I popped along to a newly advertised craft fair, in Bristol, on Sunday. It was billed as a Craft and Make It Fair and it sounded great. Buy things made by others or come and stock up on your stash with wools, fabrics and haberdashery…
The reality was very different. And a bit sad. There were around 15 stalls and stands which varied from ‘OK’ to ‘really bloody awful’. Maybe my expectations are too high? Because I’m a crafter, am I expecting to much? I don’t want to buy other crafters makes but I love getting inspiration from them and chatting to like-minded people. I want to buy things to craft with and enjoy the buzz of a market/fair at the same time.
My ideal craft fair is a mixture of unusual, pretty, fun, vintage things to buy – that might be things made by local crafters or reclaimed, recycled, per-loved furniture, textiles, books, haberdashery etc. The Bath Market I went to recently was a great example of this. A cross between a craft fair, a jumble sale and a car boot sale.
There were a few stalls which had some nice handmade bits, too much bunting (do people make much money from selling this? They seem to be everywhere! ) and a couple of stands selling wool and second-hand tapestry and cross stitch kits. But the majority were awful – weird carved wood ornaments, 70’s style crochet pram blankets in the colour of Parma Violets and slight creepy looking cat doorstops.
I’ve been thinking for a while now about having my own stall but would I want to be in this company? Would anyone turn up if they knew creepy cat door stops were the best they could expect?
All this made me think, what would I sell at my craft stall, if I ever had one? My idea of the perfect craft stall would be a mix of things; some of my makes – crochet, stitching, sewing and also a book (photo album maybe?) to show blankets and bespoke things that can be made to order. Books. I’ve been collecting second-hand craft books for years now and think there could be some money to made from these. Haberdashery items – old knitting needles, crochet hooks, wool, thread, maybe some fabric remnants.
I’m a bit fan of supporting local businesses and, of course, craft is an area I have a massive interest in. So, what can I do to get a good craft fair going in my local area? Anyone local (Somerset, North Somerset, North East Somerset) fancy getting together with me to pull together a craft market for buyers and crafters alike? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org…