Friday, April 26, 2013

Planning afoot and seeking advice

Little ducks all in a row @jenib320

Farmer's markets open up in June. Honestly this is mostly a Spicy venture. My job is to make things look pretty and attract people to our space. I have my doubts that I'll sell very much. We've been to a few of the area markets and there has only been one with any hand craft vendors. Many of them were selling "Grandma"-type things: crocheted acrylic blankets, baby bibs and clothes, dishcloths. One vendor seemed more artistic. Her prices were similar to mine but her style was very different (think Country Classic). I realized that there's no reason for me to half-ass it. It's ok to have low expectations, but I can at least put forth my best effort and maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised.

Having made that decision, I have a ton to get done in a month. I ordered some minicards from moo with my logo and fabric care symbols that I can use as price tags. I signed up for Paypal here so I can take credit cards. I am planning to make cash aprons for both me and Spicy. I also need to make a tablecloth and some fabric buckets to display some of the smaller items.

As far as inventory goes, I was thinking of sticking mostly to food or kitchen related things in a range of price points. I'm making a variety of market bags, including the drawstring bags in the Artist size pictured above. I can make up to 4 things at a time assembly-line style before I get unbearably bored. I was also thinking of doing decorative linen dishtowels and possibly cloth napkins. I want to make some aprons. I will probably stay away from potholders and oven mitts, because they can be a fair amount of work to put together and in my experience people don't want to pay very much for them. Maybe I can squeeze in some simple picnic quilts but they would be pretty expensive and I'm not sure how well they would sell. Is there any demand for things like coasters or placemats anymore? We don't use them at my house, but then again our dining room table has been commandeered as my sewing space.

If you were browsing crafty goods at a farmer's market, what would you like to see? Do you have any suggestions for selling at local farmer's markets or pitfalls that I should avoid?


  1. Good luck with getting it all done. Rather than placemats you might consider table runners since they take less time and material and seem popular around the flickr swap world at least.

  2. I worked at a farmer's market all through high school, and each space has it's own feel/mood/clientele. Sometimes a vendor will be able to do really well at one but not another, so don't be discouraged. You have to read the mood of the clientele and sell to that type. To use a Western NY example, most vendors at the farmer's market in Ithaca, New York, wouldn't make near as much at the public market in Rochester, NY, because the customer base is has completely different philosophies on why they shop, what they want to buy, and why they went to the market.

  3. I've never done a farmer's market, but I've done plenty of Christmas craft fairs. Sometimes one thing will be hot, sometimes a different thing, and sometimes there are no sales whatsoever. I've learned the important thing is just to have a good attitude and hold it through until the end. That can be a chore sometimes!

  4. Someone mentioned table runners already, which was going to be my first suggestion. Also grocery bag holders are quick to make and I have a ton of folks requesting them right now. Baby stuff is good too, decorated burp cloths, bibs and such. Best of luck!

  5. I have no experience, but best wishes for success. I would love to work Farmer's Markets, but you have to have so many licenses here, which I think is a crock.



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