Craft Fair Postmortem: Boyd E. Smith Elementary Spring Craft Festival

There is something very sad about a craft fair without any shoppers.

The Third Annual Boyd E. Smith Elementary Spring Craft Festival was this past Saturday, and promptly at 7:00 Saturday morning, my husband and I loaded the car and headed north to Milford, OH. We’d stayed up much too late the night before working on some new display options for my booth (see photos below), and we were looking forward to trying it out. We got the booth set up and ready by 8:50 (the fair started at 9), and then we settled in to wait for the shoppers.

But the shoppers never came. There were times throughout the day when a full hour or more would pass without any new shoppers or patrons walking through the door. I don’t know what was or wasn’t done that contributed to the poor attendance at the fair, so I won’t speculate. The school’s gym and cafeteria were crammed full of crafters, but the rooms were also full of a general feeling of frustration that so few members of the public decided to attend.

On the plus side, I was able to meet some new crafters and also had the chance to reconnect with Jim and Gloria Theirauf of Mr. J’s Toy Tops. Jim and Gloria were my booth neighbors at the 180-Ministries Craft Fair in December, when I bought one of their toy tops for my niece. Jim and Gloria are wonderful people, and they both made rounds of the fair several times, greeting each and every crafter with a big smile and cheerful manner. I also met Sherry, the creative mind behind Sensual Scents by Sherry. Sherry and I have corresponded on Facebook for several months, so it was great to finally meet her in person.

Another plus of this past weekend’s fair is that it allowed me to test my new display stands before using them at the upcoming Cheat River Festival Art Market. At previous fairs, I displayed my brooches, barrettes, and other wearable art items on a large display board (see photos of my booth at the Worthington Craft Guild fair here), but that setup has a tendency of discouraging people from examining the items up-close. One of the other crafters at the Worthington fair was selling ribbon barrettes, and she had hers on rotating display stands, hanging on cardboard hangtags like those you would find at a supermarket. I noticed that people loved to pick up her barrettes and examine them closely, fingering the material and looking at the designs. This gave me the idea of creating similar cardboard hangtags for my brooches and barrettes, and they were a wonderful success. The few shoppers that attended the fair on Saturday invariably picked up a brooch or two for a closer look, and the sales I did make at the fair were all brooches and barrettes. I’m looking forward to seeing how the new display method works at the Cheat River Festival Art Market this Saturday.

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About JennJill Designs

JennJill Designs provides the handcrafted goods of Jennifer Jill Araya. Visit www.JennJillDesigns.com to learn more.
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One Response to Craft Fair Postmortem: Boyd E. Smith Elementary Spring Craft Festival

  1. Lynn says:

    Sorry to hear the fair wasn’t as populated as it could have been. I really do like all of the ‘upgrades’ to the display since the fair I attended with you. : )

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