I Love Diary - Market Do's and Don'ts.

I've been selling at markets for years now and I get asked questions all the time about how to book them and where to start so I've decided to write a diary about all the crafty things I get up to. Here's my first entry -
Market Do's and Don'ts.

Last weekend I had a stall at The Vintage Market at M shed in Bristol where I live. It was a gorgeous day, sometimes when a market is indoors this can be a bad thing as people don't want to be shopping indoors but this event was great! It was really busy and there were some great sellers there. This is what my stall looked like, there's always room for improvement but here's some basic do's when you selling at a market.

Signage -
Sooooo important, you need to let people know who you are and what your selling. (This is also a lot to do with branding and I'll write another post about that.) I used to have a hand painted fabric sign but it's not always easy to hang things up so I use this fab chalk board on an easel. Its easy to move around and I can change the sign to suit the market, fab!

Hang your necklaces -
You can also place them on the table but customers like to get a sense of what the'll look like on and it's great for creating different heights for your stall. Creating different eye levels makes your stall look attractive, professional and interesting. Something I've leant over the years!
Top tip - You can easily add more height by simply turning different sized Tupperware upside down on your table and cover with your table cloth, instant height and easy to pack too!

Clear Pricing -
I'm not always on the ball with this one but people definately prefer to see the price of something than have to ask. This can be tricky if like me you sell tiny pieces but what you can do is group things together that are the same price, easy!

Mirror, mirror, on the stall! -
When I sell jewellery its VERY important to have a mirror available for customers to use. I use this small ornate mirror which I also use to hang jewellery on.
Top tip - Why not lay a large mirror on your table and place your jewellery on top!

Get ahead, dummy head -
If you sell hair accessories show them off on a dummy head, mines called Tabitha. She has pink hair so she stands out in a crowd and she fits in perfectly with my branding. Yay!

Business cards! -
NEVER FORGET! and you can never have too many. Now you can scatter them around your stall like I do, you can keep them neatly in a card stand or you can be creative and hang them on a line with mini pegs, attach them to balloons - whatever you can think of that will stand out.

Coffee, lots of it! -
Setting up for markets means waking up early so I find coffee is an essential. Take a flask or see if the venue has free warm drinks - some lovely markets do. And if its the merry Christmas season theres no problem with putting some mulled wine in your flask, hehe!

Do something different -
I LOVE a lucky dip, if I come across one I have to have a go so I made my own lucky dips for my stall. They hide pieces of fab jewellery and sweets and I have lots of fun wrapping everything. Its the little things that people will remember.
Top tip - why not play some music or use a bubble machine to draw customers in!

Ok, there's a few Do's (there's so many I may write another post about it!) and heres some don'ts for you.

Be late! -
There's nothing worse than rushing around early in the morning having not packed properly or know where your going or what to take. I have had my moments of lapse in the past but once done, trust me , you'll never do it again! Be prepared, get there early and have time to relax before you greet your lovely customers!

Don't Be Grumpy -
Its not always easy to be cheerful when selling. Some people are rude, straight up in your face rude. I've heard people say, "I could do that" or shout "how much" when they ask the price and it can get you down but just dust yourself off and remember that you can't please everyone. If they could do it then why don't they and anyway, they don't know what their talking about, HA!
Be happy, chatty and people will generally be the same back.
PS. This goes for how you act with other sellers too, always be friendly and chatty, you never know what talented people you'll meet!

Don't Not know your prices -
If you don't know how much things are then how will customers! Its hard and can take time to get your pricing right but make sure its good for you!

Don't Be unconfident -
This is a difficult one, when I first started if it wasn't for my husband forcing me to book my first stall I don't know if I'd be where I am today. I hear lots of crafters saying, "will people buy my work?", "is my work good enough?" well if you don't go for it you'll never know! Believe in your work and yourself and others will too!

I asked other crafters on twitter if they had any advice and this is what some lovelies tweeted:

@hi_street - I thick skin and a thick coat is generally needed! ;-)
- don't sit there reading a book would be my contribution ;-)
@ebarrettdesigns - do-plan your table layout in advance! Don't-arrive so late that you're setting up as customers arrive!

Right, I'm definately going to have to write more about this on another post soon! I hope this has been helpful and if you have any tips share them in a comment!

Here's some more pics from the market of my goodies on my stall, enjoy!


Happy Birthday to me! Hallo from Amsterdam!

Last week it was my birthday and to celebrate my hubby treated me to a trip to Amsterdam!
My Dutch friend Phil showed us around, it was great being with someone who knew all the best places to go. Phil lives in the Red light district and I had to take a pic of these colourful signs, although that place is creepy!
Amsterdam also has some amazing vintage shops if you walk down small alleys. I spotted this dress from outside, it looks so gorgeous!
I found this amazing fuchsia pink coat twined with the floral dress which had a matching petit coat! Sweet!
The Dutch palace.
And we stumbled across a fabulous shop called Kitsch Kitchen. I was in heaven!
It was full of my favourite things:
Tiny lampshades!
Retro toys!
Super kitsch stuff!
And a Barbie dress up station!
There's soooo many cute little boutiques there too.

Our fab friend Phil has a boat and picked us up from our hotel! You can just spot his boat coming under the bridge.
It was an amazing day so the boat trip so spectacular!
Our destination, a brewery in a windmill! Love it!
After a few beers it was time to head back on the boat for a night cruise.
It was just magical, sailing down the narrow canals and into the old harbour where we came across the old boat. The water was so still and we were the only ones on the water. Just beautiful!
My birthday pancake, it was sooooo good!
A few more Dutch beers.
And some birthday treats!
We had such a fab time!

We have to go back some time soon and I had a fabulous birthday!