Tag Archives: gundaroo

To Market To Market Part Four – After Market Analysis

Yesterday I attended the Collected and Created Gundaroo Market as a stallholder and am pleased to report that it was a great day!   Not only was the venue lovely (the historic Soldiers Memorial Hall in Gundaroo) but the whole market was well planned, attended by beautifully talented local creators and collectors, and had the whole community supporting it.   All my thinking about attending markets, branding, displays, etc, came together seamlessly and I had a lovely day telling the story behind my products, selling to interested customers and generally enjoying the whole experience.

Of course although I am the face of my business the reality is that it doesn’t happen without the team behind the scenes. My parents provide such huge amounts of support that make it possible.  Yesterday Dad drove over to Gundaroo (about 15 minutes cross country from us) to help me unload my car, then he came back with my two daughters in the afternoon to help with the packing up.  In the meantime Mum looked after the children, tidied my house, and gave me the peace of mind to be away from home for the day.

Now we are the in after market phase and although my first inclination is to sit back and chill for a few days, the reality is that I don’t have time!   Last night after going through and counting my sales, working out the overheads and determining the level of profit (important so that you know whether you truly made money or just had fun) I also sat and assessed stock to determine where the gaps are that need to be refilled before the next market in two weeks time.   A quick online order to supplement my supplies, a list of products that need to be made, and a plan is starting to come together.

After market analysis is important so that you can see what sold well, what didn’t work, what you need to change in your display and what you forgot!    One of the stall holders I spoke to yesterday said that she was surprised by what sold and what didn’t, and I had to agree.  Even with knowing your target audience, and researching what you think will sell best, until you actually hit the event the predictions are just that, predictions.   Things that didn’t move at all at my last market went like hotcakes at this one, and items that I thought would really appeal to the community didn’t move at all!   This doesn’t mean that I will abandon those products but I will think about how to make them more accessible, appealing, and inviting to my customers.

Things to think about before your next market:

  • How do you keep track of your stock?  Is there a better way to track what sold and what didn’t? Do you need a spreadsheet that you mark off as items sell, a notepad that you make notes on as things move, or an inventory system connected to a point of sale that provides a full retail experience?
  • How did your display work?   Where there products that didn’t move because they were lost in the display, or items that customers couldn’t easily see?   Do you need more height variations, more signs, or different ways of showing pricing?
  • How did your stall set up work for you as the seller?  Did you have a place to take money and wrap purchases without crowding customers?  Did you have a place to sit when you had a few minutes break?  Did your cashbox and credit card facility work for you or was it too unwieldy and awkward?
  • Do you have supplies to replenish your stock, and how long will supplies take to arrive?  If you have enough for the next event but none for the event after that, assuming you sell the same amount, is it time to order more now so that they are ready when you need them?
  • How did you feel about the experience?  Were you happy talking to customers or did you feel overwhelmed?  Did you find that people were queuing to pay for items because you were too busy?  (I know – there are worse problems that can happen, but if customers get tired of waiting they will just walk away instead.)  Do you need to have someone else to help you serve customers for the next event?   Were you tired, hungry, thirsty or stressed?  What can you do to change that for next time?
  • What was your most frequently asked question?   If the question was about how much something cost, it is time to rethink how you display your prices.  If it was about what a particular item was, it is time to rethink how you package and display that item.   If it was whether you made all of this yourself then that is a great conversation starter!   Thinking about these questions can help you to be better prepared for next time.

Having now addressed all of those questions myself I am off to conduct another Distance Education session with my son, then start making lists.  There are some packages that need to be rethought, some signs that need to be made, and a shelf unit that needs to be painted to provide more height on one table.   Plus some blue wool and fuzzy green ‘cactus’ wool to be sourced!

I hope that your after market analysis gives you lots of inspiration to keep growing your business.

Fresh ideas locally

My much anticipated ‘free’ time to sew, rest, create and socialise has arrived. Yesterday I drove three very happy little chicks a few hours down the road and handed them over to their grandfather who then drove them on to his farm. The road trip was hilarious as we played a game of “I don’t spy”. The most creative thing that we couldn’t see was a disco chicken (the artist-in-residence), followed by an Egyptian pyramid (the boy) while the eldest chick had us guessing for a very long time to finally give up on something that we could see – Wattle trees. The trip home was much less entertaining and far quieter!

