Yesterday my sister in law asked me how the last two Christmas markets have gone and I had to be honest and tell her that one had not been so great and the other had been pretty good and totally worth getting out of bed for!
It occurred to me that I haven't talked about my experiences at fairs lately, and, lets face it, there's been a few. This year has been a steep learning curve for me and a lot of that has been around doing fairs and markets. I've been happily testing the water here, there and everywhere to find out what works for me and just as importantly, what doesn't and the Christmas fairs have been no exception.
The atmosphere at most have been brilliant, especially the two day market in Sherborne the weekend before last when the town was super festive and shoppers were out looking for lovely gifts. I love that type of fair, you meet such happy people and you know that the products of yours that they are buying will go as gifts to loved ones, which makes it very special when you sell a piece of handmade jewellery or a hand painted trinket box. I almost do that happy dance that creators and makers do when someone buys their stuff!
But I'm still learning too, so each time I take away some experience, sometimes, it's that I won't be doing that fair again in the future, or that each place has its own type of customer with their own expectations, or a piece of advice from a fellow trader, or even that simply, I'm getting bored of cheese sandwiches and must make myself something else to take to fairs!
I've also learnt to stay positive, no matter what happens on the day, I always come away with something, maybe not as much money as I had hoped but knowledge too, which has been invaluable.
So, there have been 29 fairs so far this year and by the time I finish my last fair of the year on the 20th December, I will have done 32 markets and fairs. Phew!
Some have taken me by surprise, some have been hilarious and one in particular was the catalyst to making me focus my mind on what I'm doing and the direction I'm taking in a way that I haven't considered before. So much more on that to come in 2017....
Not only have I learnt a huge amount, I've also made some amazing friends and been surprised and delighted at how supportive the traders all are to each other. It's great being able to say bye to each other at the end of the day and end with a 'see you next week', it's a little bit like having colleagues again...ones that you actually like..!
So, three Christmas Markets to go, and I'm now starting to feel festive and I'm tempted to get some Christmas films on the go and buy some stollen, to go with my litres of coffee daily. But I'm holding off...just until the 21st December when I can stop....and relax.
If you would like to know where I'll be this week and next, click here.
Until next time x