Last Sunday, the 12th, I very happily traded at my first Crafty Fox Market, hoorah!
It was my second market overall. I’ve been meaning to write a blog post about my first market, which I did in December, for some time. It was quite a negative experience, and I really want this blog to be a positive place so I struggled to know what to say (and I certainly didn’t want to dedicate a whole post to it!).
To summarise, I traded at a Craft and Vintage Fair in December, and it was not well organised or publicised (I’m talking wrong dates on the website, wrong social media handles sent out to the traders, and lack of active promoting) which lead to a slightly demoralising day. And though I still made a profit, and learnt a few lessons, I think the main lesson was to heed warning signs next time.
Anyway, onwards and upwards!
The Spring edition of Crafty Fox Market was the second I’d applied for. I didn’t make the cut for the Christmas one, and fair enough. I rushed my application, took poor photos and didn’t have my Etsy shop ready (or anywhere else online showcasing my work). This time, though, I had many more designs to show and a much better online presence which I really think helped.
I was super happy to gain a place trading at the rather hip Bussey Building in Peckham, alongside some fantastic makers. I already had a good stock of cards printed as I’d been planning to approach some shops, so I had a fairly calm run up too.
I did want to try some new products though so I had a go at larger prints and bookmarks. For the prints I used watercolours to give my favourite quote a suitably bright and cheerful background. For the bookmarks I used the gorgeously thick, 600gsm paper offcuts from my new business cards, and then trimmed them to size by hand.
Speaking of which, the only big thing on my To Do list was designing and printing my business cards, as I always feel ridiculous telling people I’m a letterpress printer and then handing them a flat, glossy Moo card (as lovely as Moo cards are).
I think they came out pretty well! I’ll tell you all about the process, and slight palaver, in another post soon.
As well as business cards, I also got some promotional postcards (from Moo!) telling customers about what I print and where I print it. These were really handy as conversation starters; people picked them up as they passed my table and then came back to ask about things I’d mentioned on the card.
When it came to the layout of my stall, I practiced at home on my dining table, adding and subtracting, and running around to find attractive dressings and props. An over cluttered table can be off putting so I tried to keep it fairly minimal.
That little art browser, by the way, is my favourite purchase for a long time. Searching online for a table top one was bringing up quite costly and large options. And then, wandering around Pets At Home I spotted the above, a hay rack, for £7! Perfect.
I also opted for a dark table cloth to help my products stand out (though I wish I’d brought a lint roller with me on the day!).
Throughout the market I moved cards around, and displayed different ones on my makeshift shelf. It definitely makes a difference to what sells.
Looking friendly and approachable helps too. Or, you know, trying to.
The market itself had such a lovely atmosphere and I made a profit (yay!), but it seemed a little quiet by Crafty Fox standards overall. Probably a mix of the nice weather and Renegade Fair being on at the same time.
My one regret from the day is not getting around many of the other stalls or meeting enough of the other makers. But I was very happy to do a card swap with the lovely Alice Tams, who was running a popular drawing/colouring Birds In Hats workshop!
So, in summary, here are the things what I have learned from my limited experience so far…
- Practice your table layout at home, and choose cloth and props that compliment your products.
- Don’t overcrowd your stall, and move things around through the day to see what is most effective.
- Don’t put anything precious at the very front of your table. People balance bags, babies and all sorts on the edge while they fumble for change (seriously), so if you don’t want it squashed or knocked off, put it somewhere further back.
- If you can, include information about your business on your stall (it doesn’t have to be something that can be taken away, a framed bit of bumf about you and your products works) as well as business cards.
- Price everything clearly.
- When getting change for your float, include fivers and tenners. My first four customers paid with twenty pound notes!
- Don’t forget water, snacks, sellotape, scissors, pen, notepad, safety pins. And maybe a lint roller.
When preparing for an upcoming market, I also recommend reading through the tips on the following brilliant blogs:
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