Hurrah! Selling in real life at Christmas Craft Fairs and Markets is possible again this year! Not only are fair and markets a fantastic opportunity to sell some of your fabulous handmade lampshades, they are brilliant for getting feedback on your designs and taking commission orders that will see you through to the new year!
We've put together our top tips for selling at craft fairs in 2021, plus a list of UK wide craft fairs and markets for you to grab a stall at or get in the festive spirit at and a list of fairs that might be worth attending or going along to, to support other makers and crafters.
Getting ready for a craft fair can take time, and from making and deciding on what stock you'll take to ensuring your warm enough if it's an outside event! As natural list makers, we'd recommend compiling a list of everything you need to do and take in advance. There are even a range of downloadable lists and planners on Etsy, that could save you some time and also cover areas you might not have thought of.
Whether the fair is on your doorstep or a 100 miles away make sure you have some contingency time planned in. It's always better to be sat with a coffee half and hour before the doors open, thank frantically hanging your last lampshade as people are streaming in.
We loved this blog post from Folksy, that runs through everything you need to think about in advance of a fair. The simple idea of a craft fair survival box is a handy way of making sure you have everything you need to solve any problems that might come your way!
Display, display, display
As with any shop window, you stall need to be eye-catching. It might be a drag taking a standard lamps to a craft fair, but if it shows off that super statement shade, that will be a head turner and talking point it will be definitely worth it. Think about how you can display your shades and show off the sizes and shapes to you make and sell. If you've only got a small table consider graphics or a photo book so buyers can visualise what else you can offer. If you're planning on lighting your shade make sure you book a stand with a power point nearby and take plenty of extension leads!
Spread the news
As soon as you’ve made a booking let people know when and where you’re going to be and, as much as possible, what kind of stock you’ll have with you. Be sure to answer any questions on social media and build up to the event letting people know which corner you’ll be in, which other makers will be there and what parking and access there is.
Be ready to be your business
If you mainly sell on line, talking directly with customers about your products could be daunting. In this situation think about why you make lampshades in the first place - we're guessing it's because you love making them and enjoy giving your customers what they want. If that's the case let that come across when you're chatting with customers. A couple of golden rules are giving customer the space to browse, some don't want to chat but will strike up a conversation and always say 'hi' or smile at every customer. This leads the way for those customers who want to chat and have a little conversation.
Cashing in on card readers
In light of the last 18 months many businesses now only take card payments and as a result many people don't carry cash. Card readers are now much more accessible with low charges making them a viable option for small businesses. Check out Sum Up, Zettle and Square reader. Most readers run on WiFi so check when booking you'll be able to access the WiFi at the venue.
At the more business end of doing a craft fair is making sure you have the right Public Liability insurance. Most fair or market organisers will ask for this in advance, so it's good to know what your options are. A popular choice with makers is AN public liability insurance, but there are many other insurance products out there so do your research before you buy.
UK Craft Fair and Market listings
Everyone loves a craft fair, especially at this time of year when gift ideas are needed! We've put together a list of some of the many craft fairs that take place across the UK and may be worth a look and a buy.
North of England
Sheffield craft and flea
Saturday 20th November
Hepworth Gallery Festive Mini Market
Saturday 20 – Sunday 21 November
Saturday 27 – Sunday 28 November
Saturday 4 – Sunday 5 Dec 2021,
Various dates across Cheshire, Manchester, Staffordshire, Liverpool and Shropshire.
Craft and Flea
Paper Daisy events – Brighton
Saturday 4th December
South Coast Makers Market - Bournemouth
Saturday 6th November & Saturday 4th December
Paperdolls Christmas market
Saturday 27 November and Sunday 28 November
Crafty Fox Markets
Various dates in November and December in London
Forty Hall, Enfield
Thursday 2nd December - Sunday 5th December
Saturday 27 November 2021 - Sunday 28 November
The Garden Museum, Lambeth
5 Dec 2021
Beautiful & Useful Craft Fair 2021
Goytre Wharf and Canal Visitor Centre, Abergavenny
Beaumaris Artisan Christmas market
Saturday, November 27th & Sunday November 28th
Christmas Craft, Art & Design Fair – Edinburgh
Saturday 4th December & Sunday 5th December
Scotish Arts and Crafts fair – Kilmarnock
Sunday 7th November
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