I had my first stall at a local market in South Norwood at the weekend.
It was so great meeting local people and getting a gauge of which of my designs are the most popular in real life!
I thought I would share my tips for first time market traders!
1. Think about stock storage.
When I arrived on the rather rainy Saturday I realised that I had put all of my stock and miscellaneous items into cardboard boxes and the floor was wet from the rain before the gazebos had been erected. I noticed that the more seasoned market stall holders had brought plastic storage boxes, I will definitely be investing in some of these for next time!
2. Plan your stall layout.
In order to save a few pennies I had opted to bring my own table rather than rent one from the market. I hadn't factored in how much smaller my table was than the other traders! When I unpacked everything it was all rather squashed and I didn't have room for my light box!
3. Wrap up Warm.
This is a fairly obvious one for the winter months but you'd be surprised how cold you get when you aren't moving around very much. Even though I had layered up, by the time the market was drawing to a close I couldn't wait to get into my car and crank up the heaters!
4. A chair is your friend.
I was so please I had brought a camping chair so that I could have a little rest during the quieter periods. 10-4 is a long time to stand up if you aren't used to being on your feet all day!
5. Have flyers or business cards on your stall.
I hadn't thought about the fact that some people would want to look and maybe buy later! I didn't have anything readily available with my website or instagram details so if people asked I was having to hastily scribble down my website address. I noticed that other stalls had business cards or flyers for customers to pick up and I definitely think I would do this next time.
6. Don't be afraid to attract attention
My stall was opposite a brilliant company called Book Love
who sell multicultural books online and at Markets around London. They also donate books to schools. I feel like I learnt a lot from watching them operate, their stall was so eye catching with fabric drapes amongst the gazebo, they had music playing and they stood out on the path asking people 'would you like to look at our books' and most people did! They then took pictures of all of their customers (with permission) holding their purchases in front of the stall.
This has given me an idea of what to do next month...watch this space!