Monday, October 15, 2012

So, how was it?

Nelly made pin cushions and learned how to paper piece hexagons. And I was a very proud Mama
and loved hanging out with her on my own for a day. ♥♥♥

Well, the truth and nothing but the truth... The local farmer's are NOT ready for My Rose Valley's creations. The note books were a hit, I sold some Fat Quarters that I brought from my stash, a mix of vintage sheets and quilt fabric. And that was about it. But hey, am I crying? Have I given up? Absolutely not! This is only the beginning.

I learned so much. Got there at 8.00 in the morning, managed to swop table with a lady as I wanted a table with a wall behind to display my buntings. Who would have known that you have to ASK for a table with a wall behind if you want one??? Well, next time I know.

I set up my stuff and lucky me this market was a 1 minute car drive from my home as I had to go back and grab some stuff that I had forgotten to bring. I was all set at 10 when the doors opened for the public. I soon realized I had to change my display though as I felt like I was hiding behind all my stuff... So a change things over a couple of more times to find the right balance of stacked pillows and more open spaces on the table. It is not so easy to make a pretty stand... Next time I think I will make some things a bit different... Any advice is welcome! :D

I spread out some of my business cards on the table and that was a great thing to do. Even if people didn't buy anything they did take my cards. :D I had also printed out some flyers with pictures of my stuff and information about my next market in November to give with everyone buying something or just stopping for a chat. Promote, promote, promote.

I am the worst sales girl ever! I really hate it. The chit chat thing. It is just not me. But I really had to face my fear this day and just do it. In French that is!!! Yes, you heard me right. My French is not what it should be after living here for almost 6 years now but hey, I did it. They understood me. We conversed. We really did me and some very nice people that came to my stand.

This market was a market for farmer's. No one did very well, only the local honey producer's stand, the cookie and sweet stand and a stand with local produced baskets. The rest of us kind of paid for our tables. Some even left early...

A market like this is more of a social event. In a small village like mine with about 1900 people living here, they come to this event to chat and drink beer and wine. And have platter of food. So I am not beating myself up. I actually had a great time. And now I have done it. I know what to do next time. The fear and the nerves are maybe not all gone but hardly there like before. So to round this up, here comes my tips list for doing a market:

♥ Get there early.
♥ Bring pins, security pins, tape for displaying things. Pens, paper, notebook.
♥ If you take custom orders, bring a receipt pad where you can give one copy for the costumer and one copy for you to remember the order.
♥ Bring snack and drinks.
♥ Bring change, bills and coins.
♥ Write down everything you have brought to the market in a Market Note Book, products and amounts.
♥ Price your items. Use stickers, labels or small folded cards to put on your table.
♥ Spread your business cards on the table for people to pick when they walk by.
♥ Bring small projects to finish at the market. I brought pin cushions to stuff, seal and sew. Customers get curious and stop to watch what you are doing.
♥ Don't just sit at the table, stand up. Fold something. Shake a blanket or puff up a bag to draw attention.
♥ Wear something you have made. I wore my zig-zag scarf and got tons of attention for it. Maybe I should have made a bunch to sell? Hmmm...
♥ Make sure you have a good mix of cheap and more pricy items.
♥ Sell supplies if you have. I would for sure buy Fat Quarter's from someone or nice yarn, embroidery kits or whatever as I am a creative person and might not necessarily by something that I can make myself. But supplies - ALWAYS!
♥ Smile!
♥ Be brave!
♥ Talk!
♥ Bring a friend or a daughter (like me) to keep you company if possible. I tough my daughter Nelly to paper piece hexagons on our market day!!! :D ♥♥♥
♥ Say hello, but don't get on the customer's throat...
♥ Pack your car the day before.
♥ Check what you have a few days before to make sure you have enough. If not you will have enough time to make some more things.
♥ Don't stress about making "Just one more thing..." the day before. You can live without that item. Chill out. Put your feet up and watch a movie before going to bed early.

Well, I am sure I will come up with more stuff but this is all for now. I am tired. My studio is a disaster. Today I have been outside ALL afternoon in the garden. Disconnecting a bit with the hectic making that has been going on the last few weeks. Recharging for the next market. Coming up with new ideas. Thanks all for all your support. I couldn't have done this without you. Next time I will talk about potatoes. :D



  1. Well done it looks like you have learnt a lot and your stall looked so pretty. Good luck for the next one sarah x

  2. Hi Annette
    Your creations are all beautiful. Thank for all the tips about what to do.

  3. Annette, my heart sank for you when I read your first sentence and thank you for being so honest, but you came out of it so positively! You continue to be an inspiration!
    If it helps, I often go to farmer's markets and occasionally there's a stall with some really interesting stuff that I want to buy but haven't budgeted for, so, I often leave disappointed. BUT, I always go back the next time with some saved pennies and hope that the stall is there a second time round. It's also around this time of year that I start thinking about Christmas presents and if your lovely creations are in people's minds they will come back to you.
    I do hope it works out!

  4. Everything looks beautiful! I wish I could come for a quick visit to the next market!!!

  5. I think everything looks fabulous and I would have bought one of everything. Glad you learned a lot and are ready for the next time.

