Monday, 14 June 2010

How was it for you?!

Firstly, thank you all for all your kind words and wonderful comments.  If the market had been based on those alone I would have sold out twice over!!!!  But in reality things were a little bit different!  Well to be honest they were very different.

It was very slow and I nowhere near covered the cost of the stall - those are the cold hard facts!  So have I learnt anything from it?  Was there any good to come out of it?  Well I think so.

"Mummy, do I look my best?"

The best thing was that Maia had a ball and she sold lots of her things!  Some of the other stallholders had their homeschooled children with them and they all had a wonderful time playing together.

Maia's stall and her wares!

A mixed ramlbing of my thoughts follows below:

It took a lot more time to get everything together than I thought.  If I wasn't actually sewing I was thinking about it and all the things I had to do.  I realised how much it took me away from my family mentally even though I was there physically.

Familiarity breeds contempt!  Making one of an item is totally different to making several!  By the time I had made a few of an item I didn't really like it anymore.

You become very familiar with what you are making and think that everyone else will be too.  Of course they are not and I think I should have labelled some of the things to say what they were!!!  However, I was totally taken back by the following conversation between an older lady who approached the stall and picked up one of the rabbits:

Lady: "What are these?"

Me: "They are toy rabbits"

Lady: "Well, what do you do with them?"

Me: "Well ....... you play with them!"

When I recounted this conversation over tea, Maia looked at me and said "Why didn't you tell her you play with them!!!"  Thank goodness for children!

Because it was a 3 day market and quiet expensive to get a stall I checked it out last year.  I went to both the June and November ones and they were BUSY.  I remember thinking how good it was that I hadn't taken the girls because it was so busy - let alone a buggy.  This year was quiet, quiet, quiet.  The ladies around me had done the market before and said it was quiet - in fact one of the stallholders said it was the quietest market in the 10 years he'd been doing it.  So what can you do?

I met some lovely people and they all local too!  One of them gave me a contact for a shop in Palmerston North so I will talk with them later this week.

Maybe you'd like to check them out:

Rachel at hummingbird

Carmen at SmashPalace

Francine at Cocobaby

The ladies who seemed most interested in what I was selling were all sewers!!!  So of course they weren't going to buy something from me when they could make it themselves!

People inspected your clothes with intense scrutiny.  I don't really mind this because I'm very proud of how I make things and the insides look almost as good as the outsides however, do they do this in a shop?!  I know I do and when you look are things mass produced in China the insides are awful, but I'm sure most people don't and yet they inspect them when at a market.

I didn't enjoy being behind a market stall!!  I also found it very hard to engage in the necessary small talk.  It might have been different if it had been busy and there was a constant flow of people.  I don't like it when stallholders pounce on me so I was very aware of that.  I also think that with the things I was selling someone either will like it or not you can't sell it to them as it were.  Does that make sense?  One of the stalls nearby was selling drink syrups and dips so of course they had an opener "Can I tempt you with a taste?" but you can't really do that with fabric!

Where does that leave me now?  Maybe felt or etsy or maybe just have swaps.  I see so many lovely things in blogland that maybe I should ask if people would like to swap (in fact I have one going with the lovely Nova at the moment) so maybe that's the way to go.

So now I have some time for me, for Craig, for the children, for cooking, for baking (well actually I did that already yesterday Banana and Choc Chip muffins and pear crumble - yummmmm!).  Oh and for some crochet because I've been seeing some lovely things on our others people's creative spaces. xx


Heart Felt said...

Well done for giving it a go....I've never been brave enough myself. You obviously learned a lot and I'm glad Maia had a great day. Your stall looked fantastic. xx

Nova said...

Oh Abi, so much effort but good on you for looking at the bright side also and yay that Maia had a ball :)
Your stall looked so good and you can pride yourself in that fact.
Go the swaps i say! Your goodies are awesome and I for one am super excited about our swap, I have your pincushion wrapped and ready to ship, hoping to get to the post in the next couple of days

Lola Nova said...

It must be frustrating to have done all that work and not break even. Your stall looks fantastic though!
I'd say give etsy or another site like Madeit a try. And of course swaps (which I have sworn off of for a while due to time issues).
I for one, look on the inside of everything, my mother raised me that way and also I sew, so I'm always interested in how things are made. Your stuff looks to be very well made indeed. How odd that someone should ask what a bunny was for. :)
Don't get too discouraged, there may be something 'round the bend that is a perfect fit for you.

Claire Gale said...

i know how you feel abi:( i did my first ever farmers market a couple of weeks ago and did not sell a single sausage (so to speak)!!! my advice: stick to selling online. maybe do the odd inexpensive market in the summer for fun and networking. did you give out many contact detail cards, cos i think people are more likely to contact you after seeing your things in a market when they actually have a present to buy for someone. just a thought x

Anonymous said...

I enjoy doing fairs even though my sales are way down lately but I don't know if I would like it at all if I had kids. It takes months of solid work for one day where people often make rude comments about your stuff - and not at all discretely. And how hard is it to recognise a rabbit? People kept thinking mine were squirrels last time. Good on you for giving it a go though. You never know until you try it.

Neetz said...

Hi Abi, Im new to your blog but I have to say....I think your stall looked fab! If I had have been there I totally would have enjoyed looking through your wares and probably buying also!! I think I would have purchased some of Maia's wares also they looked great!
All the best, Juanita. :)

Crafty Mermaid said...

Hi there, I just found your colourful site by typing in colourful, beautiful crochet into google and stumbled across your site. So glad I did as you have some great ideas. Sorry to hear the market didn't go well. I'd love to try it one of these days but the thoughts of repeating everything seems painful! Good luck with Etsy!