Here is my favourite bag making pic of the year. It was very kindly sent to me my by Joanne in London. It's her cute kitty having a nap in Joanne's parcel of U-Handbag bag making bits. I've actually had this photo for a little while and I re-discovered it whilst giving all my pics a much needed tidy up. Thanks Jo, it's sooooo cute!
Shhh! I'm just having a sneaky ol' nap on my Mum's brand new fabric, heh! heh!
I've received some lovely emails from customers who (are bursting with pride - and I should think so too!) had a great time selling their bags at Xmas markets. A big WELL DONE! to you. It's been really nice to hear your stories of the compliments you have been receiving about your handi-work, your first sale (YAAAAY!!), and really touching to hear that you are enjoying yourselves making bags. It's wonderful that people preferred to pay for your (yes, YOUR!) handmade loveliness than to pay for soulless, mass produced High St offerings. Thank you so much for sending the emails and the pictures girls (keep 'em coming!).
This post is for those of you who have gotten the bag selling bug, and who have asked me how I would go about dressing a table for a craft fair or craft market. Space is usually limited when renting a table at a craft fair, and sometimes there are other limitations such as not being allowing to use floor standing items (such as rails, baskets or shelves) to display your work. So, a little thought has to go into getting the most out of the space that you're given.
Here are some table dressing tricks I have used in the past:
- Try to group bags according to their function or size. Some sort of organization on your table will make things less confusing for the customer and make it easier for them to quickly find what they are looking for. A chaotic table is a turn-off.
- Ensure that you fill your bags with tissue paper so they look proud/filled.
- Try hanging your bags on some garden trellis, paint the trellis white or another pale colour t o set your bags off. Place the trellis to the side of your table or behind it. If there is enough room on the trellis you can decorate it with flowers, cherubs, chiffon fabric, your company name, or whatever else is appropriate. Don't overload though, or it will look too busy.
- Create ‘steps’ on your table by using some same sized boxes and covering those boxes with some nice plain unpatterned cloth so you can display your bags in a step formation. Place your super-duper bag/s in a prominent position toward the centre on the top step. This will serve as eye-catching draw to your table.
- Ensure your table has plenty of light. Many fairs do not supply spot lighting (or any lighting). It's worth bringing your own if you can because the brighter the light is, the more colourful your handiwork is (things like beading, shiny buttons, and metal accessories will sparkle) and that really does make a difference. Also, the shine of a light from a spotlight (or a pretty lamp) will be noticed from afar by approaching customers.
- Put your more special bags on the higher steps and the less expensive bags within easier reach – don’t be too fixed about this, you still need to mix things up a bit so your arranging doesn’t look too obvious. Apparently, whilst in a shop we judge items at eye level to be of mid quality; items higher levels to be of higher quality, and lower items to be...(you guessed it). That said, items at eye level tend sell faster because we feel more comfortable buying the mid quality item that is not too expensive, and not too cheap. Next time you are in the supermarket check this out for yourself. For more consumer psychology click here, (this site is a bit dry, and it's pretty in-depth but there are some interesting tid-bits). It's not something to get yourself tied up in knots about, just something else to consider...
- A few props like a jug of flowers, a candelabra, some jewelry, vintage gloves (etc.) and some information signs is a good idea.
- If you can, make up a sign for yourself with your comany name/and or your name, and contact info. You can also say things like 'All lovingly handmade'; 'Gorgeous purses made from fine French silk with hand beading' (or whatever is appropriate); 'All original designs'; 'Commissions are welcome'. Make up your sign using software like photoshop (or get a friend to do it). Don't make up a sign using paints and crayons unless you (or a friend) can make it look really professional - an unprofessional sign will look pants and will cheapen the look of your handiwork. Make your sign A3 size or lager so customers don't have to squint, and laminate it.
I hope that helps folks, please do keep me posted on how you get on in the markets. I love reading your stories. If I missed anything, just let me know!