January 11, 2012

I've Been Busy

While my posts have been somewhat erratic, it only means that things are going on behind the scenes that are keeping me pretty busy.  December marked the very first Lubbock Downtown Art Market for Tierra Verde Handmade Soaps,and having done lots of research on what to expect and what to have ready was a huge help.My only regret is that I didn't jump off into markets before now. I think I kind of let the idea that I needed to have the "perfect table" and market set up intimidate me all this time,but in the end I just decided to "go for it" with what I had available to me and make the best of it and in the end I have no regrets-we had a great time.

The first market day was very, very cold-the fog was supposed to burn off and the temps. were supposed to warm up into the low 50's, but of course that never happened.(in fact many vendors didn't even show up and a few set up outside and left-it was just too cold.) Instead the day began with fog, moisture and below freezing temps. with even a few flurries and pretty much stayed that way minus the fog and flurries,however it didn't dampen our enthusiasm and we toughed it out for the day. Luckily we had a tent with sides and a small portable propane heater that saved the day and made it tolerable for us to be outside.Us being myself, the husband and daughter(who so graciously tolerated the freezing temps. in a show of support.)

It seems the timing for all of this was serendipitous too, as you can only imagine that right before Christmas is a great time to have handmade product for sale. I went to market with the hopes of at least recovering my booth fee,and I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised at the interest there was in handmade soap. I guess it only helps that soap and hand balms are perfect stocking stuffer items.lol!

Initially, I was told that there were going to be 3 other handmade soap vendors,(at a fairly small market) so we knew we might be lost in the crowd, however as fate would have it we were the only ones crazy enough to set up. We didn't have high expectations that we would bring in loads of profit since the day was overcast and never above freezing, but somehow we ended up doing very well despite the weather and I'm sure a less than normal turn out.

The following are photos from the eve before market. I highly recommend setting up a mock table so you can get a good idea of how you want to lay your product out. This way you can see how how it will all play out instead of finding out the morning of.

What do you think of the funky table cloth? I picked it up at the Jackelope in Albuquerque NM. I love it!

At the end of the day-the lesson I took away from all of this, is that being intimidated by the whole "market" scene was a huge waste of time-just dive right in and tweak your table and set up as you go. Once you have a few markets under your belt you'll know just what you need to take in the way of change, supplies, product amount etc. Don't get bogged down by all the details and expectations you think are there-just get out there and do it. If you believe in your product you'll find you can easily talk about it to others. I am pretty much an introvert and yet I found market to be a great place to educate people as to the attributes of my product.

All this to say that now that markets have entered my life things are very busy. I'm also working on a bit of a tweak for my website-the updated version will have a space for announcements such as sales, shipping announcements etc. Duh! for some reason that was not a consideration on the website that is up currently. We are also working on getting some new product shots to populate the sight. Once all of this is in place, I'm looking forward to some kind of fun giveaway-so keep watching out for that.

The new product shots will be along the same lines as the one below. I really love the organic nature of these photos and hope you like them too.


innerearthsoaps said...

One thing I learnt from doing markets in winter, is to take a big thermos full of hot coffee! I'm glad you enjoyed it, I think your display looks great. I really want to sniff that potpourri!

Donna OShaughnessy said...

Great advice to set up your table at home BEFORE the market. Wish I had thought of that last summer before our farmers market. But then again without mistakes there would be no learning. I love your round soaps and the circular labels. Beautiful

Jennifer Young said...

Love the look of your market table and SOOO pleased that you did well!! I love markets too! xoxo Jen

Amy Warden said...

Oh hooray for you!! I'm so happy you are doing markets now!! You should have seen my table on my first day at the market. You would have been appalled at the borrowed old card table from my neighbor, the vinyl table cloth, and about 4 different kinds of soaps - all of them different sizes. I still can't believe anyone bought them!!

Tierra Verde Handmade Soap said...

It's been very humbling for me to realize that I put waaaayyy to much importance on how I thought my table and product should look.I often get held back by my fear of things not being good enough.It's very refreshing to see that people are not really looking for perfection, but rather the quality and passion behind a handcrafted item. Thank goodness cause I don't know if I will ever get things just right.I'm slowly learning that it's much more important to "get it out there"and tweak as you go along than to be "perfect."

Amy, I think people are becoming more and more aware of the benefits of handcrafted items and what's not to love about a line up of handcrafted soap-really-pretty hard to resist!

Thanks all for your encouragement!

Tara said...

So proud of you, Michele, for putting yourself out there and having a very successful first market. Congratulations and here's to many more!

Tierra Verde Handmade Soap said...

@ Tara,awww-you know it was kind of watching your journey that inspired me to give it a whirl.You've had a great year and now I'm ready to have a great 2012. Thanks Tara!