Craft Market Chronicles: My Sparkling Debut ✨

Craft Market Chronicles: My First Market ✨

Hey there, it's Sam! I'm not a blogger, but I think sharing information to help each other succeed is cool. So I wanted to share a bit about my first plunge into the craft market scene! It was an adventure marked by creativity, connections, and a huge boost in confidence.

First of all—shout out to my family for supporting me and waking up at the ass crack of dawn, helping me set up, and sitting by my side the whole time. 🖤

So, what did I do to prepare? I'm sure you know how to get stuck in YouTube/TikTok/IG/Google rabbit holes? That's what I did. I hunted for tips on setting up the perfect booth on one monitor, while I got work done for my day job on the other. I had a notepad to write down anything I wanted to remember and a checklist of my must-haves inspired by different creators. I'll leave some links below to the stuff I ended up purchasing and loving.

I 100% could have shown up with nothing but my suncatchers, ready to go. But I have ADHD...I really love making lists, researching shit that I'm hyperfocused on, and spending money. 🙈 The point is - please don't feel like you have to have anything at all besides your art/product, because I know not everyone has any disposable income when they're starting out. I too am starting out, but I lack self-control. Moving on...

The market that I joined was a Holiday Market that's been a thing for a solid decade in town. I've been to a few different shows that were hosted in the same venue, so I was pretty excited at the possible turnout. There were a total of 85 other vendors ranging from baked goods, crochet, 3d printed items, jewelry, stained glass, and so much more. I wish I would have gotten their business cards to shout them out here, but there's a tip for you and a reminder for me! The crowd leaned toward the older side, but my suncatchers got love from all ages. (Especially the babies, I couldn't help but stand up and spin the suncatchers around to catch their attention as they strolled by) I actually found out after the show that there was another event going on in town. Outside, on Main St. Dangit! My suncatchers would catch so many eyes in the sunlight. Next time. It just sucks because I think the crowd would have been bigger had there not been another event going on that hosted vendors as well.

AB Glass Catcher casting rainbows
This particular suncatcher ended up bringing a lot of people over to my table but didn't find it's forever home. Everyone was mesmerized by the sparkles and loved that the hoops could spin freely of each other. I'll definitely create more pieces like this in the future.🖤

I went to the venue the night before to check out where my tables were so I could have a final design in my head for setting up the next morning. I stayed up way too late making a few more suncatchers, wiping all of them with a microfiber cloth, and laying them to rest in my storage bin. I separated them with an unused duvet cover 😅 —use what ya got! I just made sure that absolutely everything was packed, checked off the first list, and ready to go in the morning. (Yes, first list. I had a second checklist for the morning to make damn sure I didn't forget anything. ADHD, remember?)

Anyway, I scored a corner spot for my booth, and at first, I wondered how I would handle having 2 directions to worry about. Turns out, it was the best spot! Two walkways framing my tables meant double the visibility! I ended up miscalculating the number of tee fittings I needed for my PVC pipe stands, but luckily Home Depot was just across the road. The hardest part of the setup was putting together my PVC stand and hanging each suncatcher.

photos of my table set up; sun catchers hung on PVC pipe stand

Now, as much as I love my creations, I'm an introvert. So, I did the polite smile thing and engaged with whoever initiated a chat. But if they wanted to browse quietly, I let them be. Maybe that wasn't the best approach and I should be more outgoing next time. Do you prefer when sellers talk to you first or do you prefer to browse quietly?

Sales-wise, I made two. Just two. But let me tell you, those two sales felt so damn good. It was more than just a monetary exchange, it was a huge boost of confidence for me. I even made a new craft buddy! Go check out The Beaded Rose on Facebook! Natalie is a local indigenous artist who makes amazing handmade jewelry with stunning beadwork. She's got other items too, but y'all, seriously 👀👀👀 go look at her art!

 Beadwork jewelry by Natalie @ The Beaded Rose

Here's to my first craft market adventure. 🍾 Not a roaring success in terms of sales, but in terms of experience and confidence? Priceless.


Okay, Sam, that's great, but did you learn anything that might help me? Oh yeah, for sure!

my craft fair tips for everyone - shortened

  • Having everything packed & ready to go in the morning was so helpful. Although I stayed up way too late to make that happen, I didn't have a crazy morning. Don't forget to make a list, whether you're forgetful or not—but for my ADHD friends...maybe make two lists? That's what I did; one list to check off as I put things away and set them by the door, and another list for the morning to ensure everything ended up in the car. 😉
  • A lot of people say you should practice your set up, but I didn't have my own tables to practice on (they were provided at the venue). I crudely drew out my setup so I knew exactly what I would do in the morning. I had at least 15 minutes to spare before the show began so I think I managed pretty well there.
  • I used the back of my acrylic sign holders for the info I wanted to see at a glance. On the front, customers saw my beautiful signage, but on my side, I had a list with pre-tax prices, tax per item, the 3.5% surcharge amount, and the total price for each piece to make any online transactions as quick as possible. Did I make any non-cash sales that day? No. BUT I WAS SO READY, square reader and all! 💳
  • Speaking of cashless sales, make sure you practice transactions with any third-party app you use. On top of the Square reader I ordered, I created a business PayPal & Venmo account. While you don't need to offer every payment option, the more choices you have available will appeal to different customers. Instead of relying on any payment method to work with the first person who asks to use it, make sure you are familiar with how to process the transaction ahead of time.
  • My last piece of advice is to just do it! I was hella nervous and didn't really know what to expect, but it was so worth it and I'm looking forward to attending more events and learning where my vibe fits. 🖤




Amazon Finds:

Paper Shopping Bags — I wanted to make sure I had bags to offer customers with any sales made. I also opted for paper for sustainability! ♻️
3 Pack Acrylic Signs — I don't have a single complaint about these, they stood up sturdily and made my signage look super nice. It was also fun to peel the film off of all of them, lol. ✌🏻
Spinning Jewelry Stand — Alright, this thing is cool *IF* you do some modifications. There's a nut and bolt that sticks out of the bottom so it can literally never be flat...huge design flaw. But I glued some big wood beads I had laying around to the bottom with E6000 glue and now it's great. ⚒️
8ft Spandex Table Covers — Perfect! I wanted my tables to look as professional and neat as possible so I opted for the fitted covers. I got to hide my extra crap under my tables and no one was the wiser! 😎
    **If you make a purchase from the links above, I will earn a small commission. 
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