Thursday, 27 February 2014

Post-fair fizz

Ok, so I'd meant to do another Etsy school blog earlier in the week, but then couldn't work out what to write, then realised I could've written about the craft fair I did at the weekend, but then that would interrupt the flow of Etsy school blogs....and now it's Thursday again o.0
I shall do a final Etsy school blog next week, when I've worked out what to say about it, honest guv!

Right. Decision made, moving on...

On Saturday I attended what felt like my first 'proper' craft fair in Brighton (the previous one being the internal work do at Kineo before Christmas). This was the Brighton Craft Fair, held at the Friends Meeting House in the South Lanes.

I went in wondering what the day would be like, given the time of year and recent weather and all that sort of stuff - would there be lots of people? Or would it be nought but inexplicable tumbleweeds blowing through the hall?

We had an hour to set up, which seemed like a lot given my relatively simple table layout but actually proved to be about right - unpacking all the jewellery is surprisingly time consuming!

Here's how my table ended up (and no, there wasn't an earthquake or anything, I just managed to take a horribly blurry photo and not realise -.- )

I was pretty happy with how this worked out, given I failed to organise decent stands to support the jewellery boards. I definitely need to work on getting more height in the display though - there were some individual earring stands at the back that got a bit lost for having no real base or back drop.

Here's a considerably less blurry look at the left side of the table. Having that one open pouch at the front seems to have been a good idea - a lot of people reached to feel the leather of that one first, like it was an 'open sample' or something.

I think I might need to find a tidier way of showing price tags - they looked ok on the necklaces, but the earring & charm clusters look sort of messy. Not sure how to improve that yet... or do you think it actually looks ok?

Here's the right side of the table. I used that little dish for my Moo mini business cards - I think it's handy to have something people can 'safely' interact with near the front of the table.

The notebook covers got a fair bit of interest, although other than a couple of people who said they liked them it may have just been people looking to see what they were!

I think the jewellery board on this side looks a bit busier at the necklace end, but spreading the earrings out more seems to have worked.

One thing I definitely need to sort out for next time are some prominent labels declaring what things are, like 'Sterling Silver' by the jewellery, and 'Genuine Leather' by the leather items. Possibly also 'Notebook Covers' would be handy! It might seem obvious, but actually when you're in a room with a mix of jewellers, it's worth making it clear what your stuff actually is.

So how did the day go? Well, I was pleasantly surprised by the footfall through the hall - as I said I wasn't actually sure we'd get much traffic at the tail end of February - although as with any fair I've ever been to people seem to arrive in small swarms, with quiet periods in between when all the stall holders go in search of tea, or just end up smiling nervously at each other in that 'let's hope that wasn't the last swarm' sort of way.

I had a reassuring amount of interest in the table, though I shall confess I had but one sale... still, I'm actually kinda happy with that - First Fair, First Sale. I'd be far less relaxed if I'd sold nothing at all (also, I only need to make a second sale next time for things to feel like they're improving!). Meanwhile, I ended up chatting away quite happily with the seller behind me, Liz of 'Like Never Before', who makes up-cycled denim jewellery (here's her Etsy shop if you're interested!). I believe it was Liz's first fair, and unfortunately she was suffering from the February-casual-browser effect more than me. Hopefully that hasn't put you off Liz!

If you'd like to see more pictures of the fair then you can check out the Brighton Craft Fair Facebook page - there's even one of me in there, failing to look at the camera!

In summary then: February Fair = kinda quiet, but not all bad, and I'm looking forward with a bit more confidence to the next one on Saturday 29th March.

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