By turns, nice, weird, rude, amazing, funny, generous, helpful, dismissive... people.
The market was jam packed, and the well-known groovy funky women’s clothing boutique just next door to the beautician had racks of clothes outside, for apparently bargain prices, and let me tell you, Gentle Readers, it was a scrum. All sense of decorum and propriety was forgotten in the quest for a $25 bargain (details? women stripping down to their underwear in the street to try things on...). As we were the first stall immediately beyond the logjam of strollers, frustrated husbands, wailing children and desperately terrified dogs, lots of people just put their heads down and kept going, thrilled to be beyond the ruck, and completely passed us by.
My neighbours, the very worthwhile Clown Doctors, had a secret weapon, which involved free chocolates, cheap Christmas cards and a guessing competition for a 10Kg block of chocolate, which worked quite well on people heading into the scrum, but completely failed on the escapees.
No matter, we both coped, and there were some object lessons for me in having a stall, viz:
- Have a price for something you didn’t even consider selling – I could have sold the ‘Bend the Rules’ bunting about 3 times, and hello to the very snippy woman who wanted to know why I didn’t have any made up to sell, and her very nice friend who wanted some for her daughter’s room – mail me!
- Make signs for the containers – although it was mostly obvious what things were, nobody bought a badge (but I did give one away, hello Rachel!), perhaps because they couldn’t tell what they were? Maybe the Ziploc plastic bag packaging threw them off? Next time I’ll just have them in the box on their luggage tags.
- Make more stuff. I thought I’d be sharing a table with the lovely Kerry, but it turned out she was giving me the whole table – so my stuff looked a little lonely by itself. I could have sold some of the cinnamon & elderberry bags about 8 times – I think it was the fabrics, because my Christmas special clove-only bags were picked up, sniffed and discarded by about 3 million people (or maybe it only felt like it!), whereas the red, cream & blue ones, and the Momo Wonderland ones pretty much all sold.
- Don’t feel like you have to justify why things cost what they do – I sold one of the Joel Dewberry birds to a lady who obviously appreciated quality, but a number of people wanted to know why they cost so much more than the ‘two pieces of linen, two buttons, bob’s your uncle’ birds – it was obvious to me, but then... I made them.
- Ignore the teenagers. I had a pair of girls go by, one of whom said “those birds are cute”, and the other one trampled all over me by saying “my mum makes that stuff”. Keep walking, girls.
- Don’t fall over in the parking lot & sprain your ankle. It’s very hard to run a market stall with an icepack and towels wrapped around your ankle – and a very big “Thank You” to the charming lady from the Eco Linen stand who came to my rescue with said icepack, and the two wonderful girls who rushed to pick me up out of the dirt. So undignified.
So, today, Gentle Readers, I am testing a pattern, having my windows cleaned for the first time in two years (how’s that for slovenly, hmm?), catching up with my good friend Doc Rosie who is visiting the lovely Clare, the brains behind Lulu Carter, and resting the ankle. Oh, and listing the remnants of my Markets expedition in the shop, so if you’re looking for a nice Christmas badge, you’ll know where to come.