Last weekend I participated as a vendor in my first ever craft fair – Craft Your Environment in Iowa City. It was an event that focused on recycling, reusing, and being kind to the environment. All of the vendors sold art that included upcycled materials.
In the weeks proceeding the fair, I got increasingly anxious (how stupid would I feel if no one wanted any of my stuff?!?), but after twenty minutes or so into it I felt like I had finally found my niche. Selling art is fun! I got a lot of chuckles, a lot words of encouragement, and yes, even a good number of sales!
This was an outdoor show, which is a bit of a risk when selling items that could potentially be damaged by the elements.
Nevertheless, everything turned out well, and to this point I would like to share a few words of wisdom when it comes to outdoor craft fairs.
- In April, mornings are cold. Even if the high for the day is in the 70s, bring gloves or else your fingers will freeze solid as you put up the tent.
- A tent with side-walls is a must, especially if you live somewhere where it is windy. The walls really helped protect me (from the cold) and my items (from blowing away).
- Bring tape. Lots of tape. Just do it.
- If you want to bring items that are personal jokes, expect to be questioned about them. It took me like 5 minutes to explain to a lady that “Por Queso” didn’t actually mean anything, it was just a bad pun that I thought was really funny. Needless to say, she left with a rather bewildered expression on her face.
- You’ll be neighbors to the vendor next to you for the entire event. So try not to let yourself get annoyed by their “selling ways.” You may hear the phrase “All my items are made from recycled magazines” two thousand times, but chances are you’ll have a nicer time if you don’t let it nettle you (or at least make a joke of it).
- Finally, if you are OCD about dust and dirt and things falling off the table, don’t do an outdoor show. It is probably not worth it.
I really enjoyed my first craft show experience. It was both rewarding and fun. I am especially grateful for my incredible husband, who was by my side all day without complaint. It takes a special kind of man to do that!
There are a lot of great craft fairs/shows/markets in Iowa during the summer (like this one I will be participating in in May and this one in June), so it is kind of a bummer I’ll be cutting the season short in July as we move to Wyoming. Luckily for me, however, there are a lot of great crafting opportunities in Sheridan as well. One down, a lifetime-ful to go!