At the beginning of 2015 I thought for sure I was going the route of craft fairs to sell my knitted items. The Pacific Northwest is full of wonderfully talented artists that make many unique items. As I started investigating locations for craft fairs I found Facebook groups like: Puget Sound Vendors, Crafters & Event Planners, Washington Vendor Events and Pierce County Handmade & Refurbished.
Finding information on events isn’t too hard once you start looking. Knowing which ones to spend money on and spend a whole day at is not so easy to decide on. Here are some tips to help if you are in the market for craft fairs.
- Beware of events that are in their first year or two.
- Make sure the event is in a location that has a lot of daily foot traffic.
- Check around for comparable prices of the booth sizes and event times.
- Make sure you get specific event info before you agree to do the event.
- Find out if refunds are available if you are unable to attend the event in the case of an emergency.
- Make sure the event coordinator is in constant communication with you and the other vendors of the show.
- Talk with others who were vendors at previous events.
- Find out what kind of advertisement the event has. – This should be reflective of the price. (If the event has a high price and is using only free advertisement such as Facebook or Craigslist as advertisement this is a “red flag”.)
- Find out if the event is mostly direct sales (i.e. Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, etc.) or focusing on handmade.
- Make a list of what you think a successful event means to you.
I have done very few craft/vendor fairs so I can’t gauge too much on my experience. However, I can say the experience I did have it helped me make my decision. I will be staying away from the typical vendor events that attract mostly direct sales. I will keep my eye out for locations that look fun and unique.
In December went to such a location at the Back Bar Craft Fair located at The Crocodile in the Belltown district of Seattle. The cozy event was small and personable with talented ladies and a great neighborhood. I would have never hung out in Belltown or even know where to go if I hadn’t signed up for this event. What made it great was the limited number of crafters. It didn’t end up having a lot of people but, I had fun.