How to Budget for a Craft Fair

Via Wikimedia Commons by Leonardo D. Santos CC BY-SA 3.0

Some fairs are simply out of reach for a crafterpreneur.

There are so many costs with a craft fair that people overlook and its important to tally it up first to see what your actual out of pocket actually is.

Below are some of the major items that crafterpreneurs spend on, and hopefully it will help serve as a guide of what to spend on and why.

Rental and booth display

Manila FAME gives you the option of either renting just the space or the space and a prebuilt booth at different prices, so it depends on your budget and what you think is better for your brand.


Some online sellers carry the bare minimum of inventory.

A physical store changes all of that.

You’ll need enough to make people browse and then decide to buy and that means more than one or two of each item.

Spending on inventory is a gamble since you aren’t sure what the market may want. It can also be costly. (Take jewelry for example. Small expensive pieces quickly add up).

Display materials

If you are selling jewelry, you’ll need jewelry boxes to display them in. If you are selling ice cream, you’ll need a freezer. If you are selling shoes, you’ll need a shoe racks and stands.

You get the picture.

Maritess Pineda, founder of MaARTE and ArteFino, stated  “The products may be good, but if it is not properly displayed, then it does not matter.” Product dislay is crucial so don’t overlook it.

Marketing materials

You need a calling card, banners, posters and flyers.

Decide on how you want to display your goods and how the marketing materials should support them or ask the organizers where you can display posters or tarpaulins.

Packing materials

You’ll need to have paper bags, scissors, tape, string, packing materials and pen and paper. Make sure that the amount that you bring is directly correlated to you stock. If you mostly sell small items, then you will mostly need small paper bags. If you sell breakables, bring lots of packing tape and bubble wrap.


With fairs often running for twelve hours and set up and tidying up several hours before and after that, you are going to need to take it in shifts or you will run out of steam.

If you staff it, then you are going to need to consider minimum wage for the staff, which can range from minimum wage of Php 512 to a few thousand depending on who you hire and what your overtime is.


How are you going to move all of that?

If you’ve got a brand booth, it may be bulky and heavy. Then you have all the packing, marketing and miscellaneous items. You might have to hire additional transportation just to move it, so factor that in as well.


If you’ve got a social media account now’s the time to use it.

Pin it, post it, Instagram it and see if you can leverage all those followers to spread them word and buy a few of your things. Promoting it isn’t very difficult these days.

So, spend a little money to make a little money and you might just end up making a lot.

These are really the definitive items that crafterpreneurs spend on for a craft fair. Rental spaces can be really pricey and can be the most expensive item spent on, but this depends on which craft fair you are joining. Inventory can also be a lot with staffing, marketing, display, and packing materials quickly adding to the bill.

Make sure that you write things down and come prepared so that your craft fair can fulfill the expectations that you have of it.

Go craft and then go out and see what a physical location would add to your experience. Often a craft fair will end up being worth the money.


3 of the most Influential Arts and Craft Fairs in Manila

via MaARTE’s Facebook

1. MaARTe

Want to hit the high net worth crowd?

MaARTe’s definitely the right spot.

For an exhibitor’s viewpoint, it is a solid place to showcase items as it attracts a well-heeled crowd. There is also extensive media coverage by ABS CBN, GMA, Inquirer, Philippine Star, and When in Manila.

It’s also very exclusive. The latest event only hosted 31 exhbitors at the Manila Pen. Well-known brands such as Aranaz and Phillip + Inna exhibited alongside Oscar Meija Aritsan Fragrances and Yvette’s Bags.

Your product would be in good company but be prepared.

It’s competitive, exclusive and very tough to get in.

Best fit: Craftsmen with a proven history looking to take their business to the next level.
Facebook: @maartefair
No of Exhibitors: 31
When: Usually August 2017
Where: Manila Peninsula

via ArteFino’s Facebook

2. ArteFino

Although only a year old, ArteFino has the same founders as the MaARTe who have a wonderful track record and a network of heavy hitting local brands.

In line with all that expertise, the ArteFino goal is pretty lofty.

As stated by one of the founders Maritess Pineda, it is to “provide an avenue for people to discover modern applications of Philippine indigenous materials and connect with innovative artisans from different industries.”

So, you’ll see traditional cloth from the Bagobos and the T’bolis reworked to be appealing to the modern girl alongside more familiar brands like Abre Linea and K & K bespoke jewelry.

