My first mistake was booking a table at our local neighbourhood market day, with little thought as to who would visit this market. It is just a small affair, held once a year, and mainly frequented by the local community who, I think, were just out for a walk to see the fire engine, and take a look around, but with no real mind to buy anything.
My second mistake was the timing. The market was on Saturday, 23rd November last year. For the week leading up to it, we had three visiting teenages staying with us. Plus, my mum, who lives an hour away, was sick that week. Plus, my sister, who is going to help with Cole and Taffy, had to fly across the country because her father-in-law was very sick.
So I was somewhat distracted! But I still thought it could go well. Unfortunately, on the Friday my mum took a turn for the worse, and so I had to decide what to do. My husband, children and visiting teens agreed to man the table after I helped set it up. Then I would drive up to see my mum.
My third mistake was not manning the table myself. My husband, Wayne, and helpers did a great job, but they weren’t able to talk about the why and the how, and it was probably unsettling for people to see a man behind a craft table. Wayne thinks it would have gone much better if myself or my sister had been there.
My fourth mistake was not having enough stock. I had lots but there were still some holes on the table. Although I was happy with the way the table looked overall.
My final mistake was rushing into it. I only had about three weeks to get sorted once I decided to book a table. Not really enough time to get myself ready (thankfully, I had already made some things – but plenty more were needed).
Anyhoo, I learnt a few things from my first market experience:
1. Visit the market first to check it out and see if it is a suitable venue before handing over money for a table. Perhaps a dedicated craft fair/market rather than a local general market;
2. Do everything possible to be there on the day. Some things are just better done by yourself – no one can market your business better than you; and
3. Be very organised – beforehand with enough stock, and other areas of my life so that I can give Cole and Taffy the attention in needs when it needs it.
The market ended just before midday, when the heavens opened and everyone made a run for cover. Thankfully, my family had time to pack everything up before the downpour happened.
And we did sell one thing! Which was a blessing! Not a complete failure!
Till next time
PS. You can find the pattern for the pretty square bunting at this pretty blog: