA GLASS JEWELLERY BY

HANDBUILT CLAY SCULPTURES BY

COLD PRESSED SOAPS AND FUSED GLASS BY

HANDMADE RESIN HOMEWARE AND ACCESSORIES BY

WOOD BURNING ARTS BY

BRYONY MAKES EVENTS

Events by Bryony Makes is a collection of independent makers, designers, bakers, and creatives all under one roof. Shop small and shop local <3 Want to trade with them? Email them at bryony@bryonymakes.co.uk

3 thoughts on “What if I don’t sell anything?- Craft Fair Experience”

  1. Hi Bryony,
    My sister was given a necklace from you with a dandelion seed in, she loved it and wanted to buy some for her family. Our friend bought it for her when you were on the pier. Could you let us know if you have any more please?

    1. Hi Linda, Thank you so much for your comment. We are glad to hear your sister loved her necklace, thank you! We would love to help. We’ve just sent an email to you.
      Looking forward to hear from you, Bernadette

  2. Pingback: Embracing Slow Living; The Tranquil Art of Beachcombing | Connecting with Nature through a Mindful Journey - Sea Glass Jewellery from Portishead

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