The second craft fair is the one I organize. This one, in its fourth year, takes place in the social hall and classrooms at my church in early December. Twenty-eight local crafters squeeze into one large room, three smaller rooms, and the hallway in between. We have music, a snack bar, a bake sale, face painting, and fun. The atmosphere is friendly, neighborly and festive, so our crafters, shoppers, and volunteers love participating. We usually get between 400-500 shoppers, so our vendors make lots of sales. Please forgive me for bragging about my pet project!
There are many details to attend to when hosting a craft fair, especially if you're operating on a shoestring budget and hope to raise money for a good cause (in this case, our church's outreach ministries): registering crafters, creating a floor plan, making sure we have enough tables, recruiting volunteers, organizing the snack bar and bake sale, promoting and advertising the event, obtaining permits, making and posting signs, distributing flyers, and so on. Fortunately, I have friends who create the ads and do the writing for press releases and online listings. As soon as the promotion begins, crafters start calling the church to see if they can secure a table, and the church office refers those calls to me. Of course, we have no extra space, so I end up explaining this to potential vendors and taking their contact info for my wait list. After all, some of this year's crafters are people who were on last year's waiting list. During the week prior to the craft fair, my committee and I spend many hours preparing the building for the big day: storing unnecessary items, placing and covering tables according to my floor plan, placing chairs behind the tables, decorating, posting signs and banners out by the road, buying groceries for the snack bar, securing donated baked goods for the bake sale, keeping the volunteer helpers happy and busy, and tending to whatever challenges pop up at the last minute. I work on my own display whenever I have some free time.
On the big day, my volunteers and I arrive at 8 to bring in our crafters, make coffee, and set up the snack bar and bake sale. I spend the next several hours visiting with shoppers and tending my own table, and then stay afterward to supervise the cleanup. I drag myself home, exhausted, after everything is put away and the building has been returned to normal. That evening, I have one thing on my mind: sleep!
I've told you my craft fair story not to brag about how busy I am, how great my craft fair is, or how hard I work, but to let you know that if I don't do much (if any) writing or posting for awhile, you know why.
Please, enjoy your local craft fairs and support your neighborhood crafters!