Stocking up and stashing down

Recently my friend Ann and I agreed that we’d like to do some craft fairs together. She has a big stock of unsold creations and I have been fairly unsuccessful with attempts to sell my stock via the web, so we think that working together we can fill a stall and have fun… not to mention making some money.

With this in mind I have been looking at the stock that I already have made up (bling bags, bath puffs, bird roosts) and thinking about the materials that I have in abundance. It’s clear that if I’m going to half fill a stall, I need more items and so I’ve decided to spend some time trying to convert materials into saleable goods. My first task is to look at the materials that I have. This includes interesting things that I had forgotten about like bag handles and dozens of card blanks and lots of yarn… especially odd balls and a left-overs from previous projects.

Scarf in SMC Argentina

Scarf in SMC Argentina

Probably the best thing to do would be to make an inventory of what I have and then plan the optimum use of all my material. But, it’s early days and this weekend I fancied doing some fairly mindless crafting. So, yesterday evening knitted up a ball of cream SMC Argentina yarn (which I was given) into a fancy scarf. I hate this sort of yarn with a passion – it’s not fun to knit, but it does work up quite quickly so I knew it would be done in an evening. The result is a ruffled scarf/boa that I don’t want to wear, but I’m sure someone will like. I’m not sure whether the neutral colour is a plus or a minus, but at least it will go with almost any other colour.

Too pretty for a dishcloth?

Too pretty for a dishcloth?

And then today I realised that I’ve got quite a lot of coloured cotton yarn that’s not ideal for knockers, but is perfect for facecloths/dishcloths. So, I made this jade green and cream circular cloth from the ends of a couple of balls (it’s about 25 cm/10 inches across). My plan is to try and make a few ‘stock’ items from my stash every week, so that when we find a suitable craft market, we’ll be all set to go. Now I’m just guessing what might sell well…

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30 Comments

  1. ah the fun of planning a stall….. 🙂

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  2. Ann Owen

     /  February 1, 2015

    Between you and me, it’s gonna be an eclectic mix, I’m sure! I’ve been wanting a good reason to get the jewellery making kit out again and the leather, the Modpodge and Pretex!

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  3. I keep hoping the time will come when I can get to my work but someone always seems to have other ideas. Almost had my sewing room workable but now my son has stuff all over it. I’ll give him a couple of days then I will move his stuff out so I can get the bare minimum done. 😦 I hope you have great success with selling your stuff..

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  4. It’s winter up there; surely hats and scarves and gloves and socks will sell well? How about big chunky cotton knit or crochet bathmats? Pot holders. I never have enough pot holders. How about some more knitted creatures like your Purple People in a recent post. I also saw an interesting post recently about a woman who deconstructed plastic shopping bags by cutting them into thin strips in a spiral pattern and crocheted or knitted shopping bags from them that would not tear, fall apart or generally look nasty or carry a company logo. Usefulness and recycling in one go. I could go on for hours…

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  5. I did market stalls with a friend for a while, eclectic mix of things, not a lot always sold, but I enjoyed being out with the crowds and chatting to new people as they stopped by, and hanging out with my friend as we worked on our projects. I stopped doing them because I hated the 5am start out of the door to travel, and then have the stall set up by 7. I’m an early riser, but it was all a bit harried for me, plus the realisation I’d had a month to prepare and had done nothing much at all…..I think perhaps I’m not organised enough to be a market seller 🙂 Good luck with yours, there’s something exciting about putting yourself and your creativity “out there” and I did enjoy that part.

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  6. I would purchase cotton dishcloths in a flash! Cheap and cheerful sells better at markets than expensive stuff and usually the things that you hate go first 🙂 I always ended up taking home the things I had made that I was proud of and which cost more. I think some young thing will grab that frilly scarf! Stuff for kids is usually popular, seasonal things too – hand warmers are all the rage here for this coming winter [who knew I was ‘on trend’ when I started fiddling around with my landfill save! 🙂

    It’s very hard selling anything over the www – I have only ever had one Etsy customer who wasn’t a blog follower or a personal friend.. And I’ve only had seven customers on Etsy in 18 months. Them’s not good figures 🙂

    Have fun and good luck with it all!

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  7. If you have card blanks I guess you sometimes make cards.(duh). I have some card making DVD’s here, some Joanna Sheen if they’re of any use to you. I do have some craft stuff in the loft but I think a set of drawers might be a bother to post.
    xxx Hugs Galore xxx

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  8. Good luck! I’m also planning and working towards my (first) craft fair. I love the jade green dishcloth…I definitely wouldn’t be able to use something that pretty on dirty dishes 🙂

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  9. I am an old hand at this. Let me give you some advise. My advise is “keep doing exactly what you are doing”. Lots of stock is the best idea. Some items sell really well and others don’t sell but do bring people over because they are interesting. I always have my “attention grabbers” at the front. Tactile and interesting so that people can poke stuff. I prefer “pop ups” instead of regular but only because my only problem is keeping up with the stock. Good luck and enjoy. ❤

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  10. I think gentlestitches advice is great. I’d have a couple showstopper attention getters up front, things you know you aren’t likely to sell and might even hope you don’t because you want to keep them. But you want people to come over saying “ooohhhhh–look at that!” Inexpensive options are a good idea but I recently helped a weaver friend at a sale and there were also definitely people there who knew quality and craftsmanship and were willing to pay for it. Stick with your aesthetic and offer nice things in variety of prices!

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  11. Would love to see that stall! How about socks? EVERYONE loves socks and slippers? It’s the middle of winter and people are thinking “cold feet” so you might just sell out.

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  12. There’s nothing like a home-stitched dishcloth! I don’t make my own but, luckily, my mom gets some for me from someone who does! Have fun at the craft fair!!!

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