My First Craft Stall – Finch Foundary Craft Fair

I’d like to start by apologising for not visiting anyone’s blogs for the last week and half. Here’s my excuse But it’s been for a good reason.

When I set out in trepidation last month, clutching my newly created knitting kits from the newly created Dartmoor Yarn Company, the lovely owner of the Kooky Nook  told me that Finch Foundry at Sticklepath were having their first ever craft and vintage fair on father’s day and, since it was a new venture for them, were offering free stalls to local crafters.

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Although I knew my  lovely daughters would understand and do father’s day with just Lovely Husband, I had a commitment on Sunday morning that I couldn’t get out of. But with just over week to go, things changed and said commitment became escapable. Just call me Houdini!

I rang Finch Foundry. Although all the stalls were now booked up, they kindly decided they could squeeze me in.

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I was very excited, but slightly panicked about the timescale. I had a busy weekend coming up, a tooth being extracted on Monday morning and had been told by my dentist I would need to take things easy until Wednesday. I was also booked into the hairdresser for the whole of Thursday afternoon. Panic was growing. I didn’t have much time, I didn’t have a strategy  and I didn’t want to end up buying things in a rush and waste money.

At least going slow at the start of the week allowed me to google advice on craft stalls and have a good think. Top of my list was how to make a good display with only four different kits and three different colours of wool.

Here’s what I did:

Fortunately I’d already been experimenting with how the Ryeland dyed, so I set Wednesday aside to dye some.

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A wet and damp day was not the best time to dye wool – it took until Saturday to dry.

To give height to my display I decided to use cardboard boxes and giant jenga bricks.

I bought a piece of hessian to cover the table and I found a pretty jug to put some knitting needles in.

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I also intended to run up some small project bags, but I ran out time.

In the event, I was pretty pleased with how it looked.

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Unfortunately the day was very wet and quiet. I didn’t sell a lot, but I met alot of lovely people and got advice on selling from craft stalls from my lovely craft stall neighbours – Bluebell Love.

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In talking to people, I also gained invaluable insights into my market and this sparked lots of positive thinking and ideas afterward.

And on top of that, I made a new friend….

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Meet Bessie – Bluebell Love’s dog. She was such sweetie. Mr Hicks would have adored her.

So all in all a good experience and a BIG THANK YOU to The Kooky Nook for telling me about it and to Finch Foundry for squeezing me.  If you’ve never been to Finch Foundary, do go if you ever visit Dartmoor. The foundry is very interesting and the gardens are beautiful.

Back to a less panicked week this week, but a lot to catch up on. Hope you’re having a good one.

Bekki Hill

32 thoughts on “My First Craft Stall – Finch Foundary Craft Fair

  1. Your craft stall looks wonderful – as does your neighbour’s one (and bless that little dog’s face!).
    I’m not sure how much anybody really sells at craft markets. Some say it’s a lot of work for little return but it sounds as if you had a positive experience in other ways. I would imagine you will do better selling through shops but I’m only guessing having done absolutely no market research at all on the subject. Have you considered selling on Etsy? I know Folksy is solely U.K. but the market is bigger on Etsy (although so is the competition). I have 3 shops on Etsy so if you need any advice, just ask.
    Ouch! for the dentist visit – hope it wasn’t too nightmarish.

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    1. Thank you. I’m not sure stall make a lot either, but it would have been silly not to have given this one a go. I wouldn’t want to do a lot anyway, but I’m thinking of doing a few with a less general audience. Thanks for the offer of Etsy advice, I may well take you up on that – although I’m also thinking I may add sales to my website when I have more to offer. It is selling well in gift shops – which was my original; intension. Problem is, a lot say people only want finished products, so aren’t interested, but on the results I’ve got so far from the gift shops that have taken it, they’re totally wrong.
      My dentist and all her staff are lovely – so although the procedure was unpleasant, it’s always a pleasure to go there!

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  2. So excited it all is! Don’t worry about ot visiting blogs, that should be for fun right? The table looked beautiful, really pretty. Too bad about the weather, I thought the English were waterproof??? But yes, good experience and hey: two new friends!!! xo Johanna

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha Ha! Waterproof. We should also have webbed feet and gills 🙂 As for visiting blogs, I do care and like to know what my virtual friends are up to and feel if I don’t visit I’m hogging the conversation, missing what they’re doing and taking their friendship for granted. xx

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  3. Well, that was an amazing week! Your display looks perfect, and the experience is worth more than you might realize. Your yarns are amazing, I love the colors. Your idea of laying low is what some others would call full speed. 🙂

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      1. Hi Bekki, yes you can make crochet stitches look like knitted aran and cables. It is done by combining columns of some crochet stitch patterns. The stitches are all pretty simple , it’s just that you cross longer stitches over each other. It’s not a technique I’ve tried yet but it does look relatively simple (I’ve just consulted a good old crochet book from my shelf) 🙂 Hope that helps 🙂 xx

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  4. I’m impressed with your presentation – it looks delightful. I did a few craft fairs years ago and never made anything. It was a demoralising experience – I was left with loads of product, costs of production and site fees! I researched after the fact and found the places that did well were food stalls, cheap kids stuff and knock-off products. Never again 🙂

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    1. Thanks for the warning. Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience. As I’ve said, I’m thinking this is really a product for shops, but going to give a few carefully selected stalls a go. Craft is more popular now and we’re in a very touristy area, so I think worth a cautious shot.

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  5. YAY ~ Good for you giving the Craft Market a Go!! You put up lovely stall and such a shame you didn’t reap rewards as deserved. I know after three arduous years and lots of effort they are really an up and down affair comparing preparation to profi!… and, demoralising is definitely a real factor after most events….no matter how good your items are, or, how cheaply you price them! It would seem that paid events, only bring profit (for the most part) to the organisers ;-/ But I’m so happy to read that your shop based lines are doing very well 😀

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  6. Well done, your stall looked beautiful. I am happy to see you had a good time and got such great advise. What a sweet little furry friend, I am sure Mr H would have loved her to.
    Weekend is around the corner, have a great one.
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your stand looks packed – you’d never guess there were only a few lines on there! I’ve had variable success with craft stalls, too, taking between £0-£120 but mostly around the £40 mark. Far too much effort for the pitiful takings, but so much fun and I love doing them! I’m glad you’re proving those wrong who say kits won’t sell as I’m certain that crafting is on the up. Definitely a trend , otherwise my Stitch Academy would have no students:)

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    1. Thank you. Interesting to hear your figures. And yes, it’s about enjoyment too. I think I may go back to some of the craft shops, once I have a ‘track record’. So glad you’re doing well with the stitch academy 🙂

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  8. Your stall looked lovely and even if you didn’t sell a lot (flippin British summertime!) it was still valuable experience, and even better if you got to make some new friends too! I’m excited to see what’s in store next for your new venture 🙂

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  9. Sorry your first craft stall experience was quiet, I have had mixed results myself in the past. Do you have plans to do many more? I’m sure there’s a large market for kits, it’s so rewarding to make something yourself! Good luck with your future endeavours 🙂

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