Saturday, September 12, 2009

Why do you like markets?

Right, since I'm at home at the moment (and yes, it's a Saturday night at ten to nine and my life is so wildly exciting that I'm blogging .....) - let's leave that aside for the minute - I have decided to post a few photos that have been longing to make it into the big wide world.

In order, they are "Up All Night" Hoot [primary fabric Tablecloth something or other by Anna Griffin], "There's A Butler In My Garden" Hoot [primary fabric Lotus Garland by Amy Butler and Sway by Heather Bailey on the wings' reverse], and "Mirabella Magic" Hoot [out of Mirabella by Alexander Henry plus some Vintage Dots by Michael Miller on the inside of the wings and Bijoux in Cinnamon on the outside, by Heather Bailey].

I made these Hoots up for my recent Rose St Market, which was a bit of a rubbish day in the end because I was fighting a massive headache on the day. The kind of headache where you try to stay as still as possible - as much to try and not throw up on anyone as to reduce the strobing pain in your skull. Coz, you know, throwing up on a prospective customer is not a good look. It's really not.

I find that on the market days where I can't really engage with people; either because of the sort of incredible pain which is capable of killing a small pony (truly, I never really had an appreciation for what a migraine means, before I had one) .... or simply because I've had a hard week at work and I'm tired, or because it's a cold day and the wind is blowing and I can't feel my fingers anymore, or something equally banal ..... those are the days I don't make as many sales.

Is it because when I'm bubbly I'm naturally more engaging, a better salesperson?

I don't think so. I think it's because when you go to a market - ok, let's take that out of the third person - when *I* go to a market, I like to look at all the stuff on the stall, sure. But what I really like is hearing the artist's story. Why do they make their own particular sort of crafty stuff? What gives them their ideas?

I enjoy hearing about all the curiosities that make up a certain person's approach to things. That's what makes a market personal to me. And so when I'm feeling rubbish, I don't chat about my own individual stories to my customers, and so there's no connection there for them. Just products. And products on their own ... well, they're lovely of course, but it's the stories that bring them to life, don't you think?

What do you like best about markets? I mean, aside from the fantastic and marvellous products we all create, obviously. And our clear and stellar talent, of course. And our patent good looks.

But besides that - what do you love about visiting markets, whether you're a crafty maker yourself, or simply someone out to enjoy the adventure?


Taccolina said...

Talking! I go to markets to chit-chat and invariably come home with a tiny trinket that makes my day so much sweeter. Talking and treasures: two kinds of treat.

Finki (jay) said...

I think i go to markets more as a buyer than a seller. No not I think....I know. and i love finding unique, handmade things. things that I can put in my house, and when I spot them I smile and think...I'm the only person in the whole wide world who has that...and if i'm not, I know that the other person who might have one too, no doubt bought it from the same fabulously talented handmadie that i bought it from. Luv that thought.

CurlyPops said...

I love to chat to the seller. I'm much more inclined to buy something after I've had a little chat and a browse. I don't usually buy anything from sellers who sit behind their stalls and don't actually acknowledge my presence.

My.Florentine said...

I agree with CurlyPops. It's the whole social vibe that you get at the markets that makes them so special. If I wanted to be ignored by a sales person, I would go to a shopping center!

Markets are also fabulous for finding special and unique items.

Jennie said...

It's interesting that the comments you've got so fat all point towards markets being a better sales venue for handmade stuff than shops!

When I'm visiting a market and spot something I like, I wring every drop of its story from the seller. Even if I don't have the money to buy it, I want to know everything about it and also tell the maker exactly why it's grabbed my attention. Personally I love getting that kind of feedback from customers, so I do my best to give it generously in return.

And my least enjoyable market day was when I was coming down with a cold, drinking Lemsip from a flask and really didn't want to be there. I had one sale all day, which luckily was a big one and covered the cost of my stall.