At the beginning of May I set up shop at the Lowell Farm Market for their "I Heart Mom" event. And it was a blast!(picture courtesy of The Farm Market's Facebook page)
This marked my first time ever selling handmade items at a market. Intimidating and terrifying, for sure. But also a very fun experience. My intention wasn't to sell a ton, but to learn as much as possible. Having one event under my belt, I feel more prepared and excited to sign up for more in the future.
So here's how it went. I registered for the event pretty late and only gave myself a few weeks to pull things together. Not the best idea, but I pulled through. It meant lots of early mornings and late nights at the sewing table. But in the end I felt totally prepared to take on the challenge.
The market is held every Sunday inside an old renovated mill building. They had a great write-up here. The venue itself is gorgeous and worth a walk through. It's like you've stumbled upon some little secret village lined with vintage and handmade shops, a coffee shop, and even an old restored movie theater.
Tables and chairs were provided, so I only had to worry about bringing my goods and any display items. I brought along quite the crew for support: husband, baby, and suegra (aka my mom). They were extremely helpful with unloading, setting up, and covering my table during quick bathroom breaks. Plus Amaia had a blast dancing to the live music, watching all the people, and taking numerous walks around the market.
Now I'm certainly not an expert, but here are some tips that I'll be taking along with me to my next market in June:
- Be prepared. Make a list of everything you need beforehand and pack up the car the night before.
- Make it a team effort. Recruit a family member or friend especially for your first market.
- Bring drinks & snacks. You'll be on your feet for several hours, so you don't want to be thirsty & hungry the whole time.
- Don't get discouraged or offended if buyers don't like your items or your price. Everyone has different opinions.
- Weather can impact the crowd's turnout.
- Talk to other vendors! Get to know them, learn about their products, and ask for tips! I learned a lot from simply introducing myself and asking how others got started. Plus you might need them to cover you during a quick break :)
- Stand up and interact with your customers. Hiding behind your display scrolling through your phone doesn't give out an inviting feel
- Make sure to display your items in a visually appealing way. You know your work is awesome, so make sure market goers can see that too!
- Be proud of what you've made and be sure you know your product.
- Make sure you have FUN! Markets are supposed to be laid back and community focused, so enjoy your time!