At each of our Spring Markets we shall have a very special Uncovered area, specifically for those makers new to market trading, focusing on fresh new talent with exciting ideas and products.
We spoke to a previous Crafty Fox Uncovered trader, Alijoe Designs, for some insight into what that first market experience can be like, and how to get the most out of your day!
How did your first market experience (as part of Crafty Fox Uncovered) go?
I loved it! It was my very first market ever and the Crafty Fox experience couldn’t have been a better starting point. I had no idea what to expect but having a mentor helped enormously in preparing for it, as did tips on the website. I think that one of the best things about it was the sense of celebration of new traders; having that dedicated top floor in Brixton and ensuring that visitors knew the nature of our offer, helped to make us (well me at least!) feel very special.
How has your business progressed since taking part in Crafty Fox Uncovered?
It’s been amazing. I think that that first Crafty Fox experience gave me the confidence that my plates maybe were something a bit special and different. You never quite know what people think when they buy your products online unless they bother to give you feedback but the experience of the raw response - the facial expressions, comments etc - was both revealing and rewarding.
What advice would you offer others who are just starting out with market trading?
If this is the first time to be sharing your products with a ‘live’ audience, I would make sure to use it as a showcase of your very best, both in terms of items and display. Space is limited but the challenge is fun and well worth the time and effort beforehand, playing around with displays and exploring opportunities to build up.
Crafty Fox uncovered is a brilliant opportunity to ‘launch’ yourself and you NEVER know who browsers and buyers might be… I’ll never forget my first sale was to a fabulous guy who said to me ‘Divine plates– see you in Liberty next year darling. . .’
Of course I'm not/will never get to Liberty but what a confidence boost!
Any top tips to get the most out of your market day?
- Plan, prepare and be very organised. I have a checklist that I keep adding to and follow religiously prior to each market.
- Do a mock up display so that you know roughly where items will be placed, there is a limited time to set up and it is surprising how quickly that time goes!
- Invest in an izettle (or similar) so you can take cards as payment, if I can use the technology, anybody can.
- Keep the look and feel consistent with your branding. If you have particular colours in your logo, perhaps use those for the table cover and other display props.
- Don’t forget marketing material. Moo.com is great for business cards and postcards.
- Don't forget packaging. At the very least, stamp your branding on a plain coloured bag but if you can, this is another opportunity to use your brand/logo colours with bags, tissue paper etc…
- I have never felt comfortable about 'selling' but find that it can help to break the ice with browsers by asking them questions such as where they live/have they come far/been before etc…
- And don’t obsess about sales. Success can also mean making contacts and you never know what might happen after someone takes your card.
- Smile and enjoy it!