If you are a crafter, you will at some point attend a craft fair in an attempt to sell your wares. Craft fairs can be good fun, or completely and utterly soul destroying, depending on a)how well you do and b)whether you are an extreme pessimist, like me (you won’t find me filling in a crossword with ink).

How enjoyable is a craft fair?

Craft fairs are a unique experience. If you’re a people-person you are likely to think how great it is you get to spend the day selling the products you love to make, and talking to a whole variety of people who you would just never have met at all if you weren’t there! Win-win. If you are somebody who doesn’t really like to socialise, the thought of strapping a smile with the girth of a small ocean to your face all day probably makes you feel a little apprehensive.

Are you an optimist, or a pessimist….

Whichever camp you fall into, craft fairs are not easy. It may feel easy on the day the sun is shining, you are taking lots of money from some gorgeously, wonderful people and the lid on your cashbox won’t close when you come to go home. However, that just doesn’t happen very often. If you are lucky, you will be able to live off the optimism from that single show for quite a few weeks. But when the weather is frankly, shit, people aren’t buying or worse, aren’t even looking at your stall, and you haven’t opened your cashbox all day, then it’s hard to go home and feel good about yourself, your life and your career choices. Even an exuberant dog who is so excited to see you, and is tearing round the house with the sheer joy of you being home, won’t lift your spirits (especially if said dog expresses its exuberance and joy by carrying one of your slippers out into the pissing rain). 

Bloody Hard Work….even without the Chairs

Fairs are hard work. You’ve usually got up at some ungodly hour to go and set up. It’s often cold. The cheap chairs you bought because ‘they’re only for craft shows’ are so bloody uncomfortable that by lunchtime, you’d sooner sit on your banner pole. The coffee you brought with you in a flask to save you some money is so bitter, you wonder if you actually put arsenic in it instead of coffee (and if it’s a really bad show, you hope you did…). You realise that you actually are the sort of person that eats a family-sized bag of crisps in one sitting. And if one more person says they can’t buy anything because ‘it’ll collect dust/the cat will knock it over/I’ve got too much stuff as it is’ you will drown yourself in the remains of your awful coffee. (Incidentally, the ‘best’ reason I had from somebody to not buy something of mine they loved was that as she was elderly, she would be dead soon and ‘then what’ll happen to it’. I struggled to answer that one. 

The Upside…..yes, there’s an upside

However, this is all the negative. When a craft fair is good, it’s absolutely brilliant. You love meeting your customers who smile when they see the products you have made; your fellow craft fair buddies are funny, kind, and frankly damn good company; your credit card machine hasn’t let you down once; you’ve sold some stuff so can legitimately go and buy a coffee that doesn’t taste like something’s died in it. You’ve ‘earned’ that cake, the size of a small child which you have just bought from a fellow vendor. It’s a wonderful feeling. And no matter how seldom it happens, when it does, oh, it’s just heaven.