I have a fun idea for you to try at your next craft fair. I personally never tried it when I was selling handbags but thought it may be something you could give a go and let me know how it works! You owe me nothing if it’s your best craft fair yet and I take no responsibility if it’s a flop 😉 Seriously though, as per our terms, this is just advice
And that idea is…
No, not just share a table with a friend at a craft fair; they get one side to display their products and you get the other. I’m talkin’ bout finding a vendor whose products compliment yours and can be displayed together. Creating a one-stop shop for your ideal customer. Finding the peanut butter to your jam.
You must first check with the craft fair organizer to ensure they allow two vendors per booth and are down with your idea. You absolutely cannot show up to an event you’ve already been accepted to with an extra vendor and handmade products you did not submit with your application.
Why would you want to share a craft fair booth with someone you barely know? It’s a great business opportunity for so many reasons!
Define who your ideal customer is. Are they male or female, younger or older? What interests do your customers have in common? Are they environmentally, health or trend conscious? Maybe the majority of your customers are parents, college students or people who love to travel.
You really need to have a clear definition of who you’re targeting and what their needs or interests are before you can start thinking about other products that would work with yours in a craft fair booth.
Once you define your target market, you can begin brainstorming who shares the same customer with you. These will need to be handmade businesses who sell products or services that compliment or complete your products, not compete with them.
If two jewelry designers pair up, their products are going to be competing for sales. But if a jewelry designer and a clothing, handbag or hat designer pair up, their products aren’t competing, they’re complimenting. A shopper looking for a new hat may want to complete the look with a pair of earrings.
A great example of businesses cross promoting outside a craft fair is juice bars and gyms. They both attract customers that are interested in improving their health but have very different offerings so a sale for one business does not discourage the sale from another.
The gym may allow a juice bar to advertise in their space or even set up shop to sell their juices directly to the gym’s customers. And the juice bar advertises the gym on their counters, usually by placing signup forms and a box for their customers to enter to win a free gym membership.
Here are a few common categories products are sold under at craft fairs and product ideas for vendors to cross promote with.
Vendors selling photography, paintings or prints are targeting customers looking to decorate their homes. They may consider pairing up for a craft fair with handmade vendors selling:
Vendors selling knitted hats and scarves are targeting customers interested in staying warm and looking stylish. They may pair up at a craft fair with handmade vendors selling:
BATH & BODY
Vendors selling soaps and bubble bath for the body might be targeting customers interested in natural skincare, relaxation during bath time or decorating a bathroom. They may pair up at a craft fair with handmade vendors selling:
Vendors selling little girl’s hair accessories are targeting parents with young daughters. They may pair up at a craft fair with handmade vendors selling:
Vendors selling jewelry might be targeting females and may pair up at a craft fair with handmade vendors selling:
You’ll want to build a bit of a relationship with the vendor and make sure you and your products will be compatible. If you’re unfamiliar with the vendor and their products, or even if you know them well but want to test out the idea, start small with one of the ideas below:
You want to partner with another vendor whose pieces already work well with yours but consider if you both have time to work on a product line together. This may also be an option once you’ve tested out the idea and are sure it’s a good one to move forward with.
I touch on building collections in the free sample chapter from my ebook, which you can download here. And I also explain the power of collections in this article in my FREE challenge; 5 DAYS TO A STANDOUT DISPLAY. The idea is to convey a certain look or vibe to your shoppers through each collection.
For example, the scarf and broach vendors may decide to work on a jewel tone collection using rich teals and purples. The scarf designer would choose a couple yarns to work with in the deep tones while the broach designer would choose teal and purple stones/jewels to use in their broaches. When displayed together at a craft fair, they make a strong impact and each item compliments the other, encouraging more sales.
The last step will be to design the craft fair display. You don’t want one product to dominate the booth because they’re bold and large while the other gets hidden or overlooked. You have to find a balance so both vendors stay happy.
You will also have to narrow down the product you bring. You’re not getting the entire space to yourself and if there’s stock that won’t fit or products that don’t jive, both vendors have to be willing to leave some product off the craft fair table.
For example, scarves are larger and more noticeable than broaches so they may only be displayed on 3 bustforms and take up 1/3 of the table with extra stock housed under the table. That leaves the majority of table space for the broaches.
Be sure you put lots of thought into your craft fair display. This idea will only work if you can create a cohesive look with both handmade products. Otherwise you run into my #1 no-no when it comes to craft fair displays: offering too much selection.
You need to be able to keep the idea, display and message clear. You don’t want shoppers wondering why homemade jams and handmade jewelry are being sold together.
Here are a few of my favorite and most popular articles to have your best craft fair yet:
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