Market Hit and Miss.
As quick as I got back into the markets for 2015, I am taking a break from them. By this time last year I had done at least ten. Each weekend, one or two on the go and keeping myself busy. But with the Australian Open taking over my January and then using February to catch up on things and make more products, it was all down to March. I had three booked- one of them being terrible, one being average and one being wonderful. And when I say this, I am not talking about the actual market, but my sales.
I started off on March 15th at Hanging Rock. Held only a couple times of the year it is run by the Craft Market Victoria team. Although it was forecasted for a warm day, I think the temperature was 10 degrees cooler there and those stallholders who rocked up in shorts and thongs were met with a shock. Fortunately I know that you need to be prepared for many seasons in a day in Melbourne and my gloves were in my market kit and there was a jacket in the car. It really is a beautiful area at Hanging Rock amongst the trees (there was even kangaroos hopping through the market area!) There was small crowds throughout the day, some of who had come for the market and some on their way to climb the rock. My sales were really low for the day. Rather disappointing but I gave it a go and there was not much more I could do.
The following weekend was a double market weekend. On Saturday March 21st, I was at Maribyrnong Makers Market (MMM) and on Sunday March 22nd I was at Flemington Market.
I was excited for MMM. It is always my favourite market. The atmosphere is just so different to other markets I do. I feel so welcome. The volunteers are always smiling and helpful and there is just this great community feel. I changed my stall up a little for this one. I didn’t take my personalised frames or greeting cards like usual, and stocked up on my new range that I had been promoting. Once again I was met with some unexpected cold weather for the morning but the afternoon was beautiful and I had to pull out the hat and sunscreen. (Us Melbournian’s do like to talk about the weather don’t we?!)
It was a great day. There was so many positive comments on my new items and I was so happy that people were making purchases. I don’t think I have ever been 100% prepared for a market but this time I reckon I was about 98%. The only thing I wish I had done was make a second one of my large Joy Hexagon frames. I had cut all the papers and just needed to stick them down. But sleep won the battle and I decided not to do it. Of course my Joy frame sold and there was more interest so I wish I had of done it! The smaller hexagons were a hit along with the geometric ballerinas. The geometric pears were loved by many but surprisingly, not many sold.
I think MMM tired me out as when I was woken by hubby at 8am on Sunday morning, there was a slight scream and freak out. I was already supposed to be at Flemington market. My phone had died and no alarm went off. Hubby was ordered to come with me to assist in setup. Much to his delight he followed me down and I was glad I am only 10 minutes from the racecourse. All set up by 9am I don’t know what the stress was for? I could do it in this amount of time every month! This market was one of the markets that I thought I wasn’t having a good day but then when adding up the sales I realised it wasn’t too bad. There were a lot of browsers at Flemington that day. Many who expressed interest and said they would come back. But from what I have learnt about the racecourse markets is that they rarely come back. It is such a big venue that they usually find something else, forget where you are or what they were going to buy. It is so important to capture the sale then and there. I have learnt to talk with the customers and if they mention something about it not being what they were after, offering them a custom design order is always good.
So with all my March markets completed I look at the months ahead. I am just about to start a part time job which includes weekend shifts. After weighing up the pros and cons it was decided that this was what I needed to do at this stage in my life and therefore my April and May market bookings have been cancelled. All of them except Trove in Bendigo. Fortunately that falls on a Sunday that I wont need to work so I will be there on April 19th. Looking forward to it.