Craft Fair What Ifs…

Gearing up for my very first Craft Fair in less then 2 weeks, and outside of the mass amount of sewing I am doing, I am also doing a lot of research on things.

First off…pricing. I mean, how do you know what to price your items?!! When I look around on Etsy to research, I am just blown away.  I mean – do people calculate an hourly wage for themselves at all? Just cost of materials alone does not give one a going rate for a finished product. GAH.    I have this irrational fear that I should be marking my things at the lowest price, the price you could buy it for at Target, just so people will buy them.

Luckily I was able to find a few good articles to help guide me in that direction, as well as answering a couple of other questions I had including wholesale vs. retail pricing.  You can find them here:
Freshly Picked
Glue & Glitter
What the Craft

Another biggie is display.  Trying to figure out how we, me and my friend Karen of Fancy Fonts, are going to set up one little teeny tiny 6 foot table. Lots of ideas out there to get me going in the right direction though…

Source: One Lucky Ducky via Craft & Show Designs

Source: Flickriver via Pinterest

I know I wanted to start small for my very first one, so I got the 6 foot table underneath the awning.  But of course now I am wondering if I should have went bigger.  

I think I am just starting to get nervous.  There are so many ‘what ifs’…

What if I cant get my act together in time?  What if people hate my product, which would feel like a total reflection on me?  What if no one buys anything?  Or on the other hand, what if people love my products and they buy everything and I am all sold out.  What if I don’t have enough?  What if there are technical difficulties?   

I just need to remember to keep walking forward, one step at a time.  

And with that said, its back to my assembly line Bustle Backpack sewing.  (The hardest item I am making for the fair by far – I kept everything else nice and simple).  


Thanks so much for stopping by, and until next time…

Happy Sewing.

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Jess Abbott the Sewing Rabbit is the founder and creative director behind the me sew crazy blog, as well as, 5 & 10 Designs, GNO Events, and co-editor of STYLO. She resides in Virginia Beach with her husband and 3 children.
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  1. says

    Good Luck! And thanks for pointing out that too many people do not charge enough for their work. Many people have asked me if I sell my stuff to them but I say NO. For two reasons: my sewing is for fun and I don’t want it to become work AND I don’t think they will want to pay what I think my time is worth. If this is going to be your ‘day job’ you definitely should be charging a fair price. Fair to you and fair to the customer.

  2. says

    i felt the same way going in to my first one. i ended up selling about 80% of what i brought and walked away with a bunch of custom orders. i tried to find my pics of my booth to show you but i used some slide show and now are unable to view them. anyways. the look of your booth is just as important as your products. luckily we live out in the sticks and people are easily impressed up here:) and most craft fairs are not over the top like the ones i see online. but still the booth does reflect a lot. i love the ladder idea. you could find two vintage step stools and do the same thing. because if you are going to have a table how are you going to hang your dresses? and may already be planning this but bring everything you have! just dont put everything out all at once. i stored a ton under the table and restocked as i sold. kept the tables uncrowded. anyways, i am no pro at this, but apparently love to give advise:) you are going to rock and yes they will LOVE your items! so no worries there!

  3. says

    Everything you make is so beautiful that I think you will do well. I’ve been on the fence about starting an etsy store or going to a local green market where everything is grown or made. Good luck!

  4. says

    Can you do some sort of backdrop behind the table to display more product? That might give you some more space and more height to display.

    They are kind of an investment (ok…a REAL investment) but gridwalls are an easy way to display products too.

    (too bad we aren’t neighbors, there are some just sitting in my garage…)

  5. says

    I so want to participate in a craft fair. I can only imagine how stressful it can be, though! Best of luck! I can’t wait to hear how it turns out. :)

  6. says

    When I did my first one I brought a garment rack. You can buy one super-cheap at IKEA. I also had a vintage drying rack (like in the second picture you posted) for hanging clothing. Try thinking ‘up’ and you should be able to fit a lot in your booth :). You’ll do great ~ and it will be SO much fun!!

  7. says

    Please don’t under-price yourself. I stupidly did that about 4 years ago and it cost me dearly…in time…anxiety. I’m now charging what I should for my handmade items and you should too. I just read a great blog post from Evy’s Tree. You should read it and please, please don’t sell yourself or your work short. I find when most people love an item, price is never a factor. I’ve got a show this Saturday and hope the weather holds out here….foggy

  8. says

    I hope you do really great! I’ve been wanting to do one myself, but I’m too much of a chicken just yet. =) I’m sure everyone will love your stuff!

  9. says

    You’re going to do great!! I agree with the commenters above. :) What else are you selling besides backpacks? I did one craft show but it was pretty small. I printed out a few different price sheets in case my prices were way higher or way lower than the other booths.

  10. says

    For pricing, I double the cost of materials, plus pay myself $15/hour. The cost of materials should be what you could always pay for it- so if you get your fabric on sale for $5/yard but its normally $10 a yard, you need to calculate using the $10/yard. So an item that uses 1/2 yard of fabric and take an hour to make would cost around $25. That would be the starting off point- you also need to consider zippers, thread, trim, etc. in your cost, again, doubling for the materials. My husband helped me come up with this since he does price analysis as part of his job. True retail would be factored a little differently, but this formula works for me so I earn a profit. And I don’t sell on etsy anymore because too many people undercharge, and if I’m going to make a gorgeous dress for $75 for someone I’d rather it be in my hometown where I can measure their kid in person and hopefully get their business again by building a relationship! So yay for the local craft fair! You will be a hit!

  11. says

    Good luck. And just have fun. I always go through the craft fair, look at everything, and then go back and pick up what I want.
    Be proud of yourself, you are doing something that most people just dream about. And that is making a dream come true. You can do it! :)

  12. says

    I am so excited for you Jessica! I am just now starting to get organized to sew for my Etsy shop and look forward to hearing how the fair went. Hopefully I can do a fair when I get more things made. I love your Apron display! I know you will do great!

  13. says


  14. says

    Oh Jessica! I read this one after reading your recent Etsy one and I’m amazed at how far you’ve come in a year or so. It seems like in this post you were struggling with the pre-show doubts (which is what I’m doing right now for my craft fair in a week!). And now, you are rockin and rollin!
    How did this one turn out anyway?

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