beach hut blueI am sure that all makers have had the experience at some time or another – a craft fair where no-one is buying your stuff. One (very normal) reaction to this is to sit stoically with an inner despair, feeling less and less confident of the value of your work as the hours tick by.

My blog this week is about how you should be using that time, if you are unfortunate enough to experience it.


  1. Research – even though you are not selling, your fellow stall-holders might be, so check them out. How does their style and work differ from yours? Is there anything to suggest that their work is more suited to this event than yours? Are there any elements of their display that you really like and could try out with your own work? Have a chat with them; are there any fairs they would recommend to you?
  2. Planning – how many of us have said we don't have enough time to plan for the future development of our business? I certainly have and a dead craft fair is the perfect time to do that all-important thinking about where you want your business to be, and how you are going to get there.
  3. Audience building – even though people are not buying, they might be looking so do take the opportunity to chat with your audience (as long as you can keep an edge of desperation out of your voice!). They might want to join your mailing list or take a business card / flyer away with them. They may be interested in how or where your work is made. I recently had a customer contact me who had seen me at a craft fair 2 years ago, so you never know when that contact might result in a future sale.
  4. Let your creativity flow into new ideas – always have a note book with you and start sketching, drawing, doodling and thinking about new design ideas. I came up with these Beachhut Decorations at a recent fair.

Above all, remember that this is a single event and you need to look at the response and sales you get over the whole year rather than just one disheartening day.

Chin up!