The last few months have seen me tentatively test out the world of the market trader and I have to say I am completely exhilarated. My working life before children was in front of house positions at the Arnolfini and Mshed. I loved this type of work because you get to interact with loads of different people and have a whole range of conversations. Having done my first couple of markets I have had this feeling again, the buzz of talking to people and getting your ideas across. Even better I am standing in front of my own work. I have come to this revelation late in the season. Many of the one off Christmas markets are organised long in advance. So this year is all about testing the water and going to as many markets/independent shops (as a punter) as I can on the run up to Christmas. I will try to blog/promote them here and on my social media. Hopefully this is just the beginning of my market stall days and I will learn a lot from this research to take forward into 2018.
I feel that I have had a hard start to the outside market stall experience with regards to the weather, from drizzle to the tail end of a hurricane (thanks Brian!) but this has taught me a few important lessons. Wear thick socks, and a long coat. Keep things clipped down and more importantly any sale makes you want to jump for joy #justacard So this is why it’s so important to spend our money wisely, supporting local traders.
I am also enjoying the challenges of setting up a functioning stall. How to make your products look their best against the elements. This really appeals to my creativity and there is so much to think about. I am still working on branding and signage…trying to bring clarity of message. This is what’s so nice about being a part of a market, the community is really supportive and I have picked up some great tips and tricks so far! Like making sure your table cover is long enough to cover the front so you can hide boxes and packaging.
I got lucky and was able to get a pitch at the Tobacco Factory Sunday market of North Street, Bedminster, Bristol. This is a weekly market that has grown to become a destination event on a Sunday morning in Bristol. You can have your fill of the best local produce in way of food, drink and craft. It was an honour to be a part of this market and I am pleased to say I will be back on the 26 November selling my glassworks. The market is from 10-2.30 every Sunday, go there for a friendly, well laid out market that also has the benefit of the local shops on North street, an area known for its independent traders.
The other weekend we went to the Frome Indendent market and was totally impressed. This is a monthly market (first Sunday of the month) and is huge, so worth the 50 min drive out of Bristol. We went for the park and ride option (this was busy at 11.30) As the weather was nice We parked up and walked the short distance down the hill into Frome. The vibe was relaxed and professional. We walked around the flea market side first which was a treasure trove of interesting things, although of course tricky to rummage successfully with three small children in tow. Even against these odds we managed to pick up a few things and get some inspiration, so that shows how good it is!
We then made our way through the vast array of food and drink stands, with some seriously tempting smells along the way. This bit of the market (at lunch time) was understandably very busy, with lots of people milling around and queuing for their food. We pushed our way through the crowds to find the design and craft stalls (the real reason for coming) There was a good selection of different products and all seemed high quality (no containers of tat here). We got lucky and even managed to kick start our Christmas shopping! I also got meet some of my Instagram favourites here too. @palyglass & @pipistrelledesign. Most of these stalls seemed to be local artist and craftspeople, which made it really authentic. Lots of the stalls take card as well as cash, which makes buying easy, why not treat yourself to a day out in Somerset for the next one on the 3rd Dec and get supporting local makers. #lovelocal