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 Row Of Pretty Pollies
You’re probably aware of stall holders having a “patter”, you know, when blokes with fruit and veg yell a couple of different phrases on repeat (“naaaarners phaundabunch”) I’ve found it’s not so different with designer makers selling at events, although thankfully we tend not to bellow them across the venue we’re selling in.
I have a couple of stock phrases, varied to suit how I’ve gauged the browsing potential customer, and also a handful of ready small jokes tied into them. “Do feel free to pick things up to have a look rather than bending over. Have you developed “craft fair browser’s back” yet?”. This also means that part of me breaking the ice with nearby stall holders is to josh about how often they’ll hear me repeat the same things, and an apology in advance that they’ll get fed up of it.
This opening chat, at a smaller church hall fair, led to my older adjoining stall holder confessing she’d only done a handful of events with her new business, and she was never quite sure how to open a conversation with people looking at her jewellery. After a bit of back and forth natter, she decided to tell people that her jewellery is all sterling silver, that she does make it all herself in her own studio, and what influenced a couple of the designs.
As the morning wore on, I’m chirping at people “Do pick things up…” and she’s increasingly confident to chip at people “If you like that, it’s inspired by…”. Eventually, the knitwear lady next to her makes a joke about us both being so chatty, although it does seem to get people to stop, look and buy. So she breaks out of her knitting reverie, starts to look people in the eye, and tell them “It’s all natural wool, no acrylic, have a feel of this…”
I have no idea how the stall holders opposite us survived the final couple of hours of that event, but I for one know that our little row of peeping and chittering phrases was practically in my dreams that night!
Look out for Part Two of Tales From The Table next month.
Tales from the table are written and illustrated for Creative Crafting by Lisa Ward from Perfidious Jewellery