This weekend I ran my very first market stall at a family fun day in Appley Bridge, Wigan.
I was a little apprehensive beforehand as I had no idea what to expect; what type of items would sell, whether to price items differently to my Etsy store, how many items to display… Mine. Field.
I spent the week running up to the event making various things such as t-shirt yarn baskets, macrame hangings, and teething rings, but I figured my most successful items would be my handmade cards – at £3.50 each they’re something most can afford, and Father’s Day is coming up.
The day came around and we were blessed with glorious sunshine.
Stall owners were paired up under gazebos and I was super grateful to be paired with a friend of mine, the owner of craft business Birdie and Blossom.
Birdie and Blossom were selling all things Manchester and worker bee related, with all funds donated to the British Red Cross UK Solidarity Fund, which was set up in the aftermath of the 2017 London and Manchester terror attacks, and a charity set up in memory of Saffie Rose Roussos, who was a victim of the Manchester arena bombing on 22nd May last year.
I learned a lot from the day, and here are my key take aways:
1) The nicest lesson; people love to give to charity; Birdie and Blossom did fantastically well.
2) A valuable lesson; whilst I had a fab day, and I learnt so much, a family fun day is not the right type of market for Woolly Mama.
3) The biggest lesson; items for £1-2 are essential! People like to leave with something but they don’t like to spend a lot. Most of my items were priced at £10+ so I really didn’t cater for this at all.
4) The hardest lesson; people will spend on food and drink before spending on handcrafted items for themselves or their home. It’s hard watching people give money to vendors for overpriced value hotdogs and pints of beer in plastics cups, but smile politely and walk away from your stall when you tell them the item you spent hours crafting, that they’re complimenting, is priced at a meagre £15.
5) Life lesson; focus on the positive. So whilst the items I sold can be counted on two hands, I did make profit. Whilst I ended up taking a lot of the items back home with me, I knew I could be proud of what I’d made because the compliments came in by the bucket load. And whilst the environment wasn’t quite right for my craft, I had a brilliant day; eating overpriced value hot dogs in the sun, with a pint of shandy in a plastic cup, I absorbed so much that will now better prepare me for my next stall!
Watch this space.