Upcoming Markets

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I am always trying to work on new things so I have fresh items at each market. I have been wanting to do some driftwood pieces and think it is perfect to debut them at the White Rock Farmers’ Market this Sunday, July 5th since they are so beachy.

I have just updated my market page. If you want to see which markets Babayaya’s Handmade Creations will be at in the next while you can check out my market page on my website.

I am happy to say I have been accepted into the Town & Country Vintage Fall Market on Saturday, September 19th. This one will be in Langley at the Murrayville Hall. I had so much fun participating in the Town & Country Vintage Market held at the Apple Barn last weekend that I am anticipating the Fall Market will be just as great.

I am also going to be a vendor at the Fall MarketPlace Montage Artisan Market at the Ocean Park Community Hall in South Surrey on Saturday, October 3rd. This one is close to my heart as I lived almost right across the street when I was a kid. I love that neighbourhood. I am sure it will feel a bit like coming home.

And, I have been accepted into the Crafty Affaire Holiday Market. Yay! I enjoyed being part of their spring market and look forward to being part of the holiday market, too. The Crafty Affaire Holiday Market will be on Saturday, November 28th at the Elgin Hall in South Surrey. I love that this one is also close to home. I really love to be able to feel a part of the community I live in.

And, of course, as previously mentioned I will be at the White Rock Farmers Market July 5th (this Sunday!) and August 9th and I will be at the Deja Vu Vintage Market on July 11th. I will update my market page on my website as new markets are added.

I am always trying to work on new pieces so I have fresh items at each market. Of course, anybody can come see me in East Beach, White Rock, where I work out of my home. If you need anything in between market days or even just want to check out my lovelies on your way to the beach just call ahead to make sure we will be here.

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It’s Market Season. I Am Getting Ready As My First Outdoor Market Approaches.

Market Season is in Full Swing! Yesterday I attended The Olde Farmhouse Vintage Market in Maple Ridge. It was the first one I have been to and I have to say I really enjoyed poking through all the stalls although I was hindered just a little by the impatience of the girly. Really she did a terrific job, it’s just a lot to ask of a 4 year old. We took lots of snack breaks though so it wasn’t so hard on her.

Now that I am a vendor myself when I attend markets as a shopper I have a whole new outlook. I look at all the booths and realize just how much work must have gone into getting them set up. I was really impressed with the booths I saw yesterday and as I work on my first outdoor booth I feel like I have a high standard to meet. So far I have only attended indoor markets as a vendor where a table and chairs were already provided for me. Next week starts my series of 5 outdoor markets I will be attending throughout the summer. (Check out my new 2015 Markets page on my website for the details!) These require me to bring my own everything from the tent to the tables, or whatever I want to display my signs on. I found a rickety old ladder that I think will be a great rustic display piece.

I have been hunting for 10 x 10 Market Tents on Craigslist for months. Just when I thought I would have to give in and buy new (they are expensive especially when you are just starting up!) one popped up and coincidentally it was in Maple Ridge right where I was going yesterday. I ended up getting it and felt like I won a jackpot. It was still an outlay of money but I probably saved about $100. Yay!

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My “new to me” market tent. I like that it’s red and will add some colour.

This week you can find me in my backyard with my tent set up as I move displays around and figure out what works best. It should be fun although it gets a little stressful as the market day approaches and I hope I am prepared for every possible thing. Also, we have an old quilt in our family that I thought would make a fabulous table covering for my last market but nobody seemed to know where it went. But my Mom just found it tucked in the back of her closet! It’s a bit tattered but I think it will add great colour to my display. I am excited to see how that looks.

I have said before that I really enjoy the White Rock Farmers Market. It will be my first outdoor market I am at as a vendor next Sunday, June 7th. The first one of the season was last weekend and, of course, I went as I did today. I just love seeing all the fresh food and other wares. Last year was the first year I came across peonies and instantly fell in love. They have been at both markets this year so far and I just want to know why I have never really known about these flowers before?! Of course, I have heard the word “peony” but I guess I never really knew what they looked like.

At today’s market I came across a vendor I hadn’t seen before, Pastiche Art. I only mention it because I was WOW’d. I love old window frames. I even have one up on my wall as art. I painted it a green/blue colour and I think it looks fabulous in it’s rustic glory. Well, I came up to the Pastiche Art stall and it was instant love. Brent Unrau, the face behind Pastiche Art takes old rustic frames and matches them with paintings. He had fabulous ocean scene paintings (another love of mine) behind the old rustic windows and the result is amazing. When I talked to Brent all I could keep saying was “they are all gorgeous”. You have to check out his fabulous work. And know the photos on the internet don’t do the work justice either. Go look now (link above)! He also told me he will be at the White Rock Farmer’s Market on June 28th …he goes about once a month & he will be at the Deja Vu Vintage Market in Delta on July 11th if you want to see he stuff in person. I would recommend it. Babayaya’s will be at the Deju Vu Vintage Market, too. I am definitely looking forward to his seeing his art again.

