A few months ago I decided that I needed to do something to take me away from the corner of my sofa (where all of my yarny endeavours usually happen) and out into the Wide World. I had been toying with the idea of perhaps trying to sell some of my crochet makes in person locally, but wasn’t quite sure how to go about it as I didn’t want to fork out a load of money for a pitch at any of the large markets around here.
Then one day someone told me about the Draper’s Yard in Chichester town centre. It’s a quirky little yard behind a craft shop open to makers, artists and any other artisan small business owners. I was quite excited about this little find and decided I should visit to see if my woolly makes and I would fit in there. I instantly loved the vibe, full of creatives and artists from all kinds of different disciplines. Right at the back are a collection of huts which businesses can rent on a more permanent basis, and then at the front near the entrance are some tables available to hire for the day. This means there is an eclectic and varying amount of sellers there at any one time, which I think only adds to how special it is. I was soon convinced that I should give it a try. Of course, being that I am the Queen of Procrastination I didn’t book a table on my first visit, I went back there a few more times and then when I was feeling particularly brave one day, I went for it!And here it is, all set up last Saturday and ready to go! Now I know, this isn’t the very best table design you will have ever seen. In all honesty I was so busy making all the bits for the sale (I only gave myself 2 months, which with two young children to fit into the equation is no mean feat!) that I didn’t really think much about how to display it all on the day. I can confidently say that I ignored most of the retail golden rules, you know things like have items at eye level, displaying items at lots of different heights, displaying items so people can instantly see the overall effect, etc. But you know what, I sold some things and received some lovely feedback from people too, so I’m going to call it a success! Plus the weather was freezing and very damp, so not many people were out. In fact a lot of my fellow sellers on the day left at lunch time because of this, but I wanted to stay for the full day, even though I had to spend about an hour under several blankets warming up when I got home!I also decided to play it safe with the items I made as I wasn’t really sure how well anything would be received. I concentrated on things that I enjoyed making/didn’t take up much time rather than anything with groundbreaking design or complex construction. In hindsight, I wish I had been a little braver and shown my creativity a little more, but you live and learn!
All in all though, I am pleased with how it went for a first attempt. I have booked to be there again on 17th December and am planning to bring some more exciting items as well as a bigger variety. I will also be investing in some display props, I’m thinking a little tree for my baubles and maybe some wooden crates to give height/interest. It seems being out of your comfort zone, if only for one day, is a lot of fun.