Markets and Craft Shows

As a maker of candles, melts, diffusers and sprays, it’s critical that I get to several in-person events every year! I know first-hand how hard it is to buy something like a candle online without first smelling it. Some people are very savvy about scents and they know what they like and can even buy a candle based on the scent notes. Others, however, want to smell them first. It makes sense!

So I wanted to answer some frequently asked questions and share a little bit in general about markets and craft shows from both the customer and vendor side of things. There may be things you’re curious about as a customer, and there may also be some small businesses out there who haven’t yet attended any craft shows. I hope this can be helpful and interesting to you. 😊

Where is the furthest you’ve traveled for a market or show?

Personally, I’ve traveled as far as Harrisburg, PA for an event! Which is about 2 – 2.5 hours from where I’m located, in Williamsport, PA. I’ve also attended shows in Bellefonte, Eagles Mere, and Reading.

When you attend shows, do you attend by yourself or do you have help?

Most often, I operate my display by myself. I have two little boys (5 and 2 years old) and my husband usually hangs out with them at home while I attend shows! However, when we have childcare, he attends with me and helps. He’s the BEST.

I also am lucky enough to attend most shows with my mom and my aunt, who sell their knitted items. We try to attend the same shows and get booths next to each other. It’s been a lot of fun, and helpful if one of us runs out of something! You can check out their Facebook page at:

Do you only accept cash at markets, or do you take credit cards as well?

I personally accept cash or card! More and more vendors are investing in square or Shopify card readers, to make it easier on customers who don’t carry cash on them. I am someone who almost never has cash on me! I’ve always appreciated being able to use my card at craft shows, and I hope my customers appreciate the convenience also.  

How do you prepare for a market? How do you know how much inventory to bring?

You prepare the best you can, and you make your best guess about inventory! As far as I know, there is no good formula to help with this. It’s trial and error, but I try to be safe rather than sorry. I over prepare and I try to make as much inventory as I can. I’d rather have more than enough, because anything that doesn’t sell in person can be sold online!

Though I try to keep my market set up fairly minimal (for the sake of ease), I am slightly extra… and usually end up adding some small things here and there. In the spring and summer, I was very into adding fresh flowers to my table displays. But I do have a static display with several shelves and tiered display pieces that I always use. The week leading up to an event, I makes lists on top of lists to make sure I have everything ready/packed to go! I pack as much as I can into plastic totes (water proof), and make sure to bring my wagon if I think I’ll need to transport things to and from my car to the set-up space.

Does it feel weird when people stop in to look around without buying anything?

When I used to attend shows as a customer, I would always feel bad if I wasn’t planning on buying certain items – and sometimes it would prevent me from even stopping by a vendor’s table. But as a vendor now, I love the interaction. We all know that there are a variety of factors that come into play for customers, and that our items aren’t for every single person who will attend. You should totally still stop by and check things out if you’re interested. Some of my favorite interactions have been with people who struck up a conversation, or complemented my display and my marketing. It means SO much to me when you stop by to say nice things! And you can always grab a business card for later, when you’re ready to shop for the holidays or another special occasion.

What are some must haves if I want to attend a market as a vendor?

Some essentials (depending on what you sell and the best way to display it) would be:

  • Tables (in whatever size you prefer – I have an 8’ table and a 6’ table)
  • Table cloths
  • Price signs or tags (I use signs so as not to put any additional stickers on my products, for the aesthetics)
  • A sign or banner with your logo or company name
  • Business cards
  • Cash box or cash holder (some people like to use a crossbody bag)
  • Mobile POS like a square or a shopify card reader
  • Gift bags for customer purchases
  • A Canopy pop up tent, if you are interested in attending any outdoor events
    • Weights for your tent legs
    • Side walls for your tent, in case of inclement weather

How do I found out about events to attend as a vendor?

I’ve found out about the majority of the events I attend through Facebook! Occasionally I find some through Instagram or word of mouth, but Facebook is huge. You can check the events near you, or you can join groups for this specific purpose. I’m currently part of a “PA Craft Shows” group on Facebook, and there are so many posts submitted for interested vendors.


If you’re ever curious about the events that I’ll be attending, you can check the Wallflower Candle Co. Facebook and Instagram pages, OR you can look here on my website under the “Events” tab.

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