Why I Love Selling at Craft Fairs

As we head towards the Spring and Summer Craft Fair season, I can feel my excitement rising and positive pressure to create something new and exciting.

I am a self-confessed ‘craft fair’ groupie; it started over 6 years ago at Crathes Castle in Scotland where I sold my first cushion. My husband told me I was shaking but I only remember being so excited and honoured that someone would buy one of my handmade cushions.

Since that first sale, I have sold cushions and throws all over Scotland and I still get the same buzz I got that very first time.

The excitement of being amongst my customers, chatting to fellow artisans. Catching up on all the news and showing off all our beautiful handmade goodies, is what keeps us going.

Getting Ready

I love selling at craft fairs and the build-up that goes with each Craft Fair I attend. The car is packed full, my husband has read out and ticked off ‘the list’ before we leave. Lots of questions are streaming through my mind. Where is my stall situated? How easy will it be to off-load and set-up? Who else is exhibiting? Am I close to the people I have met before at other Craft Fairs? Will the weather be kind to us? Will I have a connection for my payment terminal? Where can we get a coffee and the ‘all important’ bacon roll to start my day?

The position of my cushions and throws on my allocated stand is important as the colours must look good together. They must look amazing, attractive, and inviting. Lighting is important too so that customers can see the cushions & throws at their best.

I enjoy improving and tweaking my display as it rolls towards opening time. The atmosphere is intense as the anticipation grows amongst the crafters, we all want to have a good fair with lots of new admirers and buyers of our handmade goods.

My customers

Once the doors open and the public arrive, it is great to start chatting to my customers about the fabrics, colours, the design process and have a laugh. At one fair near Inverness a local farmer asked me “So what is so luxury about that cushion then?” we had a long chat about farming highland cows and bought he bought one of my Trossach cushions for his granddaughter as it reminded him of his favourite highland cow.

I really like talking to people about everything and anything as well as about my cushions and throws. Most of my fabrics and products have a story behind them, which I love to pass on. When my husband tells my customers that he “locks me up in the attic and this is what she creates!”, it usually get a laugh!

Returning customers come to chat and show me photos of where they have placed their last Baigali Designs cushion or throw. This is fantastic to see them in their new homes. This gives me a real sense of purpose. It is an incredible feeling to have someone buy something I have designed and made. If I was footballer, this would probably be like scoring a goal! I feel delighted but also humbled, as it I do put a lot of thought into placing each piece of fabric together and to have someone like it, is wonderful.

The day goes by very fast when you are busy selling at a Craft fair. If the Fair is staged over a few days, the opening excitement is there each morning.

As the Fair comes to a close

When the Fair comes to a close, I always feel a little sad but soon get stuck into the hustle and bustle of the ‘pack up and head for home phase’ of the weekend. I pack everything away, load the car, (hopefully with a few less cushions) and say goodbye to my crafting family. I do usually feel exhausted. If my husband is with me, he kindly drives me home, where a nice hot bath awaits.

It is hard work at times, but so rewarding in lots of ways.