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.
Planning, Preparation, and Panic.
Going to your first event as a stallholder is usually a little nerve wracking. But imagine how much more of an emotional roller coaster it is to arrive, and realise you probably needed to bring more than just stock, a price list and a float!
There’s a lot of advice out there for first time stallholders, from Pinterest boards packed with stall layout ideas, to lists handily summarising what you’ll want to take on the day. It can be a bit bewildering… You need to decide to label individually, or have a price list? Display on rustic wooden shelves, or crisp acrylic displays?
Let us drop back a few years to a small makers market, and a chap entering with good cheer and a tangible tinge of nerves. With most of us already set up, he unpacked his t-shirts, and began to chat with a couple of friendly faces, explaining it was his first event. Then, he started to properly look at the other stalls…
“Er, I didn’t know I’d need a tablecloth!” T-shirt chap asked us how much difference it makes, and consensus was: Your work still looks good! You can get one for next time! “I didn’t think about my price list, it would look better in a frame than just a sheet of paper on the table…” Stallholder consensus again was: You can pick up a frame before your next event, you can even match it to your table cloth! T-shirt chap starts to panic a little, “You’ve got bags? Oh… I haven’t got anything, how rubbish will it be just handing people a t-shirt to carry?!…”
Being smart, t-shirt chap recognised his fellow stallholders were trying to keep him relaxed, but that he had definitely made some very basic mistakes. As fortune had it, we were across the road from a shopping centre, and ten minutes from opening to customers, so he made the decision to dash off and upgrade his stall.
Look out for Part Five of Tales From The Table.
Tales from the table are written and illustrated for Creative Crafting by Lisa Ward from Perfidious Jewellery