“Do a Craft Fair” they said, “it will be fun” they promised. What they don’t tell you is that attending craft fairs of any kind are a tricky business. There is a heck of a lot to think about, and much to prepare.
This is the first instalment of the Silk Purse Guild Craft Fair Tale….. a Christmas cracker, to be sure. Come along with us, on our journey, as we share what we learn along the way.
So it begins…..
Founder | Sara
Building and running the Guild keeps me busy…..
I spend all of my time these days behind a keyboard. Marketing, graphic design, website, admin and the dreaded tech gremlins. In fact, it is starting to feel like my eyeballs are square.
After having major surgery this year, I was forced to slow down, and take a look in my craft space. A much forgotten place, I found myself craving a craft fair. The chance to make something again with my hands, instead of my rather frazzled noggin. Picking up my sketch book again felt so good.
With a little help from your friends
One of the biggest challenges, faced by small Handmade business owners and artists is imposter syndrome. It creeps up and grabs a hold of you before you can say boo, knocking the confidence out of you and stealing the joy you have for your work.
I see it all the time, and I am not immune to its grip myself. My first little nugget of advise, when considering booking a stall at a craft fair is simple, don’t go alone. Take a friend, preferable a fellow artist or crafter. This way, you ensure that your event will be a fun time, doing something you both love. Taking your other half can be tricky, as they may not be as supportive as you would like. Leave them at home!
A willing Victim
There was only ever one choice, when it came to locating my partner in crime. I have been friends with the supremely talented crochet artist Rachel, from Rachel’s Cosy Corner for going on 4 years, after stalking her on Pinterest. Her work adorns my shelves, and we have found a lasting friendship, ever since my first purchase.
Despite being firm friends, we have yet to meet up in person. We live on opposite ends of the country and work schedules and life just always seem to get in the way. Well this is the excuse we needed. Rachel has never done a craft fair before, so we set out to “Forest Gump” our way to our first ever Christmas Craft Fair together, learning as we go.
We did some research and settled on an event in a small village called Lechlade. Gloucester was the location we wanted, and the date was a perfect fit for all of our combined commitments.
First things first…… Insurance. Of course, as a limited company, I’ve got that covered right? WRONG!
What followed next was some research into craft insurance, with Guild Members jumping in to help with their own recommendations. As much as I would love to give you costs and detailed information on policies, they vary from company to company. Each policy is as bespoke as your business. My best advise is to get as many quotes as you can, and find out what works best for your Handmade business.
You will need public liability. Most event organisers will ask you to provide a copy of your Insurance Certificate when you book your stall, so this is the first step you need to take on your journey.
Here are the top 5 recommendations from members of the Guild, to help you get ahead of the game.
TOP of the charts is Axisweb, who specialise in Craft Cover
Close second place is Axa Craft Insurance. Super easy to get a quote
Bespoke policies, tailored to your business in as little as 7 minutes
Craft Insurance made by crafters, for crafters. You can’t go wrong
Gathering together all of the certificates, product photographs and payment details we needed, I sent off the application.
When applying for an event, always be sure to include links to your social media presence too, so the event organisers can easily check out your work online.
Our approval came back almost immediately, causing much excitement, and whoop whoops over the phone.
As the excitement calmed down, both myself and Rachel began to realise that Craft Insurance was only the tip of the iceberg, when it comes to selling face to face. We have exactly 1 month to go, and our to do list is growing.
To be Continued……………………….
Share your Experience
Shout out in the comments below, if you have a Craft Insurance recommendation. Who do you trust to keep you safe out there?
9 thoughts on “A Christmas Craft Fair”
Beautifully written Sara, and what a do do list.. It just seemed to grow and produce a life and legs of it’s own! I can’t wait for the next episode in this blog ❤️
Next up is the minefield that is tablecloths! lol
Do do???? To do.. The dreaded predictive txt hits my writings again!!!!!!! Rofl
Oh and be sure that you ask that you are covered for specific things…. Don’t do what I did and take it at face value that you have the correct cover for your needs.
I’ve been using axisweb which is a monthly subscription of £2.50! Yes I said £2.50 with coverage of £10 million. Its a group charity for crafters. I looked around for similar insurance and the cost of as frightening. Well recommend Axisweb
Read what the requirements are for insurance very carefully. I was going to take out a_n membership which gives you free insurance and was recommended by loads of people, but you have to have an art degree or to have exhibited to qualify.
Doing an event with someone is so much more fun than doing it by yourself – and you get cover for toilet breaks without having to ask random stall holders!
I’ve gone with Axis for my insurance as it’s cost effect and nearly every event wants £5m cover which they provide
I now have a standard in-my-head checklist of what I need and I would always say if you’re not sure bring it, you’ll probably need it!!
Fun times! 😊
Do you know…… I hadn’t even thought about loo breaks! lol
As a Jewellery maker I get my insurance for free from the guild I am a member of, it is included in the cost of membership. My advice would be to make sure you research what is best for your individual business, ask advice in a trusted group, read, read, read! Don’t forget to insure your stock and your tools don’t rely on your home insurance, most don’t cover these.