Welcome back to yet another crochet business tip post by, Yarn Over!
I'm by no means an expert when it comes to crochet booths at fairs or markets, because I haven't personally done a craft market with my crochet pieces, but my mom on the other hand (with her dog jackets) has done craft markets for the past twelve years.
In this post, I'm just giving my input on what I have learned with the markets we did with my mother. Not all of these tips may apply to you and some of these suggestions that I say not to do, might work for you and that is absolutely fine.
1. Choose a theme / pick a niche and stick with it.
The best thing you can do is narrow down what you want to sell to your customers. If you do amigurumi, your table should be screaming amigurumi from a mile away!
You want your customers to know instantly by just looking at your booth what you sell and what you have to offer. I know some might say, but having a table full of different crochet items will tell the customers that you make crochet items. But it's been proven over time that if you try and cater to everyone, you will cater to no one.
Some issues might acquire when selling different pieces. First off, your pricing will be all over the place. You will be asking $4 for an amigurumi TikTok bee but next to it is a garment that took you ten hours, and you charge $80 or $95 for it. The big jump in prices can confuse and scare your customers off. Secondly, your customers might end up asking a stupid question, leaving them feeling uncomfortable. Just an example, if you have placemats and coasters on your table and you throw in some baby bibs, you may have to correct your customer, telling them that the "baby bibs" are bibs and not coasters or home decor. This can certainly leave an odd atmosphere between you and your customer and we don't want that.
If you already have a crochet business online and want to try out a craft market, keep with what you are known for. I know! that silly temptation monster is already lurking over your shoulder whispering in your ear on new things you should try making for your market, but you might end up having a best seller with something that you hate making!
2. Don't over clutter your table
Clutter is BAD! The last thing you would want is your customers scratching between your items, knocking them off the table. An organized table means a controlled entrepreneur, and people will want to buy from you. Most customers these days don't like touching items; we are in the "New Normal" after all, so you will be missing out on a whole lot of potential buyers if your customers have to scratch.
Prep your table layout before you set it up at your market. This way, you can make notes on how many of each item you should make. If the market is for a couple of days, you would want to make more of each item but keep them tucked away till there is space to put them on your table.
3. Keep your table clean and give it different levels
I also love color, but using printed or bright tablecloths can cause your items to disappear. You want your items to pop when people walk past your table. Sticking to white, cream, or even light grey tablecloths would be your best option.
Set your table up with different levels; this would give you more space to display your projects. You can get these cute wooden crates at almost any hardware store. You can also make some railing to hang up your shawls. Invest in some manacles to display your hats, scarves, shawls, or sweaters.
Kate is a great example to use for tips number three and four. If you scroll through her Instagram feed and look at her market photos, you will notice that she uses the same table decor every time. This is a good thing because her customers will start to recognize her table, and even people that have never shopped at her booth will recognize it. She also displays her projects at different levels, giving her more space to work with and her customers to view all her projects.
4. Don't over decorate
This one falls back on point number 2, Don't clutter your table. However, decorations are great attractions; you still want people to look at what you are selling instead of admiring the beautiful art pieces you placed on the table.
We are not saying no to all of them, decor can be a great addition to your table if they are in your brand colors and your tablecloths are all white.
5. Make sure customers know who they are buying from
Always, no matter where you set up your crochet table, displaying your business name is important. You can do this in various ways, but at the very least, you need to have your business name on your table somewhere. That can be a pretty framed sign or a letter board. The bigger, the better; saving up for a proper banner will definitely be a good investment in the future markets.
Shashis stiches has a perfect example of how she displays her business name. It is bright, full color, and in plain sight. When you walk up to her booth you can instantly recognize her business name.
6. Use social media
Even though this is a market where you will be selling products out of your hand, you can still benefit from social media. Inform your following ahead of time that you have a market and where they can find you. Sent an invitation out to people on your email list, letting your subscribers know that you have a market coming up.
Share the products that will be available at the booth. You can even create a fun giveaway, you can hide a clue in your post, and when people visit your booth and give you the hidden clue, they can get an item for free or at a discount. Remember to take a photo of the winner and post it on social media after the fair. This giveaway can attract more people to your booth.
7. Plan out your crochet table according to your price range
This is probably the most important helpful tip I can give you. The layout of your crochet booth will make or break your sales.
You would want to have different priced items on your table. New customers that don't know you yet wouldn't always spend a lot of money on an item, so they will often go for something cheaper. If you put your most expensive products in front of new customers will look at the price tag and move on without knowing that you have cheaper items available on your table.
Good layout example: Place keyring amigurumi at the front of your table that is only a couple of Dollars/Rand; behind them, you can place your smaller creations and the bigger creations at the back. If you use baskets, place your cheaper items in the eye-level basket and the larger, more pricey projects at the bottom. This is all a mind game; when we tend to see the cheaper items first, we wouldn't mind paying a couple of dollars more for something bigger. These smaller, cheaper items will be the thing that brings in the most money to your booth.
This bunny is a great example of a small item to have on your table.
8. Make sure you price everything
What I dislike the most is when I go to a market, and the items aren't priced properly. This could be a huge turndown for clients if they have to keep on asking for the price of each item. Just put yourself in the customers' shoes for one second. You see this beautiful shawl, but there is no price tag on it; you want to ask the vendor about the price be she is busy with other customers; will you stick around? Probably not; I know, I wouldn't.
You can add a little bonus section to your tag; mention the kind of yarn you used to make the items. Adding other additional information like; Size of the hat, length of the scarf or shawl, machine or handwash, will save you extra time on answering questions that can take your time from other customers waiting in line.
9. Use display photos
If you make wearable crochet items, spend a couple of bucks on pretty display photos. You can ask one of your friends to model for you. Having a visual of someone wearing your designs gives the customer a better view of how this hat will look. Having display photos of someone wearing your shawls will also give clients the visual on how it will look on a person if they wear it.
10. Have a paying station to make the checkout process run smoothly
Have a separate little table spot available for checkout. Keep everything you will need a calculator, cashbox, bags, notebook, and business cards together and with in reach. The last thing you want is to keep on having to shuffle past your customers to get your things together, especially if the booth is small. Smooth checkout means you can get back to your next client faster. As a vendor, it is key to be slick but still professional.
BONUS: Have Fun!
Put on that smile and just enjoy it. If everything isn't perfect the first time around, don't get discouraged! Trust me, you won't get it perfect the first time or at every market, it's all a trial and error at the end of the day. Take notes on what is working for you and what is not, also write down gestures that customers have given you. It might seem silly to write it done, but trust me, after a long day standing on your feet you will forget half of the things you've talked about that day.
Leave a comment
If you have found this post helpful in any way, leave a comment below; you are also more than welcome to share this post with friends or on your social media. If you like to have part two about running a market, leave a comment below, and I'll do some more research around this topic.
Hi, I'm Natasha Smuts,
The founder/creator/pattern designer for Yarn Over creations. I have a passion for creating beginner-friendly, no fluff, baby crochet items that you can easily make to sell at markets or gift to expecting mothers.
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