They believe that the only way for local is global and hope that the money that they raise goes into back into the Philippine communities that they come from.

It has 70 exhibitors and a wide variety of products, all housed in the 1,490 sqm 8 Rockwell penthouse.

And if you want media exposure, you’ve got it.

It was covered by the Philippine tattler, Inquirer,, and Town and Country. It was curated by Ito Kish, and pulls an affluent crowd.

Best fit: Products with an eye to our national traditions and the artist entrepreneur
Phone: For details contact Imelda Canuel, Secretariat, ArteFino 2017 at tel. nos. +63917-5597462 and +6399-88671838
Facebook: ArteFinoPH 
Instagram: @artefinoph
No of Exhibitors: 70
When: Usually August 2017
Where: 8 Rockwell Penthouse

via Manila FAME’s website

3. Manila Fame

Do you want to connect with big customers?

Manila FAME is celebrating its 66th show, and it is the biggest and most well-known of the craft fairs.

This is where big companies go to buy bulk orders. I’ve seen several large national developers send their interior design people to see what is current in the market since almost everyone in the local space is there.

Befitting all that, it’s expensive. It is Php 54,000 for 18 square meters of space and 32,850 for 9 square meters with a aluminum booth.

Still, it’s the best organized and the most thorough. It requires all participants to pass a factory inspection, and be duly registered in the Philippines with the DTI, SEC and BIR documents ready.

Best fit: Craftsmen with mature businesses who can support large orders and are looking at the international stage
Phone: +63.2.8331258, 8325033, 8312201 local 242, 240, 203, 231
No of Exhibitors: 400 approximately
When: Oct 20-22 2017
Where: World Trade Center Metro Manila and the Philippine International Trade Center Exhibit Hall

How Craft Fairs can launch your brand | Stories from Manila

via Wikipedia Commons by Gordon Hatton  CC BY-SA 2.0


While reading about craft stories that became businesses, I found that most people eventually came to the point where they wanted a physical location. Some crafters turn to consignment while others start exhibiting at local craft fairs.

Craft fairs have a lot of benefits that include checking out the competition, exposure, networking and feedback.

Checking out the competition

Everyone and the world is at a craft fair, so it’s an outstanding opportunity to take a look at what’s going on.

Who’s selling what?

What are they selling it for?

What’s the actual quality of the items sold versus what’s really being posted online?

Craft fairs are a great source of information that you might not necessarily find elsewhere. A friend of mine was actively involved in the bazaar business for several years, and she made it a point to go around the fair a few times a day to see how things were going.


Ken Samudio is a marine biologist turned accessories designer whose flower earrings are sold by Luisa Via Roma, Modus Operandi and Bergdorf Goodman.

But it all wouldn’t have happened without his attending the International Fashion Showcase in 2014.

While there, his work was spotted by Sara Maino who was Italia Vogue’s senior editor and lead talent scout. Their emails led to him being picked for a profile on the magazine’s 50th anniversary and eventually, this led to his being one of only twelve designers shown at the Milan Fashion Week.

Think about the odds of that.

And all from a craft fair.

In Manila, he appeared in the 2016 MaArte fair for the benefit of the National Museum and in Manila Fame. Both are big, well respected trade shows with big opportunities to draw in clients, get a lot of press and get to know a market.


Peachy is an online shop selling craft supplies and polymer clay products.

In 2015 she was featured by Chasing Dreams Design Co., who talked about meeting her through the craft fair Pursuit Manila. It was an interview on her business and crafting and what she values, and it has continued to provide exposure to her, long after the initial meeting.

In fact, it’s how I found her.

There’s so much information on the web (in 2013, there were 1 billion websites out there) that the mentions, shares, likes and interviews you have, the better your chances of success.

So, don’t forget it’s all about the people.


Craft fairs instantly tell you if you’ve got the right product.

For instance, Lux 400 started by going to craft fairs and pop up stores and selling fashion accessories.

But if was only when she picked up crocheting as a side hobby and making cute crocheted food items called amigurami food that she found some success. She joined the BGC Art Mart exhibiting them, and customers responded well.

These days Lux 400 is started to get some press – who knows what will happen on her journey?

And who knows what will happen on yours?

A craft fair opens up opportunities and has a lot of value, so why not consider it? Admittedly there is a lot of preparation, but it can pay off in the end.

Have any good experiences with craft fairs? Let us know.