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Topic How to start an indie craft fair? Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By eakircher On 03/29/04  

hi guys,
me and a friend of mine were totally inspired by the indie/DIY fairs set up around the country and we would like to start an annual fair like that here in Madison, Wi. However, we have no idea where to start. Does anyone have any tips to share? Also, anyone live in the area that would be interested in helping and/or having a table?
We'd really appreciate any help. thanks in advance.

By lilyblue On 03/29/04  

here is a good guide:

By kazmatraz On 03/30/04  

a couple of my design-y pals and i started up an indie design show and sale almost 5 years ago now. we started with 15 exhibitors (basically just friends and friends of friends) who had small businesses. we rented a really cheap and cute little gallery space for the weekend, charged minimally ($100 or so for the weekend)for each exhibitor so we could cover our costs, got some postcard invites done up, raided everyone's mailing lists, did a mail-out, tried to get some press (with no luck, no one paid us any attention), got a friend of ours to d.j., made some snacks, asked everyone to bring a bottle of wine and we held our breath! we kicked it off with an opening shopping party (just like an art opening) from 6-12 on the friday night...we had no idea how it would go...and it was a smash! people were lined up out the door to get in and it was standing room only all night. trust me, drinking and shopping DO mix! all of our designers sold lots and everyone had a total blast. the shopping continued on the saturday and the sunday. it was totally fun, pretty easy to pull off and 5 years later we have doubled in size and have developed a following, both with exhibitors and shoppers. good luck, have fun and kick some crafty ass!!!

By eakircher On 03/30/04  

looks like this gallery idea was a hit too! great idea! there is a local recycled art gallery that might be interested in helping set something like this up....

By cinnachick On 03/30/04  

I'm one of the people who helped organize the DIY Trunk Show ( and write the article) and I applaud your enthusiasm. It can be a lot of work, but it is so very rewarding to see it all come together. I encourage you to come. Since you're in Madison, I would be more than willing to make the drive up there and rent a table. I even have a friend I can stay with. Keep us posted and if you have any questions, please email me.

By eakircher On 03/30/04  

thanks for the help, looks like the DIY trunk show was a big hit! i'm so excited to get rolling here. i'll definitely keep you guys posted on the progress. :)

By lexs_creations On 04/07/04  

I'm currently in the process of organizing a craft fair at a local restaurant with a big banquet hall. :) We're not being charged anything for the space--the restaurant is dying for any business it might bring in.

It's turned out to be A LOT more work than I'd anticipated, though. I'm trying to be selective, and don't have too many vendors so far but they're a good group; pretty diverse in terms of products. I am excited about that.

There've been a lot of snags, though--for example, the owner doesn't have tables for us to use (the restaurant has tables, obviously, but not many of uniform sizes that the owner can spare for the event; he said he'd rent them but now he's griping about it). Honestly, the whole process is driving me kind of nuts at this point. ;) But if it turns out to be worthwhile, I'd be willing to do it again.

If you'd like, I can let you know how it goes...It's on May 8...


Alexis M. Greer, Designer
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