  6. Everything looks so beautiful! Getting ready for a market is hectic, and I just did my first one last month. It was fun, but you can definitely burn out. Wishing you a lovely week! xo Heather

  7. I love your first stand!!! gorgeous!!! I know how difficult it is to find the right balance between what you want to prepare for the sale and what people really want to's difficult, indeed! I've done many bazaars (Italy, Egypt and now Indonesia!!), but it seems still hard to guess what to bring there!!! That's why I'm ready to try to sell on line: less stressful!!! We'll see...
    xxx Alessandra

  8. Hi Annette, your stall is really attractive :) and you had done a great hard work for the day. The sales, as you said, didn't go far because of the interests of the visitors; they were more into edible items than decorative. But, you have come up with a good todo list and is very much helpful for those who are in business. I am not into business, but I appreciate from my heart that you have set in a positive feeling even if you might have felt a bit low at the sales figures.

    I am still a learner, but would like to suggest one more addition to your list which is similar to custom order. Sometimes people look for some specific thing which in general is not a product offered in common. You may want to keep a feedback or suggestion form or just a demand/survey form so that they can tell or write the things they are looking for. But the form should be very simple, people don't like filling forms :) also, when I go to any craft Market, sometimes I don't have anything on my list to buy but go just for warming my eyes, in such cases people indulge in buying knick-knacks which are affordable too.

    Wish you the best for your next event!:)


  9. A great list! it seems like you know it all! It´s funny but making a beautiful selling table is really not so easy, specially when you have lot´s of colorful things to sell. Your´s looks great.

    My next market is in December and it´s outdoors! I just wonder how cold it will be here in Finland and what to wear!

    Have a nice week! Relax for a while!

  10. Maybe they just didn't know what to choose all looked so attractive! You have learned so many good lessons from this time, I'm sure things will go from strength to strength for you.

  11. The stall looked great Annette and it sounds like it was a positive experience, well done! Nice to have your daughter with you. I'm sure will sell more in the right place. Have a good relax now, Heather x

  12. Wauw! You're table looked very pretty. I love reading you're last few post about the market. I remember the first market I went to. I did not sell one thing. That was six years ago. Don't give up. Just find different markets to go to. I rather drive an hour to sell at a market that works for me. Than don't sell at a market close by. Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Dear Neele,
      Good to see you around. I hope you made something beautiful out of those squares you won last year.:D
      I am totally with you on this one. I knew that this would be a farmer's market, that the audience probably wasn't my cup of tea but for a first time it was perfect for me. If I drive another 30-40 minutes closer to the lake and the big cities where ex-pats and business people live it will be a totally different story. So I keep my head up high. Thanks for popping in.

  13. Hallo Annette!
    Well done and your items look all really pretty! I think the best is to take a lot of pictures of the stand and then look at it later to find out what you want to change with the display. Take pitures also from a little distance to the table and include the neighbour stands, as well, to find out how it matches with them. Don`t overload the stand.
    But you have found out somany things yourself I am sure you will make it yourself! Good luck!
    Greetings, Ulrike from Bavaria

  14. Wow! Your stall looked amazing- it's a pity things didn't go your way but that's the luck of farmers markets I think! Your wares were gorgeous :)

    *waves hello* from a new follower, Hazel x

  15. What wonderful wonderful sewing works! The fabrics are so nice and bright. Thank you also for your very good advices for doing a market. Nicole

  16. Vilka härliga bilder. SEr helt fantastiskt ut med allt fint och härliga tyger. :)

  17. Det ser fantastiskt ut! Det är jättesvårt med marknader, men jag tycker du gjorde det bra! Det är som julmarknaderna här hemma, folk bara tittar och har inga kontanter med sig... Till slut hittar man marknaden med rätt besökare. Kram till dig! Sen kan den där kvalitetstiden med dottern vara ganska mycket värd också.

  18. Well done Annette, you've made a start! You've obviously learnt a lot from your first fair, onwards and upwards! You make some great things, I'm sure you will build up a business, just takes time! Ada :)

  19. Anonymous said...
    Hi Annette - I wish you so much luck with your next market and hope it's more suitable for your lovely things. Your photographs are quite beautiful as they show little capsules of time where you can relax and enjoy gorgeously made things. I wonder, if you used some clever staging at your stall it might help the buyers imagine how items would look in their own home; a lovely chair with a quilt casually thrown over the back and a lovely soft pillow to sink into, the bunting hanging from a couple of poles at the front of your stall, your sewing machine with the pin cushions around it etc. Your extra stock can be kept at the back of the stall.
    I hope you don't mind me suggesting all of this. I'm quite in awe of your blog and your talent, so would not wish to tell you stuff you already know.
    I hope it goes really well and I look forward to hearing more!

  20. Hi Annette, your stall looked gorgeous! Everything looks so pretty and cheerful, and the fact that stuff didnt sell like hot cakes is purely that it is probably not the right market for your wares.
    I have found in the past that its all about being where the right kind of buyers for your stuff go - Ive had fairs where I couldnt keep up with the sales and was in a total daze, and then others where you cover your stall costs and a bit more only.
    Keep looking around for the right ones, and good luck!
    Gill xx

  21. It is always good to be around your community. By giving out your business cards, you have made many contacts. You also spent a great day with your daughter, which is a great lesson in business practices for her. People have to be careful with what they budget for, and in a small population, they may not want others to see what they are buying. Maybe you will get some sells later, from the business cards and you being at the craft fair. Good Luck!! Keep your beautiful & creative mind moving forward & things will fall into place. I think the fact that people commented on your scarf, is an indicator to have some ready at the fall market, if you do it!! Being close to home was good for a first run through of setting up your display. It will get better with each show. Having supplies seemed to work well. Maybe little made up kits would sell, like you mentioned!!


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