Now wish me luck in getting my outdoor booth display together and come see me next Sunday at the White Rock Farmers Market!

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!

 

My First Craft Market

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My display at the craft market. I was given the table and table cloth to work with.

 

Well, today I attended my first craft market as a vendor. I learned a few things along the way. Previously I wrote about how as a newby I missed a lot of the deadlines to apply to be a vendor at Christmas markets (If you missed that post you can read it here). Then, I applied to a couple but didn’t get in. And eventually I decided to do a market at an elementary school. The table fee was low so I figured I didn’t have a lot to lose and, if anything, it would be good to get some experience with being a vendor at a market.

I think I did pretty well in terms of getting a market checklist together and making sure I had everything I needed. Hubby woke up early with me and drove me and all the stuff (a lot of stuff!) to the school. Hubby only had to go home to get two things I forgot (luckily it wasn’t a far drive). Even so those two things I could have lived without if I had to. (Hubby also surprised me with a handmade rustic business card holder this morning. You can see it on the far right corner of the table. It’s gorgeous. Isn’t he great?)

I also think I did fairly well in terms of setup. It is difficult to set up a bunch of signs on a flat table so I brought a couple of props along, basically things I had on hand, to raise some up off the table to make them easier to look at. Linda from Cottage Living (the shop where I have some signs displayed …if you missed that post you can read it here) kindly lent me a tree from the display in her shop so I could display my ornaments (how awesome is that?!). I may need to rethink a few things for next time but overall I think it turned out okay.

So, we managed to get up early, get there and set up just in time for go time. And then …nothing happened. There were no people (except for the other vendors). Now I will say that this market was run by the PAC (parent advisory committee) of an elementary school and as I found out it was their very first year. However, I was a bit concerned when I noticed earlier in the week that the event wasn’t advertised in the craft market section of the local paper. I know I had seen other school craft fairs in there.

Also, when my son came with his girlfriend he commented that there were no signs on the street leading up to the school. From the outside you would never know there was a craft fair going on in the gym. I think that the main people who came were friends and family of the vendors. I didn’t expect a huge, huge turnout like some of the bigger craft markets get but I guess I at least expected the parents of the students to attend.

On the upside I had lots of time to visit for the friends and family who did come to see me. (Thank you so much for coming to those who did!) I also enjoyed talking to a couple of the other vendors. I got some experience in and won’t be so overwhelmed preparing for the next market. And, at the very end a lady came to ask me about a custom order and took my card. If that order follows through then it may just make the day a win. I think the biggest thing I learned is to ask what the marketing plan is before committing to my next market. That, as I found out, makes a huge difference!

On the downside I am a bit disappointed after putting in so much work to prepare for this market. And, I have lots of stock! Anybody want to buy some Christmas ornaments?

 

What it Means to be a Handcrafter When it Comes to Christmas

As soon as Halloween is over the Christmas markets start up in abundance. Have you ever thought “what?, already”?! What if I told you that as a handcrafter you need to start thinking about Christmas in the Spring?! I know … and you thought it was bad that people didn’t even wait until Rememberance Day was past!

I opened my shop last March. It was July when I realized that I had already missed the deadline on some applications to be a vendor at Christmas markets. Wow. I also had the opportunity to apply to a couple of markets but I didn’t feel confident that I would have enough inventory to be a vendor at one market let alone multiple. As someone who crafts around the schedule of my 4 year old it is difficult to know if I will have guaranteed time to get things done. So, I passed on the opportunities.

Shortly after (maybe end of July beginning of August) I came across another opportunity to be at a Christmas market so I took the plunge and applied. I wouldn’t find out until mid-September if I was accepted. I wasn’t. Which was fine but at the same time it’s hard to know if you should apply to more markets when you don’t know for some time which ones you will be accepted to. I suppose one should just apply to a bunch with the notion you can say no if you are accepted to two on the same day.

After I wasn’t accepted I found a couple more to apply to and in the end will be at the Sunnyside Elementary School Winter Market Fair on December 6, 2014 (details in the photo below). I am happy with just doing one this year as I learn the ropes of the handcrafting world. It certainly is a crazy time of year with lots of extras already thrown in …shopping, decorating, events, the list goes on. I don’t think I would have been prepared to do more than one market anyway. I would have had to start preparing last spring! I should have been making my Christmas items then so I could spend the time now updating my shop etc. It’s really amazing how much time it all takes.

I have a friend from high school who does markets pretty much every weekend throughout the Christmas season. I am in complete awe as to how she does it and stays sane! (Her shop is Home for the Holidays if you are curious). Perhaps it gets easier with time and experience.

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