Cars & Crafts at Aber Falls Distillery
This market was an exciting one for me, I was fresh in the game with the new brand. I had a new Breezy Rainbow sign for the stall I was eager to show off. For the first time since starting my new venture a year ago, I was proud to represent the brand I had created with an image that felt just right. It was the beginning to an exciting and colourful future of many events to come. All while I'm still learning. I forgot the string to hang the new sign and it was held up by copious amounts of sellotape in the end. But it stayed up. I swear by sellotape, so it was actually quite apt.
My priority when organising it all to look appealing was my welsh range at front and centre. On day 1 I had the table at the back with the tea towels, Gym bags and other random bits that couldn't be hung up. I organised it meticulously and hoped for the best. On day 2 I moved the table to the front of the pitch and we positioned ourselves behind it.
My first 2 day market was in the wooden huts at Aber Falls for an event called Cars & Crafts. I was one of 11 stalls positioned at the beginning of the market, opposite the raffle stand and next to Janice the Jam Lady. It was a fundraising event for NCAR and ssafa via the Veterans Banger Rally. They are driving £500 bangers to Gibraltar. The purchase price of the car must be £500 then it is in your own hands to do what you wish to the motor before the trip. Classic cars came in and out all weekend but my favourite was the VW campervan.
There was another tie dye stall further down the market, that wasn't ideal but also nice to see. That's the nature of a market, there is always competition whether it is of the same nature or completely different. We are all there to sell our products to willing customers and those customers are not going to buy from every stall present. Having another tie dye stall is just a bit of healthy competition. I was confident enough in my items especially the Welsh range that I am offering a product that can't be found elsewhere. The beauty of tie dye is that every piece is unique.
The first was a slow day, the first hour passed by with barely any customer interest. By 11:30am there was more people arriving, but to put it blatantly it was an underwhelming turn out.
The end of day one came and I had made 1 sale. By 1pm I was feeling frustrated, I had worked hard in the week prior to prepare and been away from my son more than I usually would. Now I was away from him most of the weekend and it felt like time wasted. My partner and those around me reminded me it is a learning curve. One thing I know other parents out there will resonate with is finding a balance between your work and your time with your kids. Being self employed makes this even harder because I am effectively in charge of what time I spend away from my son, and so if I get to the end of the week and feel I have worked too much I am hard on myself. This is something I am working on giving myself more slack for. I'm lucky and very grateful that when my son is not with me he is with his grandparents. I am working for him as much as I am for myself, to build something that he can be proud of too. But that balance will most likely always be a battle I will face.
Going into day 2 I was relaxed with little expectation. By 11am it was already busier than it had been all day Saturday. I had more interest in that first hour than the whole day before.
My favourite thing about the markets is showcasing my work to people that are interested, and it makes my day when people stop to talk to me about it. It is my passion and talking about tie dye and all things creative is what I love.
It became clear to me over this weekend how important it is to attend the right markets with the right crowd, and the crowd that had come out to Cars & Crafts was not it. I made a few sales, but all those sales were from family members who stopped by. The second day bought more people and more interest but still very underwhelming to say the least. In the end we concluded I wouldn't be returning to The Aber Falls Market. The problem is you don't get anybody passing, it is so out of the way that your customer base is limited to people visiting the Distillery or those who decided to attend the event.
Thank you to Aber Falls and John McGowan for the opportunity to be a part of your fundraising event.
On to the next one, Swn Y Mor see you Friday.