Vintage ~ Handmade ~ Homes ~ Gardens

Sunday, 13 March 2011

My first craft market in St Albans - pros and cons

Frankly I'm exhausted! After all the preparation, the early morning start and the excitement of the big day itself I am propped upon on cushions (a la Barbara Cartland) blogging from my bed. First, here's a pictures from the day.

Stall holders setting up. A lovely room in the Old Town Hall.

The Love & Lilac stall. I had lots of lovely comments.

Soap testers for smelling worked really well. The aroma on my stall was a great draw.

The dolly pegs drew lots of nostalgic comments and made people smile.

The old wooden crate worked well but I need some more props to give height to show off my goods. 

I loved the bunting stall. These stallholders looked smashing in their pinnys!

Talking to other regulars at this event yesterday was quite a slow day and there seemed to be more browsing than buying for many stalls. I made my first sale, some soap, before the market officially opened for business, and there were more sales throughout the morning. After a long lull in the afternoon a last minute wave of customers lifted spirits. I had covered the cost of my stall and made a little money on top of that. With other stallholders not even achieving this I think I did fine for my first time and I learnt so much. With that in mind here's a few of the pros and cons of running a craft market stall I gained as a first timer.

  • The camaraderie of the other friendly stall holders
  • The advice and experience of other traders
  • The lovely feedback on my products from the public
  • The oohs and aahs when people smelt the soap and the interest in how it was made
  • That someone actually wants to buy something you have lovingly made
  • Knowing that all the preparation has paid off and the day runs smoothly
  • Selling one of my cowboy fabric cushions to parents of a lovely little boy - what a joy!

  • The loading and unloading at each end of the day
  • The lack of on site parking 
  • The hidden costs - parking fees, coffee
  • That a number of stall holders don't actually make the products they sell - I would have liked more of an artisan feel to the day.
  • Keeping up morale during long periods when nothing sells
  • That making money is jolly hard work!

All in all a fun day, tiring but worth the slog - I know the learning will be invaluable for the next one. Once I've recovered that is!


  1. Looks like an interesting craft market, Louise !
    Your stall is very nice with those cushions, hearts and homemade soaps !
    Wish you a lot of success for the next one and more ...
    Have a wonderful week,

  2. i did a craft fair in december and pretty much go along with all your pros and cons....not sure i would do it your blog and what you make...pleased to meet you

  3. I did another craft fair yesterday at a local church hall but attendance was very low. There were some dear old ladies who use the church displaying wonderful crafting skills even if their products were rather dated. One of them was telling me how to embroider by machine. I have so much to learn.
    Elsy your crochet is wonderful!


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