My First Craft Market Experience

DIY & Decor

My First Craft Market Experience

Hey everyone! It’s been a hot minute, but we’re back and ready to roll. So much good stuff coming down the pipeline. September and October have been filled to the brim with nonstop activities. It felt like every time I turned around I had something going on or I needed to focus my energies on getting ready for the next adventure. We spent nine jam-packed days in New Mexico chasing balloons and hiking canyons and mountain tops. Then I rolled right into producing products for the FHC fall craft market. You guys might know/recall that I have my little Etsy shop, Antler & Bow, and I decided that this fall I would give the craft market space a try. It was…different, to say the least. Read on to learn about my first craft market experience.

What is a craft market?

Seems self-explanatory, but basically a craft market is a place for vendors to gather and show off, sell, and market their wares. Think farmer’s market, but less vegetables, more home goods. While I do have my shop online, I’m not always the best about listing new items (no lecture needed, I really have to get my shit together). With the holiday season rolling around, it kind of felt like a good time to dip my toes into the proverbial market waters. I decided I was going to offer my knitted beanies, hats, and ear warmers as my main sellers, and then added a couple of smaller items like dish scrubbers and soap bags. Craft markets have come a long way from cookie booths and floral arrangements that I remember dominating the tables and spaces back when I would go with my mom. Now you’ll see everything from hand-poured candles to woodworking to shirts.

Why the FHC market?

I’ll be perfectly honest, I just did a quick Google search for local craft markets. I knew that I wanted my first craft market experience to be at a show that I knew got decent foot traffic. Nothing worse than setting up your booth and only having a handful of people come to the whole show! So I knew the FHC show had been around a while, which meant good traffic. What I didn’t realize was the sheer volume of vendors they were going to have. As I walked into set my stuff up, I passed several tables selling the same stuff I was. I was under the impression that since they had asked what you were selling, they were going to try and limit the number of vendors selling the same merch. There were over 2,000 vendors there! Definitely not the best pick for my first craft market.

Will I do it again?

It’s hard to say. If Matt hadn’t shown up and bought several items from me, I wouldn’t have covered my expenses for the show. Which weren’t that great to start with. But after the entire day, I had only sold five items and had not yet covered my booth fee. I’m sure there were several factors converging into my success as well. First and foremost, it was a huge show. Too many vendors selling the same thing. I had lots of people compliment my hats, saying they were the nicest ones they’d felt or seen, but my only unique item was the soap bags. Secondly, my booth location was just not optimal. You already had to trek past hundreds of booths in the halls to even get to the cafeteria. And that didn’t include all the booths in the gym. Thirdly, my booth setup could have been a little better. Since it was my first show, I didn’t want to invest a ton of money in booth setup. What would I do with it all if I didn’t like it/wasn’t successful? But I did need a bigger table, or perhaps another table the same size as the one I took. My display was a little crowded, and I didn’t perhaps have the eye-catching element that I needed. I might try another one, a smaller market, closer to the holidays. We’ll have to see!

My booth setup (don’t worry I added more ear warmers and hats after this photo!)
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