It’s Almost Farmer’s Market Season!

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Who doesn’t love a good farmer’s market? All the wonderful food fresh from the farms not to mention the flowers and other artisan goods you can find, too. I love going to a farmer’s market because you just don’t know what you might find. I have often been inspired by the actual farmer’s selling their wares. They are often so passionate about what they have to offer because they have a direct hand in the production. Often they can give you great recommendations what to do with their product, too. It makes me excited to get home and cook dinner.

Of course, I always love the idea of supporting our local farmer’s, too. If we didn’t then they wouldn’t be able to afford to continue growing and what would we do if the local food producer’s went out of business? But that’s a whole other post.

This year Babayaya’s Handmade Creations is going to be a vendor at the White Rock Farmer’s Market. Today, in town, I saw the banner has been hung announcing the market. I am really excited. I attended the market last year a few times and thought it was great. I am looking forward to getting to be a part of it this year. Babayaya’s will be there June 7th, July 5th, & August 9th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The White Rock Farmer’s Market has revamped their website, too. Among other things it has added a Vendor Profile page which I think is a great idea. As a customer I always like to be able to look on a site and see who is part of the market. And this way, too, after the market you can also track down a vendor that you may have particularly liked.

While Babayaya’s is only there for 3 markets the White Rock Farmer’s Market runs from May 24th through to October 11th and the market hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (note: these are updated hours from last year). I hope to see you there!

I Love You to the Moon and Back

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Guess how much I love you? This is my latest sign. It was on my list to make along with my other Valentine projects but I had to wait for the right piece of wood to come along. And here it is, a sizeable chunk so that it can easily stand alone on a shelf to display if you wanted. Who could resist a rustic well-loved sign for a well-loved quote?

 

White Rock Farmer’s Market

In my quest to figure out the key to markets and also to get more involved in my community I decided to attend the Annual General Meeting of the White Rock Farmer’s Market last night. I love farmer’s markets, the idea of local farmer’s being able to sell directly to the people and the people being able to meet the farmer’s who grow their food. It is such a nicer way to shop than the anonymous grocery store but that is a whole other topic. I also love the idea of shopping local and seeing the talent from the artisan vendors in our community.

What I want to say is that I was impressed by how many vendors showed up for the meeting. I was also impressed by how much the market manager, Helen Fathers and also the board included the vendors in future market plans. And really, they not only included but openly asked for feedback. Near the end of the meeting Helen even asked how the vendors felt the market rated and the vendors seemed to indicate that it was one of their favourite markets to attend.

I found myself wanting to get involved and even briefly considered the idea of volunteering for the board for the upcoming year. In the end I am glad I held my tongue because I am not ready. I would like to be more knowledgeable about the market and also have my market experience as a vendor more established. Perhaps next year?

I am glad I went. I met some great people and I got to know the faces behind the market. I am the type of person who really does like to know the whole picture. I also came away thinking this is a market I would like to be involved with. I will finish off my application and send it off today. They are going to jury the artisan vendors this year so fingers crossed that I will be accepted.

Another Market, Another Experience

So, last Saturday Babayaya’s Handmade Creations attended the River Market Artisans Market. If you read My First Craft Market post from December you will know that I am fairly new to this market business. I wasn’t very successful at that market and this one was another bust. After the Christmas Craft Fair I also tried the Cloverdale Flea Market which also wasn’t successful.

I decided that the Christmas Craft Fair, which was held at an elementary school, and the Flea Market were probably the wrong venues. The first one wasn’t well marketed so therefore, wasn’t well attended and the second one was more geared towards people looking for the deal of the century (and not so much quality artisan goods).

When I came across the Artisans Market I was a little doubtful being that it was in January which is probably not a great month for markets being that Christmas is only just behind us. However, I did notice that the market would be held in conjunction with the Royal City Farmers Market. This gave me hope. I previously lived in New Westminster and while I had not attended any winter markets I had met the people who run the RCFM and was impressed by their passion. New Westminster also has a very community spirited community. The table fee wasn’t too expensive so I decided to give it a shot.

The farmer’s market was set up on the main floor and the artisan’s were set up on the upper floor. There were probably 10 artisan’s in total. Throughout the day it seemed to me that there was far more traffic downstairs than up. We did have people come through but it seemed there were more looky loos than people wanting to buy lovely things.

It seems to me that markets are a tricky business. In speaking to a couple of the other vendors all I really heard was “you never really knew when you would do well or not” and “it’s really hit or miss”. One lady even said that often she would decide she was giving up then suddenly she would do well.

So, of course, all I have are questions  running through my head: “There are 4 more Artisans Markets, is it even worth trying again?”, “Is it because it is January?”, “Would the market right before Valentine’s Day be more successful?”, “Can I justify spending another table fee to see?”.

And nobody can answer these question so I have to follow my gut. And my gut is telling me to wait until the summer markets.

