It finally arrived, our first craft fair. And what a way to start, with the Wealden Times Midwinter Fair. I have plenty of experience in trade shows so felt fairly prepared, even if the experience was in beer trade shows. However, the first learning was that they are very different.
We spent a lot of time designing our stand and focusing on ensuring maximum engagement with the public with no barriers. This included a display table at the back of the stand. We quickly learnt that people don’t like walking in to a stand and much prefer a barrier. So we moved our table forwards to a more traditional style and immediately people came over and started talking to us.
The most common questions asked were how we get the prints and the process for making the charms. People also often think their children are too big to have it done, so we assured them we can take any prints as long as they fit on a piece of A4 paper as we shrink them down when we make the stamp for the silver.
We also learnt a lot about our customers. Our stand was very different to most others at the fair as you couldn’t take the finished product away on the day. As a result, for most people it wasn’t an immediate purchase but something they wanted to consider to follow up with on our website.
It was also interesting that each day it was a different type of customer. Each type perfectly suited to our product, but very different. It was particularly interesting on the Saturday where nearly all our conversations were about paw prints rather than children’s prints.
Overall, we had so much fun. We had the best neighbours. Ruth from Smash Porcelain was a craft show professional and not only gave us great advice but entertained us continuously for 3 days. On the other side we had Hannah and Carol from The 12 Days of Christmas. I’ve known them for over 25 years and even used to babysit Hannah- what are the chances of that!
People have asked us whether we will do the Midwinter Fair again. We definitely will. It worked really well for us. However nothing is ever perfect and we can look at how we can tweak our display and offer to make it even better. We also now know that the show is just as much a marketing tool as a sales tool. It was invaluable experience and was so lovely to chat to so many wonderful people and introduce ourselves to them. It was also so heart warming to receive so many fabulous comments about our jewellery and shows us that all our hard work is worth it.
Next weekend we are at the Sailing Club in Rye Harbour. 11:00am-4:00pm Saturday 26th November and 11:00-3:00pm on Sunday 27th November. We can’t wait to have a weekend by the seaside and hope to see as many of you there as possible.