Today marks one year since the first ever craft fair Ladykerry attended! To think back to that shy girl, awkwardly standing behind a stall last year… oh, wait – I’m still like that!
I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has visited a Ladykerry stall – whether it was a planned visit or you’ve happily discovered it. Obviously my thanks go out to those who’ve supported me in other ways too (for example, online friends that can’t make markets). However, as it’s my craft fair anniversary (totally a thing!) I’d like to concentrate on it in this hopefully short blog post.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY?
Markets are not always about selling. Don’t get me wrong, I love it when you buy things from me. Maybe I even do a happy dance. Yet some of my favourite moments have come from customer comments. Or when someone walk past, takes a sneaky glance at a Ladykerry pun and grins from ear to ear. Then I know you get me. And at the end of the day, I’m just looking for acceptance.
These small moments and words may seem like not much to you, but they mean everything to me.
A moment that will always stick in my mind was at a market in August last year. A man walked past, did a sneaky sideways glance at my giclee art prints. A slight smile crept onto his face. Then he walked away. Moments later, he returned – and picked up my Bitchcraft art print. “You must know my wife”, he said. I’m not sure how she would feel about that comment, but it made me giggle.
Apparently, it’s good to be polarising in business.
There’s no point in trying to appeal to everyone. So – I should be like marmite?
I’m not sure if this kind of business tactic will work for me but my work does occasionally spark arguments. Things got fierce around my ‘party like you’re going extinct‘ card at one particular market. An older couple were trying to decide on a card for their friend’s birthday. The husband was keen, the wife – not so much. His argument – that the word ‘like’ is used, so it’s not insulting. Her argument – that it’s implying old age.
What do you think? Do you know someone who’d love this cheeky dinosaur card?
CRAFT FAIR OR SUPPORT GROUP
Sometimes, craft fairs are a bit like support groups – you lot are great at giving me a confidence boost.
I attended a relatively quiet market last year (it will remain un-named). There was another market on the same day, close by. I was feeling pretty low. Then a woman came along who was so amazingly enthusiastic about my work, and suggested that the other (well attended) market would have been more fitting for my Ladykerry gifts. From this connection, another piece of advice came that has been pivotal for me. She suggested I applied for a stall at the Auld Reekie Roller Girls (ARRG) roller derby games.
I love ARRG. But I never thought I’d be cool enough to have a stall there – but her belief led me to applying for a stall there – and I haven’t looked back.
I love the roller derby – it’s such a fun day and everyone is so welcoming. And if you haven’t been to seen ARRG in action yet, I’d totally recommend it. I’m forever grateful to that chance meeting now – and although it was a quiet market in a monetary sense, I got so much more out of that day than I could have imagined.
I could talk all day about these moments. But I *think* there’s a recommended blog post length, and I’d be waaaaaaaaaay over if I continued. So here are a few final little snippets…
The young girl who held up my ‘you’re so old you’re prehistoric‘ card to her mum and said, that’s for you. I hope you didn’t get in trouble when you got home.
To the customer who raced over to my stall exclaiming ‘ I have to get this’ (cat notebook).
To the inspirational student from Texas – who even brought her mum to meet me at the Birthday Pop Up Event.
For all the unicorn chat. You guys are crazy about unicorns. Seriously. SO much unicorn chat.
To the man who bought my notebook set purely so he could bag a Bah Trumpbug* badge. You made my day. *These were limited edition badges I made for one of my Christmas markets, in case you have no idea what a Bah Trumpbug is!
To everyone who has ever got super excited about the radge badge (quite a lot of you!) – I salute you! Welcome to #teamradge.
To swapping ‘war stories’ and advice with other stallholders, who’ve now become friends.
To my family and friends who come to so many of my markets, I’m forever indebted.
A YEAR ON
A year on, I still get nervous at markets. That’s not likely to stop. But the comments and compliments you give make leaving my comfort zone worth it.
I love it when you tell me who you’re buying it for – that my card / pin / mug / print makes the perfect gift for your girlfriend / husband / mother-in-law / best friend / nephew (delete as appropriate) for their birthday / christmas / graduation / new home (delete as… you know the drill).
Being part of making moments in your life – whether that’s through finding the perfect quirky card, or new cat notebook – makes the moments in mine.
I’m sure other stallholders feel the same. So if you’re at a market be sure to say hello to stallholders and have a little chat. You never know – your words could be pivotal in making that person’s day.
And if you see me at a market, do come over and say hi! After all, I’m just a girl, standing behind a stall – asking you to love my work.