It’s been more than a while since my venture into my first “Craft Fayre“, but I’ve finally become comfortable as one of Weymouth’s crafters.
After setting up my Facebook page and Etsy shop I had a bit of stock quite literally hanging around the house and Hubby was starting to forget what colour the walls were (which was no big deal for me really because I’ve been playing with string instead of decorating) .
At first I hired a little shelf in a local cafe by the lake. Last Christmas the shelves were all taken, so in February I took on one of the vacant shelves, paying each month and making a loss in the hope that throuout the year I would have more sales to cover the cost, unfortunately this didn’t work out and by the summer I had paid out far more than I’d sold.
The craft fayres at a local church were my next venture, once weekly fayres, organised by the church to raise money for much needed repairs. I missed the first one, but trundled along with my bits and pieces in a suitcase and set up for the second one. This wasn’t going to make me a millionaire, but I covered the cost of my table and made some new friends so packed up happy and started planning for my next one. However, once again the mice and men had other plans and the church fayres were all cancelled.
One of my new friends contacted me and let me know about a few craft fayres being held at the Pavilion, the centre for events in Weymouth. May, August and December were the original plans. May had been cancelled as they were struggling to make up the numbers needed but I signed up immediately for August, with plans to do the Christmas one too, only to have the rug pulled away again. There wasn’t enough interest for the August fayre to go ahead, and so Christmas was cancelled too.
My new friend contacted me again… Would I be interested in helping her to organise the Christmas fayre?
Every fibre in my body screamed no, the amount of organising involved scared me, and the sheer number of people I might have to meet was simply terrifying, but I found myself saying yes. My friend was to do all the organising, paperwork, lists and more lists etc., and I was basically to tag along to support… I could do that.
After the cancellation of the last fayres, our first hurdle was to drum up enough interest so we turned to social media. We had an amazing response, the crafters were there, Weymouth is full of them, they just needed to all be put in touch with each other.
And so… While my friend concentrated on the organising of the Christmas fayre, I concentrated on bringing the crafters together, and making smiles. I created a Facebook group to keep everone we had found in touch, together with my friend we shared pictures, comments, and generally set up a nice friendly group online.
Group members shared the group and more members joined, the numbers at present are around 300 menbers. We expanded the group to Weymouth and District Crafters as word spread. Of course we had a few problems along the way, both in learning how to set up and run a craft fayre and in working out how to keep a happy group going on social media, but things have progressed very nicely.
The Christmas fayre was amazing. Al the hard work was well worth it and my friend’s list of lists paid off in triplicate. Crafters and customers went home happy after a busy day and bookings poured in for next year… Spring, summer, and Christmas… Watch this space.
Meanwhile, I’ve moved my crafts from the little shelf in the cafe by the lake to a shop a bit more central on the edge of town. I have a nice little space to show off my bits and pieces, and I’ve already sold more than I did at the lake, but the best part is meeting other crafters when we drop in for coffee and a chat on a regular basis when we’re in town.
More from before: A little peek further into the world that I’ve “Created“.