OUR mission statement

MADE ON THE LEFT was founded in 2008 by independent designers to support Western Australian creative talent. We hold bi-annual handmade craft markets to showcase local designers.

Being on the left hand side of Australia no longer

means you'll be at a disadvantage.

Our aim is to support all creative designers and events showcasing independent labels. MOTL is a not-for-profit, non-partisan organisation. You may wonder why we promote other markets besides MOTL; it’s because it’s not about us, its about you; the buyers and sellers of indie wares. Here at the blog, you’ll discover up to date information about our latest market, the low-down on some of Perth’s emerging talents, other opportunities for artists and designers and a little bit of fun stuff too. It’s all right here… welcome!

Saturday, June 28

What to bring to your craft fair

Getting ready for a craft fair is a daunting task, especially if it’s your first. I had my first craft fair earlier this year and was constantly agonizing over what to bring, how much stock to take and whether I had everything organised

Thankfully Made on the Left is at hand to help. We’ve put together a series of articles to help you keep things as stress free as possible.

Preparation Is KeyOne great way to get ready for your craft fair is to write out a list of everything you need to do beforehand and when you’d like to have them done by. Setting goals and deadlines will help motivate you so you’re not spending the week before in a frantic rush to get everything ready. I blogged about getting ready for my first craft fair, listing everything I was planning on making and how it was going. Putting my goals out there made me feel more accountable and motivated me to finish things. I even listed my stress levels which really helped me keep perspective.

Don’t feel you need to have a whole new collection of stock for your show. Most people coming to the market will not know you from your online presence and will have no idea you had a particular item out two years ago. It will be all fresh and new to them. Additionally don’t discount something because it isn’t selling on Etsy/Madeit/your online shop, some stock just won’t sell online but will do really well at a market where customers can see it up close.

Ideally you’ll have completed your stock well in advance and will be able to spend the last few weeks on marketing your business so people know you’ll be there. Sometimes this isn’t possible, you’ve been really busy, you just sold a bunch of stuff elsewhere or deciding to do the market was a last minute decision. However, you can still get everything finished; it just takes getting super organised.
So make a list of everything you still need to do to get your stock ready in time and set goals to get them done.

Talk To PeopleReaching out to your peers for advice is the easiest way to gain knowledge and have any queries or problems answered. The crafting community is enormously friendly and you’ll find many people willing to answer most questions you have. This blog was started to help the many people we meet on a regular basis who are just beginning their crafting business or doing their first craft fair and needed a place to get information and advice.

If there is a particular artist or crafter you admire try emailing them for counsel. You’ll be surprised how happy people are to answer questions and offer advice. They won’t tell you specific secrets about their business or where a lot of their sources are from, those are closely guarded secrets but most people are flattered by someone asking about their expertise and if they can’t answer a question will generally be able to introduce you to someone who can.

What To PackYou'll need a list, and it’s a pretty long one at that. Some of the items listed will not apply to you and reading the list may remind you to add items not included. The best thing to do is to copy the list into a word document and modify it to suit your particular situation. Also don’t forget to take a copy of the list with you to the craft fair and use it as a kind of inventory so you don’t forget anything when packing up.

In addition don’t forget to label your items. It will eliminate any problems at the end of the day when you’re tired and can’t remember if you packed one or two double adapters or which white tablecloth is yours and which was supplied by the organisers.

Indoor Craft Fair Packing List
MerchandiseEnough merchandise for the day (how do you know you have enough? A good rule of thumb is to pack twice as much as you think you’ll sell)

Display/PackagingSignage or banner
Product information sign
Shelves, clothing rack, jewellery displays, mirror for customers
Backdrop if you have a partition wall
System to hang stock if you have a partition wall – ‘S’ hooks/fishing wire
Own partition wall (optional)
Table cloth if you want something besides white
Extra price tags, string
Care instructions for textile items
Bags, paper/bubble wrap, boxes for sold items
Lighting, double adapters and extension cords if you have a booth with power
Duct tape to tape the cords to the floor
Spare light globes

Business cards and holder
Catalogue or flyers to use as bag stuffers and handouts
A newsletter or contact information list so people can sign up to your mailing list
Copies of your latest newsletter
Information about you/other shows/exhibitions you’re in
Wholesale catalogue with wholesale and consignment policy
Wholesale order form
Custom order form
Media pack
Something to make during slow times (customers love to watch an artisan at work)
Free samples (optional, sometimes good for customers that spend a lot of money)

Receipt book
Small safe, cash box or apron for holding cash
Change (at least $50 to $100 in a variety of denominations)
Ability to accept credit cards (optional) and credit card authorization number

Needle and thread
Safety pins
Pens – red one for discounts
Sticky tape
Paper clips
Thumb tacks
Elastic bands
Baby wipes
Rubbish bags
Glass cleaner
Mobile phone
Clip board with spare paper (especially good for taking notes about the show)
Inventory list with prices
Something to pack all of this in...preferably with wheels

For YouJumper/jacket
Snacks – don’t bring chewing gum, no one wants to see you chewing behind your stall
Comfy shoes
Pain relievers
Emergency contact numbers
Make up
A friend to help you
A good attitude


thetinylittlegirl said...

thanks so much for posting this, made on the left will be my first craft fair so i'm quite nervous! this list and advice really helps :-)

craftapalooza said...

Just added your event to upucoming


daraart said...

That's fantatsic craftaplooza - thank you very much! will you be coming down to the market?

Vivian said...

this is soooo helpful, thank you!

Her said...

and don't forget to think about how your pricing affects your float. I price in 5, 10 and $15 increments, makes it easier to add up and saves having lots of coins.

Jacquie said...

Very true about the pricing. It's such a scary thing for designers that we'll be doing an article just for it soon to help people.

Amy Mortensen said...

Thanks, I've got my first show tomorrow and I was looking all over the web for a list like this. :D

Ellen said...

We are attending our first Craft Fair and this list was very Helpful. Thank you so much for this.
Ellen Kaneent

kirsty ♥ said...

I've got my first craft fair this coming sunday, reading this has put my mind at ease...thank you! : ) x