Sunday Afternoon Housewife

Handmade Crafts and Unsolicited Advice

How to Prepare for an Out-of-State Craft Fair March 30, 2010

Filed under: craft,Craft Fairs,how-to,Travel — sundayafternoonhousewife @ 10:57 am

About a month ago I wrote about how to have a successful craft fair, and today I want to write about how to have a successful out-of-state craft fair. It’s the same basic idea of course, but you have to remember what to pack! If you’ve been following along then you know that earlier this month, I spent 10 days in Texas and went to 3 fairs. Before leaving I was so worried about packing everything I needed.

I posted a poll and a blog asking what was the most important thing for you to pack, thinking this might help me to decide what to pack, and the answers with the most response? Extra Inventory, with 40% of the vote. Other responses included extra cash/change, and extra supplies (so you could make more product during the fair).

Still, I felt like I couldn’t make up my mind, so I just packed everything. Yes, everything. Supplies to make more product, extra inventory, extra change, extra clothes…. I even made a craft fair packing list (available below), and so you’d think with all this over-packing I would have had every last thing I needed, right? Right?

My table cloth was too short for the table I rented!

Within the first few minutes of showing up to my fair and starting to set up my table, I realized my table cloth was too short for the table I had rented. I didn’t have the option to run home and get a longer one seeing as I was over 900 miles away! I had to improvise. Luckily I had my clothes with me too, and I decided to use a tee-shirt to cover that last foot of table.

So, I didn’t have everything I needed after all. And I bet you can guess, I had a lot of stuff I didn’t need either. I never used my supplies to make extra product (when was I going to find the time I wonder now), I had way too many extra tee-shirts (and not enough warm clothes!), I even brought my receipt filing book (yes, it’s thick and heavy!) and I had to lug this extra stuff from bus to bus, hotel, to house, to couch, to cottage, and then all the way back home!

I did learn that for my type of product, it isn’t worth it for me to pack supplies to make extra product. I’m simply not going to have the time to do it while on the road. Resin isn’t that road friendly as it is… I also learned that I’m not going to take the time to sit down and log receipts, and no matter what, I’m not going to need 4 extra shirts.

So, while I may have been both over and under prepared in certain ways for these fairs, I did feel like I learned what is and is not necessary to pack. I could’ve brought a longer (or extra) table cloth instead of the extra shirts, and basically I could’ve had more room for souvenirs!

I hope, if nothing else, you will consider my experiences when you begin to pack for your first out-of-state or out-of-town craft fair. I created this CRAFT FAIR PACKING LIST you can and use, even modify for your specific needs. Let me know if it helps you out, and please share in the comments some of your out-of-town craft fair experiences. I’d love to hear them!


One Response to “How to Prepare for an Out-of-State Craft Fair”

  1. Tania Says:

    Great article! I didn’t now you did THREE fairs while you were down here. That’s madness.

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