Saturday, December 29, 2007

Twilight Market

Gee, it's been a week since my Market day. Let's see.

It was cloudy all day and I wondered if it would rain, but alas, the weather improved over the evening! It was almost cold, so I secretly hoped it might contribute to sales, but no luck there. People who had stalls the previous week said there were far fewer people out, and whereas on the first week people came out specifically to see the Market, on Week Two, which coincided with the last day of work before Christmas or for the year, people were on their way to or from somewhere else.

Megg Hewlett warned me her bags don't do well at market-style situations, so I went there ready not to sell much, so I wasn't disappointed. I think my initial plan to have little, inexpensive items might have worked, so people can just pick them up mementos or stocking stuffers, but I'm not sure if I want to put efforts into into developing a new "product"; making tiny purses and Christmas ornaments with swatches seem the most sensible if I were to do this again. On the other hand, even stalls with hand-printed cards or small paintings weren't selling much on that particular evening, either, so I'm not sure how much the extra work would have paid off. I did sell one piece to my dear friend Marj.

It was a jolly good evening for catching up with friends, however, and making new ones, especially after a busy, non-social year. It was great that some friends, who knew I weave but had never seen anything of mine, to see and feel my scarves. For this alone, I might consider doing it again next summer. And then there was a good local band, Freewheelin', playing almost in front of me, and that was a big bonus.

Market stalls are a lot of work, not just preparing the non-weaving part, but installing and displaying. I tried to go for the messy, casual look, so people will feel free to pick up an item and feel it or try it on, (and they did), and if you came from the right of the stall, it looked inviting, but if you approached me from my left, my stall looked like I was cleaning the attic closet, so there is definitely room for improvement. I also wanted to create "depth" (can't think of another word...) so my friends can come in and sit and talk, but as it is we ended up standing and talking towards the front of the stall, partially because it was dark under the tent, so I think I'll change the arrangements. I have another go on January 18th.

Sculptor/jewelery maker Mike Ward and I talked about how artists in Nelson can collaborate to create works/products that sell. For those of you not familiar with the name, he's also a former MP, so this is the biggest, boldest local name dropping Unravelling can attemp, everybody.

3 comments:

  1. Meg it looks lovely! I find markets challenging for both the seller and buyer. One has to be persistant to find the groovalicious treasures amidst the jumble.

    I think your right about the timeing...two weeks before the holiday is a better time to sell. Lessons learned by doing, hindsight is 20-20 and all that positive talk.

    As for display you might want to think about bamboo poles supported between the corners of the tent, secure them, and hang scarves off the poles. Movement of fabric draws attention, shows the hand of the cloth, and attracts the shoppers like birds to shiny objects.

    Enjoy Enjoy!!

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  2. Hi Meg, I read your comments with interest. Today, by chance, I've found (Canadian weaver)Laura Fry's comments http://laurafry.com/ [go to site map > thrums > click on essays] on setting up a "Craft Fair booth and displaying textiles" and thought I'd pass on the link. There is obviously much to consider and do; I didn't realise how much effort goes into this activity.

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  3. Thank you, ladies.

    Lynne, I like the idea, but even with the three things I hung (both sides and one in the back) the wind was pretty bad that day and I took one down. This is another thing about the market situation - it's weather dependent!! "groovalicious treasures" eh? I love that.

    We'll see how I go next weekend.

    Kaylyn, now that you've mentioned it, I seem to recall her piece being discussed in one of the fora many moons ago. Thank you for the pointer - I'll check it out before my next gig.

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