Firefly Handmade Markets is a seasonal series of juried, handmade artisan markets, in our fourth year of operation, in the Denver/Boulder area. We’re thrilled to have a business that creates opportunities for handmade artisans to bring their goods to the public. We continue to be impressed by the uniquely creative and quality products that artisans offer. It’s a big part of what makes each market and the jurying process exciting for us. Surprisingly, a number of artisans regularly fail to capitalize on the many advantages inherent in selling their products in a physical marketplace, as opposed to an e-commerce site; namely the ability to connect with their customers and give them the opportunity to touch, feel, and experience their handmade goods.
With that in mind, here are our top 4 tips to make your market opportunities more productive.
Sounds simple doesn’t it? Put a smile on your face, show a willingness to engage with those who stop by your booth, and be yourself. We realize that this can be challenging to artisans who are not inherently comfortable with dealing with the public. However, even if you have to step out of your comfort zone, in our experience, positive attitudes beget positive responses and interest from shoppers; translation-a smile is contagious! It’s surprising how some artisans retreat into a corner of their booth and sit seemingly glumly on a chair. If you aren’t excited about your goods, why would a customer be? And don’t underestimate the value of a touch, a handshake, making eye contact. Can’t find that on the Internet.
Engage Customers In Your Creative Process
Whether through in-booth demonstrations, pictures of your awesome creative self in action, or simply a willingness to describe your creative process, give customers an appreciation of the skill and hard work that goes into your goods. If you provide them a reason to be invested in what you create, then your customers will naturally understand the thought and quality that goes into what they could own. And customers do want to own the authenticity and quality of your products.
Create A Storefront
Make no mistake-your market operator is selling you valuable real estate. Between the venue cost, utilities and equipment, marketing/promotion and manpower, your booth space is just not a random spot on a piece of ground. So take advantage of that by creating a welcoming and unique “storefront” for your booth space. It’s your pop-up shop and enhancement of your brand; maybe even an opportunity to imagine what a permanent storefront could be like for your business. Include creative signage and other touches that give someone a reason to wonder what great things are going on inside.
Don’t Scrimp On Your Display
True story-we had an artisan who was selling magnificent, high-quality products – maybe the most expensive price point to be found at our market. Yet, all of that awesomeness was being exhibited on an obviously inexpensive display set-up; the kind with faux velvet plastered over cardboard that was so flimsy it would be airborne if a small breeze kicked up. The disconnect between the quality of the goods and that of the display was obvious. Our market goers are smarter than that and could see through the lack of engagement with the product, and sadly, she sold nothing!
Simply said, how you display, what you display on and a positive attitude should be a reflection of you, your product and your aesthetic. Happy crafting and selling!
Beth Pomerantz – Firefly Handmade Markets
Beth Pomerantz is the owner of Firefly Handmade Markets, as well as an artist. She helped run a private art studio and taught art for five years. Beth has a passion for connecting people, and promoting talent. Prior to Firefly Handmade, she had a 20 year career in marketing, advertising and event planning. If you are an artist interested in showcasing your creations at a Firefly Market please apply here: http://www.fireflyhandmade.com/#!application/c1jat. If you would like to stay up to date on all things Firefly, join our email list here: http://www.fireflyhandmade.com/#!join-our-mailing-list/c4jv