To add to the trickiness there are a number of specialty markets coming up. However, their table fees are much more substantial. So far, my market experience has been abysmal. Perhaps the fact that they are specialty markets means that they are well attended by people intending to buy things there. I can only hope so. I have been accepted to the Town and Country Vintage Market in June and am really excited about it. However, there are other fabulous markets to apply to that look like they would be great to be a vendor at, too. But, without having the experience of knowing how well I would do it is hard to determine whether I should apply to them all and spend the high table fees if I am accepted. Of course, they would be worth it if I did do well but I can’t necessarily afford them if I don’t sell anything. There also is a certain value to getting your name out there the more you attend markets but that is impossible to gauge.

And, of course, you have to apply now for markets that are in a few months. Hopefully, I will figure out more before the Christmas applications are out in late spring/early summer (although there is already one Christmas market you can apply for now!).

I also want to apply to be a vendor at the White Rock Farmer’s Market (my local market). Applications have opened up for the 2015 season but I am stuck at trying to figure out how many markets to attend. You get a reduced rate if you commit to half of them and a further reduced rate if you commit to all of them. But even committing to more than one can be a little scary without having historical data on how well I might do. I think I have decided to do one a month just through July, August and September. Even so when I finally send the application in I might not get accepted anyway.

This whole market business is a bit crazy making. There is a balance you have to find in finding markets you will be successful at versus being actually accepted to those markets (because I have actually applied to some markets and not gotten in either).  I will be happy when I have more experience and less wondering.

River Market: Artisan Fair January 17, 2014

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I have decided to try my hand at another market. In December I tried a local school’s craft market as well as the Cloverdale Flea Market without much success. I just came across the River Market Artisans Fair (located at the New Westminster Quay) and they are looking for vendors. They have a few dates coming up but I thought I would start with one to see how it goes before committing to more.

I have spoken to them and my application is on it’s way. I am set to have a table at their January 17, 2015 Artisans Fair. The link to the Artisans Fair on their website is here.

I do like that the Artisans Fair is put on at the same time as the Royal City Farmer’s Market. Back in 2009 when I was still living in New Westminster I started to volunteer for the RCFM. I have to say I was very impressed by how passionate all who were involved were. They are a great organization. And they hold their winter markets at the River Market (New Westminster Quay) on the first and third Saturday of each month. The link to the January 17, 2015 market is here.

In addition there is FREE PARKING available in B Deck West of the Front Street Parkade at 560 Columbia Street! Woo Hoo!

 

It’s Been A While

Let’s just say December was one of those months that hit me from behind and spun me around. All I can say is I feel lucky that I was ahead of schedule when it hit.

As a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) (you can read more in my blog post about it here) this is already a difficult time of year. It is a time that I have gotten better at anticipating my reactions and preparing for it. All of the extra tasks leading up to the season as well as the extra activities throughout the season can be extremely hard on an HSP in that we get overwhelmed and then drained fairly easily so we must manage our energy the best we can. Of course, it is challenging because a lot people don’t understand and can also be offended if you turn down invitations. They have to know it’s not them, it’s just the season. And with having a four year old I must put my energies towards her wellbeing first and foremost.

Having said that it doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy the celebrations. I really, really do …I am just limited in how much activity I can cram into a day. I have learned that I have to say no or I will crash and then I won’t be able to do anything …at least not in good humour.

I try really hard to get presents done by the end of November. I also get the tree and decorations up by the end of November. This allows me to have more time when the activities start up in December. And this year I accomplished that. I was especially conscious of it this year with having started up my business as I knew it is a busy time for someone with a handcraft business.

But sometimes there are things beyond your control. I was on top of it but was sideswiped by life. So some of the extras didn’t get done. I had a couple of custom orders that I didn’t get photos of before they left my hands. (And they were good ones, too… If you are lucky enough to live by the ocean you are lucky enough …and …Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part). And, of course, my blog has suffered, too. I haven’t written much at all.

Now I am hoping to get back on track and even have a market coming up. More on that soon. Today I had a much needed painting day. There really is something soothing about  the creative process. It’s been a while and hope they will be more plentiful in the near future.

Boxing Week Sale!

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Yes, after much thought I have decided to have a boxing week sale in my shop! I must admit I am feeling a little generous from all the Christmas spirit around me.

From December 26th to January 4th (so actually a little more than a week) you can get 20% off your entire order (excluding custom orders) by using the code BOXINGWEEK at checkout. If you are a local buyer and don’t require shipping you can contact me directly and the same 20% discount (excluding custom orders) will apply. (Click on the photo to link to my shop.)

So, if you have some Christmas money burning a hole in your pocket and want something a little special or perhaps you have had your eye on one of my pieces for awhile NOW is the time buy. I expect this sale thing will only be a once a year deal.

PS. My husband framed my Babayaya’s sign as one of my Christmas presents. You can see it in the photo above. Isn’t it great? Now it won’t blend into the signs for sale when I set up a market table! Yay!