Sunday, January 23, 2011

Calling on Market Stall Holders

I really want to get around to having a market stall this year.  Last year I think my excuse was the baby (isn't that a good excuse for everything?), but this year with my maternity pay running out I really should find a way to fund my hobby.

My questions to those of you who do market stalls are many.  Maybe you can give me some pointers on how to start out?  I'm aiming to do one closer to the end of the year, maybe between September and Christmas.  The little one will be 12 months old by then, which is a nice milestone, and I wont feel as guilty about leaving dad to look after her all day, or they both might enjoy being at the market for a while.  Also leading up to Christmas is a good time for markets I guess.  Lots of people are on the lookout for things to buy.

So here goes...
What/where was your first market?  Was it a specific craft market, or more like a trash and treasure which included craft items?  Was it one where you just booked a space and turned up on the day, or one of these ones where you have to submit photos of your products and you can't sell anything unless it's approved by the organisers?

How did you decide what items to sell?  Did you make stuff you liked and hoped other people liked it, or did you do research at that market (or others) beforehand to see what else was for sale and what people were buying?

How much stuff did you take?  Had you made a pile of stock beforehand and hoped that it sold?  What did you do with the items if it didn't sell?  Or did you only make a small selection of items and risk them selling out?

How did you set up your stand?  Did you just have a trestle table to start with, or did you get some nifty display items early on? I know most of you have now developed/collected display boxes etc over time, but what did you have at the beginning?

Did you have anything else on your stand other than products?  eg fliers, catalogues, photos of work, a place for people to join a mailing list.

What else can you tell me about your first (or first few) market stalls?  How did it go, was it sucessful?  What would you have changed about it with the knowledge you have now?

I'd really like to make a start on planning this and make it a real goal for the year rather than just an idle wish but I have so many questions in my head I don't know where to start!


  1. Margaret will tell you the same as what I'm about to!

    Made N Thornbury is the ideal market for a first-time stallholder. The stall fee is low and they provide a table. It's run by Thornbury Women's Neighbourhood House, which sometimes also runs workshops for first-time stallholders. The organisers give preference to new stallholders over people who do a lot of different markets.

    It has a very supportive community feel and both the organisers and other stallholders are very willing to lend you stuff you need or give last-minute advice. There's no sense of competitiveness and no-one minds if you're selling the same kind of stuff as someone else.

    The market has a dedicated following and there's always a lot of craft fans visiting who are keen to meet new stallholders and talk about what you're making. It's an enjoyable pressure-free day.



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