Today I sold at my first ever Christmas market. I suspected it would be a small one but thought that might be a good way to ease myself into the market scene before my next bigger one in a couple of weeks.
Having set up my wares on the table allocated to me I nervously waited for 12.30 pm when the doors were due to open. 12.29 pm and counting… five, four, three, two, one - open the doors! In trickled one confused elderly lady who looked like she had got lost on her way to the local Londis to buy some cat litter.
Over the course of the next couple of hours, five or six more people drifted in, wandered round, and drifted out again. I was starting to think that I might go home with all of the stock I arrived with. The outlook for the people on either side of me, an artist and a chap who makes stuffed animals, was looking equally as bleak.
Thankfully, around half way through, one of the few people who had stumbled upon the market bought a cushion from me. Hallelujah! I nearly hugged the customer I was so relieved. Before the end of the market I had sold another couple of cushions as well as a few heart shaped Christmas tree decorations. At least I wouldn't go home a complete failure.
As I was packing up I chatted with one of the lovely volunteers who had helped to set the market up. Suddenly the reason for the lack of custom became abundantly clear. She explained to me that the only advertising that they had done for the market was to put an advert in a free newspaper that gets posted through the doors of houses in the local area. Fair enough as advertising is costly and the proceeds of the market were going to charity. The slight hitch with this, however, was that there was a mix up and paper didn’t actually run the advert.
The fact that anyone at all turned up to the market was an absolute Christmas miracle. It literally must have been passing footfall only, and the place where the market was being held was on a residential street quite far from the centre of town so it’s a wonder there was even any of that on a Sunday afternoon.
Despite this I had a good time, met some lovely people, and made a few (literally only a few) quid to boot. If the next market I’m selling at on 10th December at The Lewisham Arthouse is as enjoyable and brings in a few more customers as well then I’ll be a very happy camper indeed. Please do feel free to drop by and boost numbers just in case my attitude changes in the meantime.