Christmas Fair Review

Hey guys, 

So I know it might seem a little silly to be writing a blog post about Christmas fairs in February. But I thought it would be a good idea to share my experiences on the Christmas fair's I attended last year. When I first started getting serious about my business I knew doing fairs was going to be a big part of that. But I had no idea what fairs were good, or ones I should be looking out for. So I wanted to write a little post on the fairs I did last year so other creatives can get an insight in to how I found them. 


Renegade

The first fair of the Christmas season was Renegade in London. Now I've dreamt about attending this fair for years. Initially I didn't apply as I lost my nerve, but when they were still accepting applications 3 weeks before I threw caution to the wind and applied. Probably the most craziest month of my life, getting ready for a big fair in 3 weeks, whilst still working full time. The fair fee is expensive, like £200+ expensive. Once you've paid that you also have to pay for your chair and table. That isn't included in the original fee. I booked a nearby room on Air bnb just off Brick Lane for a really good price. I travelled down with Nicola (Fernandes Makes) from Manchester and shared the petrol costs. 

It was probably the most amazing experience I've ever had! Saturday was crazy busy, but a good kind of crazy. Sunday was much slower, but not in volume of people. The customers were lovely and so complimentary of my products. Will be applying again next year...definitely! I made my fair fee back and more. Make sure you plan your table display. Some sellers have the most beautiful table displays so you don't want yours to be overlooked. I created a board on Pinterest to gather some idea's on how to display my products, check it out here.

  • Tips:
  • I wouldn't bother paying for the wi-fi. I just used my phone for the card reader.
  • About 85% of my sales were paid for by card, so take a card reader. 
  • You might think "I'm not paying $11 for a chair".....trust me you'll want it after 6 hours. 
  • Get food before it starts...I didn't and I didn't eat until 3pm on day one it was that busy. 

Crafty Fox

Crafty Fox Markets are mainly well known for their fairs around London, but occasionally the fair has ventured up North. I have attended a few Crafty Fox Fairs down in London, but in November they held a Christmas fair in Sheffield at The Roco. I loved my experiences at the fair's in London, having one much closer to home was great. I was able to drive there and home each day. The venue was lovely and I have the most wonderful stall buddies in Nook of the North, Northern Tangles and Pingui Designs. I always find Crafty Fox Table prices rather reasonable and usually make my fair money back.

  • Tips:
  • I'd recommend getting a large table. I got a small table and it was smaller than expected. The table below was a small and it was pretty cramped.
  • I parked in a NCP £10-a-day over both days. Turned out on the Sunday you could park on the side streets for free. Check your parking and don't just go for who the fair recommend. Have a good search online or get there earlier to drive around and look. 

Etsy Made Local

Etsy's local teams launched a number of Etsy Made Local Christmas fairs across the country. I was excited to be doing a fair in my local city of Manchester. This fair took place in the most beautiful room at the People's History Museum. I love selling on Etsy, so I was thrilled to be doing an Etsy Christmas fair. Join your local Etsy Team on Facebook to find out about any fairs and deadlines for applications. It was such a lovely fair to do and I had the greatest of stall buddies to keep me company (Amy Rochester Designs and Rory and The Bean)

  • Tips:
  • Join your local Etsy team's Facebook page to be in the loop.

So those were my 3 main Christmas fairs I did last year. I would have loved to have attended more fairs, but working full time and getting Christmas orders made, just made it difficult. There were other fairs I wish i'd also attended that I'll be considering applying for next year. Hope your like my run down on the fairs I attended last year, and gave you a little idea of what they were like for me. If you have any further questions send me an email at hello@foxandlilly.co.uk. 

Laura x

Biz StuffLaura Emsley