Wow, this summer went FAST! It is all a blur, but I will say it was a pretty successful summer as far as Bebe Anne Design’s goes!
I ventured out of my little shop, and set up at 2 markets in August. The first was an outdoor farmers market in Gold Bar Washington. This farmers market is new. A very motivated woman, with a lot of patience and spunk, decided to take on a huge commitment. A commitment to organize and set up vendors EVERY WEEKEND. I finally jumped on board in August. I was leery and unsure if the time I spent preparing and setting up would pay off. This market is outdoors, in a town that tends to be windy. And, if there is even a slightest chance of rain, it will show up in Gold Bar. But, regardless, I packed up my stuff and went to set up.
I found that this small town farmers market was great for many things (other than sales). Some vendors helped me set up my canopy, and other vendors gave pointers on how to keep my stuff from flying away.. Even better, each vendor came over to visit the “new” vendor and offer some insight. This was not a competition on who could sell the most but a group of people and vendors that wanted each to succeed. I received the “low down” on other markets and places to sell my jewelry. Many vendors heard I was going to be there, and came by to purchase gifts for their friends and family. And, there was live music.
As I sold my Bebe Anne Designs custom necklaces, I listened to the voice of a woman that was so pure and told story. Her name is Erin McNamee. She had several CD’s for sale. I figured once the farmers market slowed down, I would head over and purchase one. Time got the best of me, and before I knew it, she was at my booth with her parrot on her shoulder. She purchased an original necklace I made from a Vinyl Record. She told me shIe would be back later. When she returned, she came to purchase more necklaces for her friends. I offered to trade one of her CD’s for a necklace, and she accepted! Please take the time to head to her website and listen to “… one of the purest voices you’ll hear in this city.” – Seattle Weekly.
My second big adventure was the first week in September. The process started in August, when I submitted and was accepted to set up at the Urban Air Market in Seattle, WA. I figured it was worth a shot. With much surprise, I was accepted to be a vendor and this first time event in Seattle. This is when I started to panic a bit. You see, I did not have the best booth set up design. With necklaces, I had a hard time displaying all of them so they were facing the customer. At the Gold Bar farmers market, I ended up laying most of them out on the table. It was the only way to give a good view to everyone. But it was awkward and very unorganized. Set up and tear down was a disaster and took way too much time. So, my first thought was GET ORGANIZED. I started looking for display cases. My second thought was GET SOME STOCK! It was time to get serious and get some new designs and necklaces made ASAP.
I shared both my excitement and my anxiety with a friend. She had set up in areas similar in the past, and her feed back was much invited. She offered to come with me, because in a Market of this size, you need at least 2 people , for many reasons. I didn’t think about leaving to use the bathroom and watching for people who like to walk away with items without stealing. I immediately accepted her help and starting getting ready for a plan. Much like the smaller market, the vendors were friendly. Most had WAY MORE items for sale and a much much larger display. There were lots of props, tables, signage….I could tell these vendors were serious, and it wasn’t just “extra” money for them.
Both of these markets were different in many ways. The fee for the farmer’s market was very low, $20. The fee for the Urban Air Market was high, $240. I knew I had to sell A LOT in Seattle just to pay for my vendor fee. The farmers market had fewer people attending. But, in the end the Farmers’s Market was much more profitable than the Urban Air Market. Not only because of the sales of the day, but because since that day, I have had other sales outside of the market, because they saw my items either at the market or on posts about the market.
I am told, either one could be a different story on any given day. It is all depends on the crowd that is strolling by. I will definitely plan better next year. I have attempted to get signed on with local Christmas Bazaars, but they are no longer taking vendors. But, I know I will plan my summer accordingly to participate in more local farmers markets. And, Etsy is working for me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I will continue to keep that updated with my newest designs.
Oh, there is more too …. but I will save that for the next blog. In the mean time, check out www.LikeAStorm.com –– that is your hint