7 tips to minimise stress for first time stallholders.
We arrive at 9am to find our empty marquee waiting to be filled. The other stall holders are already looking pink on this significantly warm day, pushing around their stock filled trolleys and we think, shit, we should of brought a trolley.
It took us a couple of trips and a few sweat beads to empty out the car and begin set-up. Feeling eager, we placed our empty cookie tins and boxes on the table, just like we did for our trial setup. We cover them and all their festivity with a stark white tablecloth AKA bed sheet and the result was just as expected. A Dynamic multi-tiered landscape ready and waiting for us to display our goods. This method was effective and in our case available at no cost, making it a wonderful solution for people like us who are on a tight budget.
With plenty of white fabric leftover, we created our 'walls'. A bit of jute string attached to large safety pins, strung through the Metal frame of the marquee was enough to do the trick. Though It was at around this time that the breeze picked up and reminded us that we needed to bring some weights so we didn't take off like a kite..
So we drove home and made ourselves some off the cuff weights. Mason jars filled with uncooked rice. We tied them to the bottom corners of our bed sheets and never took off with the wind. 10/10 solution, this is Tip #3.
So now that we finished what the bones of our stall would be, it was time for decorating and finishing touches. With the white walls as a clean slate for us to work with, we decided our main centrepiece was this wild twisted eucalyptus branch.
I'd have you know that it came off a tree opposite Anika's house a few months back and I just couldn't part with it so thank goodness for hoarding.
The branch was looped through the trusses of the marquee and decorated elegantly with draped fabric and native flowers (both dried and fresh). We topped all this off with little twinkle lights (warm white of course) for some sparkle.
Tip #4 : Collect pretty things.
When we were finally satisfied with the set-up for our stall and could stand back feeling a sense of pride. It was time to go home and freshen up to get ready for the 5pm start. This is where tip #5 comes in, don't forget to stay hydrated and eat! It was so easy to forget these two things in the midst of all the excitement and the weekend required a huge amount of energy both physically and mentally, so be kind to yourself.
Evening fell and the art's centre became increasingly busy, the summer night was filled with music and aromatic smells. People were filtering in and out of the stalls eager to see what the artists had to offer. It was a wonderful experience. We ended the night with sore cheeks and a sore throat - signs of a job well done (and we clearly forgot about tip #5)
Saturday morning arrived and no joke this is probably the roughest you'll feel the whole weekend. The morning sun was sharp, our marquees faced East, luckily our stall neighbour Julie from Meraki designs had brought along her son's novelty water squirter with an attached fan. Julie was the real hero guys.
As the evening drew to a close we were allowed to leave our goods on site at our own risk. So we laid things flat and covered our goods with another sheet (Tip #6 Bring a spare bed sheet). This day ended much like how Friday did, tired with sore cheeks and a sore throat so we made sure we got an early night and some R&R so we could do it all again on Sunday.
Sunday was a blistering hot day and there was a significant decrease in the amount of people visiting the bazaar, but getting a regular spritz from Julie's novelty fan kept our spirits high. This was the day where we learnt an important lesson about the value of community and conversations, the people that stopped by on that hot summers day were consistently supportive of Kura Studio and re-affirmed our position in the world. This was a warm fuzzy feeling alright and at the end of the day - we're not looking to do these markets forever and getting your name out there has merit, so this is our final tip,
Tip #7 Value conversations and community just as much as sales.
Thank you Fremantle Art's centre for putting on this great event,