Monday, September 22, 2008

Farmer's Market from a Crafter's Point of View

My friend and I have attended a summer long Farmer's Market consisting of 22 Sundays from 12pm - 4pm. It was located in a small town, and the only advertising done had to do with the food portion of the market. There were 4-5 other crafters at any given time, and the community didn't know we were there!

This was the first Farmer's Market in the area, and we had prepaid for the entire summer at a discounted rate. There were pros and cons in this experience, and you can read about them below:


1. There was no advertisement for crafters.
2. There were two other jewelers. My friend and I shared a booth, and we also made jewelry.
3. The market was held in a small community.
4. A lot of people didn't anticipate crafts so they didn't bring money.
5. We spent a lot of time setting up and taking down our booth with little overall profit.


1. We had the opportunity to meet people and to let them know we are here.
2. We reminisced with people we haven't seen in a long time.
3. It was really a community event where everyone knew each other.
4. We made our booth cost back with some profit :)
5. We gained experience on good days vs. bad days.

Advice and Tips:

1. Share a booth with a friend. It keeps booth costs down, you have support, and you can take a few moments for yourself when need be. You both probably sell different things with a different style, so more people would be drawn to your booth.

2. Check out the other booths. Not only do you get to check out what other great crafters/farmers there are, but if you make friendly contact with them they are more likely to come visit your booth. Vendors are customers too.

3. Offer discounts. You can offer scratch cards that give the customer a chance to win a percentage off of their purchase, or you can put a coupon into the packaging after they purchase something. I didn't think of it in time, but I had postcards with a discount code on them that I handed out with each purchase. This will definitely be something I hand out at every upcoming show.

4. Offer a variety of items in a wide price range. Perhaps someone dropped by to check out the market as they were heading out to buy a friend a gift. Maybe a kid has a little spending money and wants to use it in your booth. It's important to have a little something for everyone.

5. Don't get discouraged. It was a farmer's market after all. We had high hopes, but we learned from the experienced and met a lot of interesting people. We got our name out there, and we did have our good days. It really put me in low spirits when people walked right past our booth without even looking inside because they immediately think "Oh. It's just jewelry." We offered more than jewelry, and some people didn't give us the chance. Perhaps we didn't stand out enough. Perhaps they stereotyped us. It was the moments when one person came in and looked carefully at everything, took a business card, and said with sincerity, "You really have some amazing stuff here" that made me forget about the rough time we were having.

Perhaps you have or will have a more overall profitable and successful Farmer's Market in your area, but before getting a booth it is best to check out the market to get a feel for it. Ask the vendors what their opinions are on how successful the market is, and if they would attend again. Also check into how the event is organized and advertised.

I hope this has been helpful to you, and thank you so much for reading.

CM Designs dba 1337 Art

Elite Art for the elite at heart. Featuring jewelry for men and women, art collage, awareness items, bookmarks, cell phone charms, hair accessories, key chains, kilt pin brooches, wine charms, and more.

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Estela said...

Great tips!!
The discount code is a great idea!

LazyTcrochet said...

Great tips. I did a similar market recently, for the first time. It went well, except that the guy from the Rotary club thought he was an expert at booth set-up and kept rearranging my stuff! It was annoying, but I dealt with it LOL.

TheresaJ said...

Sounds like a pretty good experience overall, even if it wasn't quite as profitable as you had hoped. All good tips and lessons for the coming events.

Gabriel's Aunt said...

Great points. I have experience all of those things and learned a TON!

Great post for all of those who haven't done too many of these.


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