You get to see a lot of things from behind a trader’s table at makers’ markets and craft fairs, and meet quite the range of people! Lisa has been selling at a variety of events since she was a teenager, and some of her tales are cautionary, some simply amusing, but all of them, honestly are true.
A Crying Shame
The flyers had been handed out, the posters up, social media had been plastered with updates and all of the what’s on guides were informed… Yet it was one of those craft fairs where no one comes. It’s always a strain working at an event like this, but here I saw the pinnacle of poor form when a stallholder decided that enough was enough.
We’d reached the point a couple of hours in where the event organiser had been round to let us know that she now had helpers on the nearby streets, trying to entice people with flyers. And then, a raised voice, and every head swivelling. To one end of the room the event organiser was being addressed by a stallholder, a chap who had packed up and was going to leave hours early, but not before having his say.
Now, there are ways to make the most of a quiet event. The smart stallholders had all been networking, chatting about events to give a miss or to try and get into. When there had been customers we’d been enticing them to taste this, feel that, try that on… Mr Unhappy had sat with his eyes on his phone, barely even looking at passing customers. We’d tried talking to him, but his response being limited to handing out a business card made his opinion of networking clear.
He could simply have been wholly uncomfortable with social situations, his discomfort making him come across as unapproachable. That benefit of the doubt vanished when he decided to publicly list the failings of the event, the failings of the organiser, his dissatisfaction with the whole thing, at increasing volume. By the time shocked stallholders realised what was going on, and had the momentary mental struggle of “Do I intervene?” he’d blasted back to his stall, picked up his boxes and stormed out.
Word passed round that the organiser had had a brief cry, and was ok now, thank you. She’d be contacting him the following day about his behaviour and future events. Word also passed round that this chap would find himself quietly mentioned to every event organiser that every stall holder knew. Because if you’re going to make one of the creative community cry, be prepared for the maker mafia to see you buried at the bottom of the list for handing out stalls!
Look out for Part Three of Tales From The Table next month.
Did you miss part one? Find it HERE
Tales from the table are written and illustrated for Creative Crafting by Lisa Ward from Perfidious Jewellery