How I created an event in less than 4 weeks

My start to finish steps making something out of nothing! Brace yourselves for this one!

I’d been thinking for a long while that it would be nice to organize a vintage themed craft fair event. With Covid and life getting in the way, I hadn’t put a show on for 4 years, and a vintage event for 6!

It was a cold & windy uninspiring October day. Tuesday October 17th, 2023 to be exact. I had been emailing with my preferred venues, but they were all understandably booked up. I was really hoping to pull off a late November or early December show.

I was driving downtown to run an errand and I noticed a cute Catholic church, in which I had attended a few garage sales in their hall. I slowed down enough to see a couple cars in the parking lot, but I drove right past. As you may relate, self doubt crept in & my inner voice was wondering if I should inquire or if this was all just a big dumb idea!

Well, after a moment I decided to pull a U-turn and go back and inquire! What’s the worst that could happen, right? I was warmly greeted by a large table of cabbages. The hall was a little smaller than I remembered but the office manager gave me a rent deal I couldn’t refuse. The biggest hurdle: the venue was only available on Saturday Nov 11th, less than a month away!

So I sign the contract, drive home and look at my calendar and realize the date is Remembrance Day. (For those who don’t live in Canada, it’s an annual memorial to recall the end of WW1). Another big hurdle to consider.

Running an event on such a historic day did not sit well with me. So I reached out to the local legion and asked if we could give poppies by donation to support their cause and they were all for it with open arms. Despite the date not being favourable, we would make it as good as we could by supporting a cause dear to all Canadians.

Greeted by cabbage at the Ukrainian Catholic Church. I knew this would be a fun venue to rent!

Now to find vendors! I had room for a maximum of 25 vendors. And I started small. Myself, my mom and my good friend Found and Made Goods. Not knowing anyone else in the local vintage industry was a bit daunting to say the least. I made a google forms application for free and used my existing facebook page: corner events. I also signed up for a free trial of Canva and made an event poster and some social media content.

I then went on instagram, posted my event and hash tagged all local tags hoping to gain some attention. I searched for local vintage dealers and DM’d them info on the show and the application form.

Within the first week I had sold about 8 spaces! The event was coming up quick and I needed to sell many more spaces. So I went on etsy and sent messages to a handful of local vintage sellers and got more vendors this way. One day I was browsing a local charity thrift shop and we got talking about the show and before you knew it I had yet another vendor, Kelowna Share Society! I also followed up with everyone I had reached out to.

Thats me at the Share thrift shop. I was chatting about the event and they decided to join us!

I also decided to blow a considerable chunk of the budget by hiring a DJ. He did give me a great deal at $300 for 5 hours of his time and talent. And if this all sounds easy, it wasn’t for me! I didn’t know any DJ’s. So once again, I joined a local DJ facebook group and just posted that I was running a craft fair and wasn’t sure what I could pay but to reach out if anyone was interested. Having the DJ was great for marketing and made our event more intriguing for customers.

Once I came up with a fun name I created this poster on

Before we knew it the show was 10 days away! I started a facebook add campaign and began listing my event on marketplace and all local groups I could think of: mom groups, our neighbourhood group, an event group specific to our city! I also listed the event on every free newspaper, newsletter and tourism site I could find.

Finally the week of the event! I hired my brother and good friend Beth to work the door and that was my only staff. Did I get some backlash for hosting it on remembrance day? Absolutely. Did I sell out of all spaces and have a waitlist? Yes again. Did we have a fabulous event with over 700 customers in attendance & raise hundreds of dollars for the local legion? Yes and YES! Did I walk away with some money in my pocket for organizing and selling my wares? You bet I did!

Thanks to Aaron and Beth for manning the door!

Oh and another huge perk? The venue hosted a Ukrainian lunch which was very popular and contributed to a very successful event! You never know who will help you along in your event planning journey but after years of experience, I’m always pleasantly surprised of the creativity and humanity that exists when you simply look for it around you.

Ladies of the Ukrainian Catholic Church luncheon at our event
So much fun vintage clothing at our event!
Share society at our event
My pal Leigh of Found + Made goods. My first vendor, she helped set up the event. An amazing chair stacker & quick problem solver, couldn’t have done it without Leigh!

I write this article not to encourage procrastination and creating something last minute, but rather to say that yes, you CAN do it! If you have an idea, it just starts with those first steps: booking a venue, committing to the idea and confidently taking the steps to make it happen! I hope that this article encourages you to make something out of nothing.

Put that nagging idea in your mind into action. You wont believe what can happen & what new connections you will make!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply