Sunday, 28 October 2007

Market, Smarket

Well yesterday we did the market. And it didn't go as well as any of the stall holders would have liked. We set up between 9-10am, and then the public could come in from 10am till 5pm. To say it was slow and quiet at times would be accurate, and then a wave of 10 or so people would walk through the door. But I didn't make my first sale until just past 1pm, which was a bit disappointing (it was one of my shopper bags with a tree on the front) and all in all I only sold, 1 bag, 2 silk flower brooches, 1 doorstop and 1 scented lavender heart. And not one bought my husband's photos, although he did get a lot of nice comments (we both did). I think there were a number of problems, was it the time of year, people might not begearing up for Xmas shopping quite yet (in a few weeks time, I'm sure people are more motivated to spend money, the number of people who actually came into the market hall, I thought was dismally low, compared to when I visited it 6 months ago, and lastly my products,clearly were not hitting the mark, for either people's taste or maybe they considered them too pricey?

All I can say in defence of my prices (which I din't think were crazy, was that for the time taken to make each thing, I have to pay myself a wage - which on most products was probably minimum wage or below - what a joke)

The lessons I have learned are to value homemade products accordingly, no one can compete in the UK with a sweatshop in China, Taiwan or wherever big companies get their gear made. Also be sure that the market is more established (this being a new market, that was no 3 on a quarterly basis, is not enough to establish it, although from next year it will be monthly). And I do believe the organiser has to take some heat, as my husband thought that the stalls outside, selling second hand furniture and clothing, made it look like a flea market. When all the stalls inside, were selling beautiful handmade goods (ceramincs, lampshades, cushions, leather bags etc). Plus, more advertising needs to be around for it, posters etc.

So going forward I'm not sure I'd do another market again, or I'd have to think about the time of year etc etc. I did think being quite close to Xmas, it could have been good.

However on the upside, I did meet some great people, notably Sally Elford, who did gorgeous handmade screen prints and was a lovely person to boot!

I may investigate etsy!!! As I do enjoy making things and although I can't earn a lot of money doing this, I would like to be able to carry on and do it!

Anyway, my next project, is another lovely handbag, from Bend the Rules Sewing (Although I did pack my sewng machine away last night!!) and I intend to write up a doorstop tutorial.


MrsB said...

Hi Claire, sorry to here that your market stall didn't go as planned, thats really bad about not many people turning it, maybe it wasn't advertised very well, have you ever tried doing one in london? Don't give up hun, the things you make are amazing!

Becky Wolf said...

Hi Claire

While I remember, I was at a toddler group this week and there were a couple of craft stalls hoping to attract some buyers in the run up to Christmas. One lady was selling doorstops much like yours (but the fabrics were very traditional) and they were selling at £3.50 for pyramid ones or £6.00 for the cubes! Personally, I don't see how she could have made a profit - it seems extremely cheap. But thought I'd pass it on as it might help you to gauge prices for future stalls? Hope this helps!

craftyclaire said...

she is making a LOSS. There is NO WAY she is making any type of profit. They took me between 1.5-2hrs to make, plus material etc. The rice alone costs £1 odd! So hers are a steal, if you're going to buy them!!!