My lovely friend Cate is a silver smith.
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 advise
To ensure that your day will run as smoothly as possible.
Here’s what she said:
A Table: That’s 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 a lot of 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 may be lime wash them, which you ma 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. I feel that 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 advise I can give is to spend some time thinking about the feel that you want to present, and any other simple props you can get to convey this.
Although don’t overdo it as you don’t want your product to “be lost” amongst props.
I admit that I used to go a bit over board, but now I just 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 packaging is quite a big subject, but it can be overwhelming, so I would advise to just start off 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 color 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 not selling anything!
I always find that if I am sitting down, I end up having to look up to people as I am talking to them, which I don’t feel comfortable doing. If you do 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 just to noticeable and screams steal me to anyone that wants to grab it and run! And you will need a float.
You will also need a pencil case with scissors, pens and pencils, a note book for sales and another one for enquiries.
I like to use a nice “Paper blanks”notebook for any enquiries, as well as 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 God send for loading and unloading! Look for a good folding one that you can fit as much on as possible and also 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.