Since having a market stall @ the design exchange, I’ve been rethinking my strategy and identity for what I do to forth sell at markets. I’ve been in a ‘somewhat’ hibernation when it comes to making things – not really sure where to go with it, and decided to set up an online shop via Etsy.
However, as Christmas time was starting to approach (and warmer weather) I applied for a couple of markets I knew of. Two weeks before the day of the market, I found out that I was accepted into the Miners Rest market, thus it was a bit of a rush to get things made even though I had bits and pieces already done.
My main focus for this market was to make sure that my stall appearance was more visually pleasing to the eye. I had changed/created an identity for my stall “Firebird Studios”, thus I was able to base my visual appearance from this.
What I lacked last time was having levels for my products to be displayed on. Luckily my boyfriend is absolutely amazing and fairly handy with making things, so when I showed him something like what I was after but how I couldn’t find the exact one to fold up in my car, he said he could make one for me! AMAZING!!! Hence, he made me the ladder shelf for me. 🙂
When it comes to the products, I found from last time that people don’t really want to buy something that is so fragile and disposable (like paper) and even though my pricing is basically slave labor compared to the time I’ve put into it, people still didn’t really think it was worth it. Which is fair enough. Thus, I wanted to do/experiment with products that were more solid. I really adore Japanese paper and its versatility, thus I used some to decorate glass tea light candle holders. Also decorated some wooden trinket boxes. Simply just experimenting with things.
One the night of the market (it was a twilight market) I found that I did not go so well from a business perspective. I was very much hoping to sell more items than I did (so mum wouldn’t get annoyed with it taking up room in the house.) After paying $20 for the stall, I made less than $10…. so for all the effort put into it, I felt really down. But it’s all in the experimenting.
As much as I like to do origami, I know that I’m going to have to not create as many objects to sell in the future; the time put in compared to what I can sell it for it just energy consuming at the best of times. There are so many ideas I have floating around in my mind, but I’d need to experiment with them, and that doesn’t mean that they will work.
One element that I have noticed is that when applying for stalls, they really want to focus on the hand made objects and how much of ‘your artistry’ has gone into it. I do the origami to get away from doing design work, but I knew that gradually I would bring my design skills into it – but that might have to be sooner than what I thought.
I think selling also depends on the audience. Miners Rest is a few kms out of the cbd area – in fact, even though it is a part of Ballarat, know one in town knows where it is. So the people who came where generally the people who live out there who distinguish that what we do is too expensive. That was the impression that I got and even heard from someone. So, the closer to a cbd area, the more likely people will buy.
My next market as of this moment will be in 5 weeks time at Creswick – which attracts a lot of people from Melbourne (=money spenders). But this was a good experience nonetheless and got me moving into creating signage for my stall which I would have been rushing around with. Still need to fix up things – there are always ways to improve.
I would very much like to after a few market stalls create a blog post about how importance display is for a market stall, and go through the experience I’ve had. But first, need to go to the markets.
Happy making everyone!