Sunday was my first adventure into Having A Market Stall. It was seriously exciting and terrifying all at the same time. I’ve been to NCT sales in the past but they felt sheltered (literally as well as figuratively given they were in church halls) than an actual Real Market. One where I had signs, tables and a gazebo. One where I had to be Proper.
I was the only person to have a ‘Garden Gazebo’ – which meant that Himself and I spent some considerable time constructing poles and velcro-ing somewhat flimsy looking plastic fabric whilst the rest of the market traders popped their gazebos up with all the ease of a button popping, self opening umbrella from Harrods.
Ours was more like using an angry cat for shelter. One that had decided its personal mission in life was to roll down the hill, fly away in the slightest breeze or gouge me with its evil numbered poles.
‘Mummy! 3A has gone down the hill again! Shall I go and get it…..’
Still, if the rain came this cat wasn’t going anywhere. It was weighted down somewhat expensive glorified water buckets. Which we all know cats hate. This cat was mine.
The table was leant to me by my friend Sarah from It Was Made For Me which meant that I didn’t have to go and buy a giant table if the market day was a hideous flop and no one talked to me – never mind booked onto one of my workshops or joined the waiting list. So thank you Sarah for dropping it off yesterday. And sorry to Jon for having to talk to me (he did a very good job of not smirking) whilst I rocked my Dolly Parton pjs. It was Saturday morning and I wasn’t ready to get dressed. I’m used to working on my own so quite honestly I don’t see the need to wear actual clothes unless I am going to leave the house or see a customer. Anyone who knocks on my door unexpectedly (ok ok he wasn’t actually unexpected) on a Saturday morning just has to accept they might get pjs. So thank you both.
Anyhow, I digress. The Clevedon Sunday Market is a delightful little(ish) market that’s held in three locations around Clevedon on the first Sunday of every month (during the summer). I’ve been a customer there before but never a trader.
It’s filled to the brim with lovely vintage records, table cloths, books and paraphernalia; hand made cushions and bags; hand painted and up cycled furniture; and the most glorious selection of local foods you can imagine. I was lucky enough to be next to the wonderful people from The Common Loaf Bakery who kept me plied with the most gorgeous fig-loaf-cake-bread-chunk-of-loveliness you can imagine. And green tea. Every time I turned back to sit at my chair they had popped something else divine onto the wee attached table. Bliss. And utterly unexpected but oh so welcome.
Not to mention the sausages from the Sausage Shed which we bought and had for dinner this evening along with home grown summer squash and a truly ginormous puffball mushroom that was foraged by Farmer Claire from her cow field and hand delivered to me. I have never been more excited about fungus. And good Lord this fungus was good. The sausages received the highest accolade in Somerset which is that my daughter deigned to eat them. She ate two. Given she eats practically nothing this is a massive win. Himself and I ate far too many which I can’t regret as they were crazily delicious.
The Child was actually an enormous help at the market. Himself loaded her up with business cards and she ran around giving them out to passers by. She achieved what I could never do – getting the conversation started with someone who wasn’t planning to stop at all, didn’t really want a business card and hadn’t ever thought about sewing or keepsakes – by the simple fact that she is 3 and wildly cute.
I spoke to so many people about sewing workshops and keepsakes that my head is spinning a bit. I forget how much I like talking to people as I spend so much time working away on my own in my studio listening to Radio 4 (or whichever podcast I’m into at the time). And I met so many lovely people. It was super to be able to answer so many questions face to face, show off my animals and help people with their sewing queries.
I was also enthused to heaven by how many people just LOVE to sew. There are masses and masses of devotees out there – all sorts from the ‘I Squeal In Terror A Bit When I Press The Pedal On The Machine’ to ‘I Made My Own Wedding Dress’ – and it was glorious to see that this wonderful craft and life skill is increasingly on the up and becoming ‘trendy’ once more (whatever that means).
Lots of people joined my waiting list (I haven’t run the numbers yet but I think I might have drifted slightly over 12 months now) and lots more people signed up to my sewing workshop newsletters. So all in all a very good day!
Thank you to all of you who came down to see me and helped to make it such a successful day for this mumtrepreneur.