Or "The tale of the Petone Indoor Markets"
Let me tell you a story. Are you sitting comfortably? Good, then I'll begin!
Planting the seed
An idea germinates; organisational therapy; a search for a venue; defining the market; what a response!
In early 2017, it came to my attention that there really weren’t any craft events in Lower Hutt, particularly in winter. It was, of course, essential for them to be indoors, and so the search for a suitable venue began. I made a call-out for interested stallholders, to gauge interest (which would influence the size of the venue), and began hunting.
Initially, I had intended the event to be something small, where I would offer coaching to my Copper Catkin Consulting students, and they would be able to have a go in a low-pressure market environment – but the idea blew up! The levels of interest were definitely high enough to justify the event, so I began to plan.
With Copper Catkin, we attend a great many markets and fairs throughout the year, and we consistently sell several hundred dollars of stock at every market, even the very quiet ones. If there are people at the market, we give them every opportunity to take home some Copper Catkin goodness, and many of them take us up on the offer.
We look around us and see that many other makers are struggling to do the same, so here are a few quick tips.
Wrought was launched to bring a new flavour to makers’ markets in the Wellington region, and a big part of that is to encourage new artists and creatives to join to market scene – but it can be daunting!
Rather than simply refuse to have stallholders on board until they have done the hard yards and proven their quality, at Wrought, we have decided to embrace our emerging artists and new makers with the Wrought Chrysalis package.
We did a brainstorm session for Joanna from PoppetMade
Cat: What are you looking for from this half-hour online brainstorm session, Joanna?
Joanna: What I'm interested in:
1. How to make my stall more “professional” – considering all my items are handmade, how can I improve on my image?
2. What do you see working/not working as it is set up now?
3. Height – this is something that I have struggled with as my products are mainly flat! I've introduced the bib hangers to help with this.
Nini Mulyani of Things Unseen
Nini Mulyani is the wonderful woman behind Things Unseen. One of the things that I find most charming about her products is how each and every one is different, and assembled from pieces sourced all over the globe to be given new life as fantastic jewellery. Another striking thing about Nini is that, while most stallholders have fully-loaded station wagons, Nini can pack her entire stall into a suitcase and catch the bus, or walk. She was kind enough to chat with me about her special skill of travelling light.
I have recently launched the consultancy branch of my business - Copper Catkin Consulting. I noticed that I just kept getting asked for ideas and tips on how I set up my stalls, so I decided to do something about it!
Sometimes, it's just too hard to get started on something you know you need to do - and I seem to be good at helping people with that, so here I am!