I’m a veteran of markets – as a customer, as a business participant and more recently, as a volunteer committee member running a market, I like to consider myself to be a semi-pro (just indulge me ok?).
|My stall layout in just a little 2m x 1m space. |
Photo by Narelle Browne Photographer
Firstly, some important things to consider when you put in your application.
Five tips for applying for a market
1. Good photography – the first tip is about your photos. Can I go out on a limb here and say that overly edited and filtered iPhone photos aren’t a great reflection of your products. I’m very fortunate to have a girlfriend who is a professional photographer and happily accepts payment in products for taking photos of my ‘collection’ each year. With a little time and planning, you can take great photos yourself. There is plenty of information online to help you take better photos – creating your own lightbox, taking photos in natural light or editing photos after to achieve the best look (see reference links below).
|Doesn't this photo of these two cheeky, cutie patooties |
show off my dresses much nicer than on a hanger!
Photo by Mel Riddell Photographer
Ensure the files you send are not too big or too small. Imagine one poor person downloading each photo if it is 4 or 5mg. They are likely to give up and only open a couple of photos to assess your application.
2. Description of your products – make sure your application includes clear and concise information about what you are will be selling and have on display the day of your market. Be specific about what you intend to sell at the market; don’t just say ‘dresses’ – what type of dresses, what fabrics, what size range and what cost.
A list of items is always better than a general description of your overall business.
3. Description of your process - if you have a unique making process, make sure you let them know, as curators they are always looking for something different and unique. My process isn’t very unique but I always write that everything is locally made, by me on my vintage horn sewing table in the corner of my bedroom. So not unique but certainly memorable right?
One of the regular stallholders at the markets I attend makes glass jewellery. She wrote about the process here on the blog. It is so interesting reading about how she creates her products. Don’t sell yourself short. Describe how you make your products – what is 'just the way you do things' could be amazing to someone else. Include a photo of you in your studio if you like.
|Kuhl Design describes her process of creating her beautiful ceramics.Photo by Narelle Browne Photographer|
4. Promote yourself – writing about ourselves is probably the hardest thing we have to do. You might need a friend to help with this one! Maybe start by answering these questions and then bringing it all together:
- who you are – married, kids, day time job in xyz etc
- where you live – local suburb, on a farm with rolling fields, looking at the chooks running around. You get the idea!
- what is your experience with your design and products – learnt to sew at an early age, taught by a mentor, studied at college and so on
- where do you draw your inspiration
- how you started out in your business
- where do you see your business heading in the next few years
|Inspired by Paper tells a story of loving paper growing up taking simple 'paper craft' into an interesting story. |
Photo by Narelle Browne Photographer
5. Branding and presentation - professional and consistent branding goes a long way! Stall holders and their products are a reflection of the market and customers always notice. Presentation of the items themselves is important and needs to be consistent and interesting.
You might also like:
- Tips for taking photos of jewellery
- How to make a lightbox or Creating your own lightbox or Buy a lightbox on Amazon
- Natural light tips
- Backdrop ideas for photos
- Using your garage as a photo studio
- Steps to taking better photos on auto – turn off your flash
Much more to come in the next couple of weeks including what to take, presentation and how to engage your customers.
Do you already attend markets? Are these tips helpful? Would love to hear what you think and if there is anything I can help you with!