My lovely friend Cate is a silversmith.
She knows all about selling on farmers markets.
She sells beautiful jewellery and is very successful.
Follow this link to her website.
For those thinking about selling on local farmers markets.
I asked Cate, my good friend, for some advice.
To ensure that your day will run as smoothly as possible.
Here’s what she said:
A Table: If not provided, I use a metal decorators pasting table, which is 6ft 4” long. I don’t bother with a wooden table, as I find they are too flimsy.
I find that 3 ft is a good height; if you have a bit more height on your stand, it is more eye-catching as it is more in people’s field of vision. You can also plan your display space easier.
A cover: I use crushed velvet velour, as it can be screwed up in a bag for weeks and doesn’t crease and hangs nicely. I also have a 6ft roll of thin rubber-like mesh that I put on top of the table under the cover; this provides a bit of cushioning so that the display board doesn’t slide, this mesh is normally used under rugs to keep them from moving.
Don’t forget a cover if the farmers market is going to be outdoors!
Display Props: I advise not to go too high as one gust of wind may blow it over, I feel that a bit of height really does make all the difference and can really create interest.
I see many people using old wooden fruit boxes which creates a lovely rustic feel and provides instant shelves and height. Alternatively, you can use wooden wine boxes and maybe lime wash them, which you may be able to pick up from a wine merchant.
Personally, I prefer more of a clean contemporary look for my jewellery. I made an 18” high backboard from 4 mm thick Foamex and bought a roll of lovely black embossed wallpaper to cover it and attach onto the 4ft long table. This makes me feel more contained, and I find my stall doesn’t just blend in with the next stall.
Logo Boards: I also got my printer to print some small logo boards and put one on the backboard; this way, my business name is clear.
The best advice I can give is to spend some time thinking about the feeling you want to present and any other simple props you can convey.
Although don’t overdo it, you don’t want your product to “be lost” amongst props.
I admit that I used to go a bit overboard, but now I use 3 beautiful silk flowers.
Personalise your stall: Get a nice frame and write up some blurb on what you are all about, you want to get the message across that you are the face behind your product.
I find that is what makes something so unique, rather than just being another mass-produced product, I find people love to make a personal connection!!
Packaging: Obviously the packaging is quite a big subject, but it can be overwhelming, so I would advise to start simple, find a florist wholesaler and set up a cash account to start you off. They are usually good places to start.
Tissue paper is also useful; I think you may need acid free if selling skincare products; this will stop the colour from running.
Seating: A lot of people take a folding chair, although I rarely sit down. I see so many people sitting behind their table reading a magazine, barely speaking to people, and then they wonder why they are not selling anything!
I always find that if I am sitting down, I have to look up to people as I am talking to them, which I don’t feel comfortable doing. If you decide to use a chair, I advise getting a tall one like a folding bar stool, so that if you do want to sit down, you are more on a level with your customers.
A cash box: This obviously goes without saying, use a small one which is more discreet and buy a dark coloured one. A bright red shiny cash box is too noticeable and screams steal me to anyone that wants to grab it and run! And you will need afloat.
You will also need a pencil case with scissors, pens and pencils, a notebook for sales and another one for enquiries.
I like to use a nice “Paper blanks” notebook for any inquiries and off-the-shelf invoice books, and I give the top copy as a receipt, but it may be an idea to have some printed.
Pricing Labels: Either sticky or swing tags, you will probably want to get some printed at some point.
Trolley: This is a Godsend for loading and unloading! Look for a good folding to fit as much on as possible and some plastic boxes.
You can use one of the boxes as a small table under your main table so that you can put your cash box out of sight and food and drinks etc.!
Whilst there are probably lots of things that I have forgotten, the most important things to remember are: smile, be confident and believe in what you are selling have enthusiasm, and a bit of patience and it will soon pay off!
You don’t want to be overbearing, talking people to death! Instead have a ready smile and be relaxed and remember a hello work wonders.
You’ll soon work out which people are really interested and which ones want to be left to look and which ones want to be told more.