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Article: Event Recap: Outdoor Craft Fair

Event Recap: Outdoor Craft Fair

Event Recap: Outdoor Craft Fair

This past Sunday, October 23rd, I vended at an outdoor craft fair in one of my favorite neighborhoods in San Francisco. A lot of friends and fellow vendors ask about my experiences at particular events, so I thought I would share some info. This will be a recap of my shop sales data and thoughts relating to how I run my business. I will not be talking about the organization of the event, as there are too many factors that go into that to explain in this post. Feel free to reach out to me directly if you’d like more info on this particular event.


Above is a photo of my set up. I realized as I was unpacking my products that I forgot my magnets! I managed to bring the display board but none of the actual product. Some customers saw the pricing on my price board and asked where they were, so I referred them to my website if they wanted to shop some later.

This is the most amount of product I’ve ever had. I internally cried while piling it all at the front door, getting ready to carry it down 2 flights of stairs and load into the car. As such, I was anticipating an increase in sales numbers since I had a bigger selection for customers to choose from.

A new display set up I tried for this event was a pegboard with cups to hold stickers and pins. At times I got worried that people weren’t noticing the stickers on the board and were only looking at the ones on the table. I did note that some customers were able to observe the stickers from afar and it drew them in to look at the ones on the table, so I think I will keep this set up and think more about which ones to put vertically vs on the table. The only issue is that kids can’t reach the stickers on the pegboard (or maybe that’s a good thing?). Overall, I felt like I sold fewer stickers than I typically do at these events, so I’ll have to consider over time if the new display is the reason why. Even so, stickers remained my top selling product category with 81 units sold.


New products that I was showing for the first time included the Snack Time Tee, Orange and Onigiri earrings, Egg and Chicken Beanies, holiday ornaments, and prints: Campfire Ghost, Tiger, Cat CowboyDogin Hood, and Moonlit Campsite.

I felt like a ridiculous slave to capitalism when putting up a Christmas tree to display my ornaments on in October. Though 4 sold, so you can’t say it was too early to be selling them. I expected Egg beanies to be popular but I only sold 1. Surprisingly I sold quite a few Chicken beanies though. I’m glad it’s not as weird as I thought to have a chicken on a beanie (or at least it’s weird in a good way).

Earrings are a new product category I’m trying to figure out. With them priced at $22, I know they’re expensive. Many people were interested but didn’t buy presumably because of the price tag. They’re unfortunately $9 a pair to make, and if I want to wholesale them and make a worthwhile profit, the retail price of $22 is the best I could do. Around $20-22 also seems like the market rate for enamel earrings right now. Maybe if I don’t end up getting any wholesale interest after a while, I’ll only sell them DTC and lower the price. This is the tricky thing about pricing when you have to consider you might only get 50% minus expenses when selling things wholesale. 

I was also worried about selling the Snack Time shirts at a higher price because they cost more to make than my other shirts. I planned to lower the price if sales weren’t going well during the day. After a few people bought it without even asking for the price, I knew I had to stick to my prices and hold out for customers willing to pay.

I often wonder if the price of my shirts were lower, would I sell more of them and make up for the drop in price? With my sample Ghost tees for $25 and the originals at $36, I am able to test this theory a little bit. I sold more than twice as many sample tees as the full price ones, which would indicate that the $25 is more appealing. However, the design with the most sales was the Snack Time Tee, which is priced even higher at $40. What this indicates to me is that, while people like a deal, people are willing to pay the value of a product if they like it enough. So don’t lower your prices just because a couple people don’t think it’s worth it! The people who think it is worth it are your true customers and they will be willing to pay what you deserve for it.

As noon rolled around and traffic was slowing, I began to think I wouldn’t make my sales goal of $2k for the day. I texted Olivier at 3:50 concerned I wouldn’t make it. However at 4:30, a random wave of people came through and blew my sales out of the water. I think it was also lucky that this group of people happened to be Asian and were therefore my target demographic. You can tell from the graph below that 4-5PM had the most sales. By the end of the day, I was happy to have hit a new sales record! 

The Numbers:
Gross Sales: $2881.42
Booth Fee: $350 for a 10x10
Number of Orders: 109
Event Hours: 11AM - 5PM
Sales Goal Reached at: 4PM

Overall, I had a good time at this event. This neighborhood has been my tried and true location to vend at since I began selling in person in 2018, so I will continue to do events there when I can.

I hope this blog post gave you an idea of how events like this can go and what I think about while selling. Please let me know if there are other topics about selling at craft fairs you’d like me to cover in the future. You can leave a comment below :)

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