Crafty Fox Uncovered is a scheme that supports makers who have been in business for less than 12 months. As well as receiving a reduced price stall, they are also paired up with regular market traders who can offer advice and guidance. You will find those taking part in Crafty Fox Uncovered on the top floor at the Dogstar, Brixton this Saturday & Sunday (4 & 5 October, 2014) as part of the Autumn Markets.
Article by Diana from Pygmy Cloud
Participating in your first market can be daunting, I remember when the Pygmy Cloud gang first started selling at craft fairs we had so many questions: How do we interact with customers? How should we display our products? What kind of goals should we set ourselves? Thankfully now, the Crafty Fox Uncovered scheme allows people new to markets to access the wealth of knowledge gained by regular Crafty Foxers.
Sinead, who runs the Crafty Fox Markets tells us,
"I started Crafty Fox Uncovered as it seemed like a simple way to encourage new makers and help them get started with market trading. It's a very friendly community so I knew we would have no shortage of mentors, happy to share their knowledge and advice.”
Cecily Vessey was a mentor for Georgia Bosson a couple years back. It was a good feeling to know that she had got to a level where she could share what she had learned over the years and help someone else. Cecily says, “I remember doing my first market, I was so nervous and it was great to have the opportunity to help someone out at that stage and make it a little less stressful for them.”
As well as helping someone with their own market experience, one of the rewards of being a mentor is that it is a reminder to think about how we run own own businesses too, “I realised a lot of the things I was telling Georgia I could definitely be doing a bit better myself! It also made me realise how much I have learnt along the way and how much info is swooshing around in my head!”
Since then, Cecily and Georgia have become good friends. Georgia is now a mentor herself and for this round of Crafty Fox Markets she has taken Zoe from Bettzy and Jo from For Walls under her wing and guide them through their first market experiences,
Georgia reflects: “I wanted to become a mentor so that I could pay back the favour that Cecily paid me, and hopefully help two new people feel a little more relaxed. The thing I have found most interesting is that they are asking pretty much the same questions that I did when I first started so it really does feel like the whole thing has come full circle! It feels great to be able to pass on everything that I have learnt over the past year or so to a new group of people, who will hopefully pass it on again.”
For Walls is a very new venture and although Jo was excited to be chosen for Crafty Fox Uncovered, she also felt nervous as she has no market experience. “I had lots of small (probably quite obvious) practical questions, like will there be any hanging space, will people expect receipts, do I need any signage/branding for the stand etc. Probably my biggest query though was about how much stock to bring and which pieces. I didn't want to turn up with lots of large framed prints (for example) if people are unlikely to buy that kind of thing.”
In Georgia's experience lower cost items tend to sell better at markets, but advised bringing a bit of everything to test the waters and show the full range if people are interested. Markets are a great place to get feedback about products and get an idea of which pieces people prefer. Fairs are also a great place to make friends and be part of a community,
“When I first started out, I didn't know anyone else doing what I was attempting to do, so to now have a group of friends to call on for advice or a drink is great!”
Want to know more about running your own market stall? Check out our previous post here: Top Tips For Selling At Markets.