Before they left we had some other entertaining moments when we realised on Thursday afternoon that one of the chickens had flown out of it’s run and was being chased around the yard by the dog. (Why the blasted thing didn’t fly then is a mystery.) Once the dog was secured inside we decided it was time for a wing trim – so then we had to catch the 5 chooks. It was like a scene from a comedy – kids, chooks and me all running around. At one stage the kids nearly had one of the chickens, who then calmly stepped through a hole in a screening fence and out of their reach. They nearly collapsed laughing at the chicken’s attitude! We did finally capture them all and trim their wings and then on Friday the eldest chick and I put bird netting over the whole pen to provide some added protection. (Not bad considering that the air felt like ice!)

After a period of intensive costume sewing, and then the road trip, despite having been waiting for this free time for weeks, I was at a bit of a loss where to start last night and was frozen by indecision! So I tidied up the house a bit, and decided that crochet was the order of the day. I started on a beanie for myself in a multi-coloured wool. I am not convinced that it will be ‘me’ when it is finished, but I will post a photo in a day or two when it is finished and we will see!

Today I was determined that I wouldn’t waste my time, so got up early and started cleaning up in earnest. Having a clean and tidier (still not completely tidy!) house gives me the headspace to be creative. I was still not feeling particularly inspired, and was realising that I was actually putting pressure on myself to be creative because I thought I had to! But inspiration comes in many forms, so I can report that I am back on track! I had a day out in the country with a new friend – a drive, a potter around in the shops, lunch in a café, then back to town for a walk around the lake and a hot drink to help defrost. I haven’t done something like this for a very long time, and really enjoyed the change in routine. And the bonus? I found local craftspeople’s work in both locations! We went to a town called Gundaroo which is only about 20 minutes outside Canberra, but is quite historic. One of the shops we went into was built in the mid 1800’s and still has the original newspapers lining the walls – including one from 1878. (I love stuff like that!) The slightly more modern shop next door was a shop of local handmade goods. Wow! Steel sculptures, modern ceramics, intricate handknits, gorgeous jewellery, and a big wood fire in the middle of the room. And as far as I could see – all artists from Gundaroo itself. What a creative space!

The café that we stopped at for the afternoon drink also had a gallery – with local artist’s work on display. Again – just beautiful. It served as a perfect reminder that stepping out of my own space and looking at the work of others is a great thing to do to help refresh my perspective. So tonight I have a couple of small offerings that I have made myself, but also want to share with you the work of some local creative souls, to show you some of the things on offer in my part of the world, if only we step out to look at them!

Since I started selling on Etsy I have joined a couple of ‘teams’. This seems to be a great way of promoting each other’s work through creating treasuries (‘curated collections’) which can then be used for the front page of the website. The other benefit is that I have had a chance to see what people in my area are doing – and there are some very talented people here!

Hannah from BananaOrangeApple sews gorgeous creations for little people.  I think this one is my favourite – if only my little chicks were small enough to still wear it!

Toddler Girl Rainbow Dress Patchwork

I love the paintings and drawings by Kylie Fogarty. I think that with my love of camping this one is probably my current favourite Caravan Landscape Painting

The soft toys made by Abby from Oopah are delicious!

Oppahtot

If I don’t get around to making my own cushion covers, or re-covering my old chair, then I will definitely be going to Tango and James for fabric!  Oh My Heart Cushion Cover

And then, for complete cuteness, look at these little foxes by Gemmie from handmadebyGemmie Fox

 

My small offerings, as I start back on the road to inspiration are projects that I have had in mind for a while. The first is a zipped pouch and drawstring bag set, that matches the overnight bag I made a couple of weeks back. I also want to make a toothbrush roll to go with it, so that it is a complete travel accessory kit.

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The second is an appliqued t-shirt that my aunt asked me to make for a little girl she knows. I have been wanting to make some t-shirts, so this is the first of hopefully many!

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So with a bit of local inspiration, and a bit of free time, I am looking forward to a bit of creativity this week!  I hope that you have a great week and take the time to think about who is creative in your local area.