Saturday, June 6, 2015

To Market, To Market....

I can officially check one off the bucket list as of yesterday.  Yesterday I debuted at my first Farmer's Market. How did it go you ask?

Cue music....womp, womp, wooomp. 

Ya, it didn't go so well.  It was the opening weekend, well, a Friday to be exact.  So due to the fact it was a Friday, kids are in school and it was during working hours, there wasn't much traffic. 

The market itself was well run and I loooved the fact that I could pull up, through my stall and set up with my vehicle close by.  That was hugely appreciated.  It meant I could have a little more room at the back of my tent not only to move around, but to have access to my vehicle meant I could easily store things.

Anyways, on to some pictures and some lessons learned.

Five Things I Learned At My First Farmer's Market

#1. Scout Out Your Market Beforehand
      I like knowing what I'm getting into before I jump in.  That's just who I am, but this time, I decided to go in blind.  Mostly due to the fact that I had my Mother-In-Law visiting and I needed the help.  This was the only weekend that she could do it.  Anyway, if I had scouted out beforehand I would have realized that this market wasn't right for my stuff.  You know you're at the wrong market when it takes you 45 min to set up because you have so much product and display while it takes everyone else 10 min.  I guess you could say they were efficient and knew what they were doing.
#2 Don't Debut At An Opening Weekend
      I talked to a couple of the vendors and they told me that the first two weekends they suffer, and then things start to pick up.  I think it's just because people aren't used to the idea of an outdoor market yet.  School is still on, kids sports activities are still going and people's weekends are filled.  I think it's usually near the end of June, that weekends start to free up for people and the Market now becomes their "thing" they do.  Unless of course the market is always busy no matter what weekend it is.

#3 Be Adaptable
      It wasn't until the last two hours that I realized the little traffic that their was, was coming in from one side and the only table that people could see as they passed was the table with the higher priced items.  They completely passed by the table at the back that had the lower priced items.  When I realized this I moved my bookmarks ($4) to the other table and shuffled things around.  I will remember this for next time.

#4 Don't Sell Yourself Short
      I felt confident in my prices.  I calculated my time and material well. I researched on Etsy and other sources for comparable products.  I asked family and friends what they thought.  I didn't want to be greedy but I also wanted to be compensated for my time and effort.  I took all this into consideration when pricing my items, and was sure that I was charging appropriately.  With all this, I only made two real sales (besides family and friends).  I would have had to reduce my prices significantly to the point of loss if anyone would buy my products at this market.  I didn't want to do that just for the sake of a sale. 

#5 Be Prepared For Anything
     I thought of everything it seems, "just in case".  The questions in my mind before were "what if I sell everything?", "what if I don't sell anything?", "what if it rains?", "Will I have enough bags?" etc.  I had a ton of bags it turns out.  I realized it would be a good thing if I did sell everything and even if I didn't sell anything I knew just the experience would be worth it.  Having thought out many scenarios, I felt at ease.  The past few weeks have been a flurry of preparation but I wasn't up late the night before getting anything last minute done.  I wanted to be done, with time to spare in case something popped up.  I was able to go to bed easy and had a sound sleep because everything was thought of, and done ahead of time.

I had lots of support from family and friends and am very grateful for their help. Thanks to all who attended and those who had such nice things to say. 


  1. Your display looks great! I just think this was the wrong market for you. Now that you have everything made, try to find a better venue. Your prices and presentation are really good! Keep trying. You will be great!


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