So I’ve had a really busy July. I’m sure friends and family think my *job* is an easy ride. During the week I sit and watch telly and at the weekend I sit behind my stall while people throw money at me and grab my items, whispering ‘my precious’. LMAO, if only *snort*!
My normal routine starts at the beginning of the month that the stall is booked, first up – do a stock check. That means going through all my items, checking that what I have on the computer is the same as what items I have in real life. Anything that is missing I make a note of, I also make a note of the condition of the item, ie does it need cleaning, are chains knotted, are there two earrings to every pair etc. From there I can write my to do list.
First thing to do is to make sure that any gaps in my stock are filled so I write a ‘make’ list of stock items that I think I will need to make before the stall. I now have to check what raw materials I have and make another list – this time one for ordering from the materials supplier. If I have all the materials in I can get started straight away with the making if not, it’s a roulette/waiting game with the post man.
When that job is underway or if I’m lucky enough finished (hopefully at the beginning of the week that the stall is being held), I get to work on cleaning up any pieces that need it, removing finger prints and generally make sure everything is displayed to it’s best advantage.
Next up is to check my displays for marks and to clean/iron my table cloth … ugh, I hate ironing – this job is my least fav! About once every 3 – 4 months I also sand and paint my displays to make sure they look fresh and, well, white. White displays look fab, but they get dirty easy too.
The day before my stall I make sure that everything is in the boxes that I need to take with me – cash box, card machine (freshly charged), table cloth, boxes, items to sell, displays …. I normally write another list for this one! All the above is going on whilst completing custom orders, working on new work, designing, sketching, account keeping, admining, answering queries, social mediating, blogging, eating and living outside of my business …
On the morning of my stall I have to get up super early (a huge thing for me, I hate detest and despise early mornings), make sure that I look normal and presentable and not like an extra from a low budget zombie flic, pack the car up and drive to my destination. This can be anything from 20 mins up the road to an hour and a half. Set up at the venue and wait. No matter how crappy/annoyed/excited/tearful I’m feeling I smile and pretend I’m walking on air! I talk to people who hopefully become customers. Sometimes it’s a bad day and not many people want to buy but if I’m miserable it won’t make them come back again when they are ready to buy.
I have good days and bad days but I do it all because I love making and there is only so many things one person can have. I also love talking to people, finding out what their day is like, what they are shopping for etc. It is all hard work but it’s definitely the most fun I will ever get out of a job – apart from the ironing, never the ironing!
So the July stalls had an extra element of fun. Mother Nature decided to join the party and see what she could throw at us poor stall holders. Two of the fairs were new to me events, both beautiful venue’s.
First up was Artisans at the Wildflower Centre in Huyton, Liverpool. A lovely market that seemed like it would normally be a lot of fun. On the weekend I was there they were having their annual scarecrow competition. The other stall holders were lovely, unfortunately there was a deluge of rain that Noah dusting off the ark. The customers did put on a brave face though and tried to browse through the rain 🙂
Second fair of the month was a regular event for me, the lovely Heartfelt Art & Craft fair. This really is a lovely, warm and welcoming fair in the village of Halkyn. There are lots of local visitors who really appreciate handmade items.
The final fair of the month was Artisans at Croxteth Hall, Liverpool. The heritage building that this fair was held at is absolutely stunning! I would love to visit again, as a visitor just to have a good wander around. There were lots of visitors and lovely stall holders to keep me entertained. I even sampled an iced spicy chai latte from Sarah of Lady Liver Tea’s. This lady is a tea-genius! She can take the flavour of cakes and make them into tea, with no calories!
I think my most favourite thing about this market was all the four legged friends that were wandering around. I got to make a fuss of so many ‘browsing customers’ 🙂
That’s it for me for this month. My next markets aren’t booked until September so I’ll post an update nearer the time!