My first experience at a craft fair was Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco (2010). It was located in one of the warehouses along the piers and I remember the space being massive. Not only was the space massive, it was filled with booths for independent artists and their goods lined side by side in a circular shape. I didn’t know what to expect at the time and found myself being thrown along the tide of people in a conveyor belt-like fashion not knowing when to stop and look or when I should turn around and go back to my favorite booths. It was overwhelming but fun to experience–I came out feeling like I’ve been thrown around in a craft filled tornado. Since then I have made an effort to attend annual pop-ups and have learned to take my time and be okay with not seeing everything; I know what I’m interested in and which ones to pass. That would be my tip for first-timers: brace yourself to be overwhelmed and know what to pass.
Of the seemingly many events that happen year round, Unique L.A. is probably my favorite that happens in L.A. because: 1) it’s located in a good venue with ample parking (not free, but that’s pretty much everywhere in L.A.; must be thankful for availability), 2) they have a tasteful selection of booths, not too overwhelming, 3) it’s kid friendly, 4) they offer “free” goodies that aren’t likely to end up in the trash (samples, sponsored products, photo booths, canvas bag, etc.), and 5) they usually have a hands-on activity station. This year they had a flower crown making station with several tables for crafting and an abundance of flowers to work with. I made a crown for Elaine and she loved it.
Our admission/complimentary tote bags included free admission to the OC Fair. I’ve never been, so I’m looking forward to hopefully being able to go. :)