It was a beautiful hot day, which was lovely for the visitors and purveyors of cold drinks and ice cream, but sadly not so good for stall holders. I don't think hot weather puts people in much of a mood for buying. Last year the weather was rainy and sales were much better.
|We need some air in this here marquee!|
But on the positive side, it was the debut of a new stall display I'd spent the week frenziedly working on.
As part of a major rebranding that I will be working on over the summer, smartening up the stall presentation was one of the first steps. I love my funky-looking old stall, but wanted a change after a long chat with Emily at Craft Central at a business mentoring session. She suggested grouping Shark Alley's products by genre rather than media, so I developed a stall arrangement based on this idea.
I like the idea of creating a natural sort of environment for the display, with a vintage feel, soft colours and a nod to the paper and recycled elements that appear in my work. As well as the postcard display holders that I made last week, I also covered boxes, perspex necklace displays and stands with paper collage, and painted then sanded wooden picture frames to showcase my photos of Ella modelling the jewellery. The final touch was a length of soft neutral faux suede for the table cover.
A few tweaks are required (I want cardboard trees!) but overall I'm pretty happy with the finished effect.
Despite a slow day sales-wise, I met some lovely people including a girl who fell in love with and subsequently bought a flamingo pendant. It looked absolutely stunning on her - I wish I'd taken a photo! However, there were a few people who came close to upsetting me with fairly thoughtless behaviour, including a woman who seemed to think my stall was a toy box for her grandchild. This is a great article on customer etiquette that I found whilst trying to find a hilarious video which said much the same thing, but in a tongue-in-cheek way. Sadly, I couldn't find it, but I'll keep trying. Some people should remember they're not in a faceless department store - they're in front of the person who made those things!
However there were some nice surprise treats on the day. This giant ottery face as the train passed through Barnes on the way to Kew Bridge station . . .
. . . and a visit from my lovely Mum, who bought lunch and stood in for me on toilet breaks!