What I learned at the craft fair: Lesson 2 -- It's OK to murder Candyland

Why young customers can be good for business.
In my previous post about craft fairs, I described why good weather isn't always good for business. 

Here's the second thing I learned. Customers come in all sizes (and ages). And if most of them are too young to drive, vote, or do long division (or even know what long division is), it doesn't mean my work is childish or less valuable.

Lesson #2: It's okay to appeal to younger customers. 
I make things out of recycled kids' clothes, books, and board games. So even though my creations are for adults too, the bright colors and goofy faces tend to attract a shorter crowd. 

At first this bothered me. Especially when I compared my booth to the more sophisticated ones nearby (like the Zen oasis across from me -- half the booth was empty except for a single kimono.)
Blank books made from recycled kids books
Y'all come back now, y'hear?
What's wrong with attracting kids? Well, they don't have money. Not usually. And the silly vibe can turn off adults (like parents who flinch at the sight of a Disney princess). Also, I worried about what this said about ME. Did my young fan base mean I'm immature? Silly? Wasting my time?

But then I started watching people's faces as they passed my booth. Young and old, when they looked at my books and bags, their faces stretched into broad smiles. They were remembering their first vinyl LP (Hair) or the time they beat their own parents in Monopoly. 

Croc on a Scrabble bracelet
Where's the beef?
One gentlemen, upon seeing one of my reptile-themed bracelets, explained why you should never give meat to a Kimodo Dragon (it makes them emit sticky poison goo on their fangs). Another dad was chagrined to admit that his teen daughter had no idea who the Beverly Hillbillies were.

DIsplay of upcycled earrings made from game pieces
RIP Risk and Monopoly also
My favorite kid feedback came from my favorite 2nd grader, Sarah. She inspected my tall revolving display of earrings made from game pieces. Each pair was attached to card from a different game. She recognized cards from her favorite game and exclaimed,

 "You murdered Candyland!" 

That's another advantage of young customers. They forgive and forget. Or at least forget. In a few minutes, Sarah had ducked behind my table, ready to start selling.

Next, lesson 3...


  1. I think it's great that your items appeal to all ages, those that remember all those books, games, music and the young ones who have never heard of them but love all the colorful items in your booth.

    When I've sold at a craft fair I tend to have mostly items for adults but there are kids with parents that have money so I tried to have some inexpensive things that might appeal to them like cute sheep Christmas ornaments, bookmarks, little felted pouches, etc.

    Love the display card idea for your earrings!

  2. The youth vote matters!

    We just went to the Edmonds Art Festival and I couldn't help but notice that the booths with kid friendly items were those with the most "life". I've always been drawn to these booths, even before I had children of my own. I know if I saw that single-kimono booth in life I would truly admire it but I don't know that I would feel comfortable hanging out and browsing.

  3. If you want to appeal to some younger kids, part of the booth can be at their height, with maybe a peek hole to see interesting things, etc. This also is helpful for those in wheelchairs as well.
    And many kids,teens do have money that parents give them.

  4. Good points, and I'll keep them in mind at the next fair. I did have more action at my table than the kimono booth -- I'll just have to silence that voice in my head that says I need to grow up and get serious.


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