Friday, May 1, 2015

to market or not to market?

Why hello there lovely blog readers! Today we are going to take a wee bit of a trip back in my craft show history and I am ever hopeful that you may be able to help me with some future show dilemmas I seem to be running into! 

The first craft show I did was a tiny little show at The Streaming Arts Cafe in Kelowna (not actually pictured here). It felt like a slow day - but in hindsight was actually pretty darned successful. I then joined up for the Bizarre Bazaar at the old court house in Kamloops.  I signed up to do a ton of shows all summer long and quickly learned that 1) the wind is evil and 2) how to deal with SUPER slow days. Here's a glimpse of my original set up:

The next show I signed up for was Fabulous Finds in Kelowna and holy smokes was it ever busy! You could certainly tell there were a lot more customers with disposable income and my low price items were a hit! I made a few higher priced items to try to make the trip and hotel stay worth it and you can see how my inventory had grown with a bigger set up:

After a winter and spring round in Kelowna, I signed up for the Artisan's Square Market in Kamloops for some weekends in the summer.  It ran the same day as the Kamloops Farmer's Market but because it was just around the corner from the market masses I had quite a few slow days - but still an improvement on my original Kamloops sales.  My stock and variety of goods had increased yet again and my booth grew:

The last shows I did were part of the Bastion Square Market in Victoria and this time my booth grew to be two tables and loads of stock. Check it out:

I tried to include a lot of height and interest in my set up as you can see a bit better in this shot:

The sales varied from week to week depending on the weather and amount of tourists around but it was still a great experience.  Of all the shows I've done I definitely DO NOT enjoy battling the elements and the wind can be brutal for blowing over tall displays and light items.  I did come up with a few ways to battle high winds with super heavy tent weights, C-clamps, and other weights for the table - but still have a way to go before I hit a stress free booth.  I also realize that trying to set up and take down a giant display can be super time consuming and tricky to fit in our Mazda.

So - here's my current dilemma I'm waffling over - should I try to do the Kamloops Farmer's Market in their artisan section this year?  The market runs every Saturday from now until the fall and although there is no way I would want to do that many markets it draws a pretty big crowd as far as Kamloops goes. I also really like the idea of establishing myself in the town I will be living in for the foreseeable future and a little extra income would be great since I've been off work for so long with chronic illness.

Another big hurdle I have to come over is how to display my items more efficiently and effectively but still have them portable in a mid sized car.  If you follow me on pinterest you may have seen my crazy obsession with booth pins lately (link) but I'm still in desperate need for help!  I'm really leaning towards a pegboard display set up like these two:
I love the idea of being have lots of my items already set up and ready to go on the board and have a thick enough ledge around that you can just close it up and be on your way (seriously - that sounds amazing right?)! It would also let me display higher without taking up table space (especially if I go for something like the second white pinboard display where it sits on the ground - but what could I do to combat the wind while still having the boards fit into the car? Maybe Fraser can magically make the foldable pinboard display and have a detachable wide base for it to rest on that is wind proof? Oh! The dilemma. What do you think? Have you seen any rad craft booth displays that would be good against the windiness of Kamloops? I'd love to know! 


  1. I say apply for the market- as you wait to hear back from them, you'll either get a sense of excitement or sense of dread. If it's dread and you get offered a space, turn it down. Try to arrange for a good friend (or Fraser) to take care of the booth by themselves for a couple weekends so you aren't there every weekend.
    With the pegboard display- could you add a fold-down panel to the bottom so you could place a weight on it for windy days?

    1. That is great idea Sabrina! I am going to go check out the application process this weekend and see what the costs are like - then get working on the pegboard display!