Today was my first (what I’m deeming as) Christmas market! That means it’s the first market in November, eek!
I have done the Hackney Flea Market in lovely Stoke Newington a bunch of times, and have always found it to be really good - some times more so than others. Today I did the Arts & DIY branch of the market, which drew in some incredibly skilled traders selling original artwork, zines and all manner of good stuff.
Anyway! I arrived nice and on time and set everything up ready to go, then kicked in that terribly nervous feeling of ‘what if nobody comes?!’... or worse still.... ‘what if lots of people come, but nobody likes what I’m doing?!’
Flashback to two years ago, I’ve been at events like that. When I started out I jumped at any and every opportunity.... and wasted a lot of time doing some not so great events. I guess it wasn’t really time wasted, it was time spent learning. These days I don’t do an event without ‘something to do’ in my bag, that way if it’s quiet I can entertain myself - be it with a book to read or sketchbook to work on new ideas in. Even really good events can have their quiet days. Often people get really down and miserable if they’re not selling anything, but I think that negative attitude can have an affect on everyone, so I just see it as an opportunity to flex the time to do something else. For me, on many occasions a quiet event where a few folk pick up flyers has then turned into something really big so believe me, the worst thing you can do is be a miserable sod!
Admittedly, at the start of the day I thought I was in for one of those, so spent a bit of time working on copy for new products which was time well spent, but then it properly kicked off and I didn’t sit down for hours.
Today was incredible. I debuted a lot of new products and they all went down very well! I was absolutely flummoxed. Last year I worked from home, and relied a lot on my own opinion for things, however now I work in a studio with other creative folk around, I’m constantly able to bounce ideas off people and get an honest second opinion from people whose opinions I completely value, and I think that has really helped! That and every day I get to know my brand and my customers much better.
I can’t say it enough, but every time someone buys something from me I feel so humbled. I almost want to shout ‘I MADE THAT!’ at them, but I don’t, usually. It’s a special feeling that I can’t really explain.
The biggest compliment is hearing people laugh. Not at me, with me (I hope!) - that people get the silly jokes I make on my cards and gifts, then think they’re good enough to buy. That feeling never gets old.
Right now I feel tired. I’ve worked all weekend, and I actually worked all last weekend too.... making it a few weeks since I had a day off! I have a few days of planned next weekend as I know it’ll be my last time to relax before Christmas Chaos really kicks off, and I’m very much going to savour them.
I guess this blog is really just a little wave to say thank you and hello to all the new customers I met today, and an even bigger hello in advance to the ones I’ll meet in the next few months at all the events I’m at. Yes, working weekends is a little tough, but the feeling I have in me right now makes it 100% worthwhile! BRING ON THE REST OF CHRISTMAS!
Oh yes, and I wrote this (but didn’t publish until I got home!) blog post in the last half hour when it got quiet again - never a moment wasted!