The local arts and crafts stall

20 Dec 2012

Sorry that it’s been a long time since the last post again, but most of my time has been taken up with the new market stall and moving house. The stall has now been open for almost 4 weeks and it’s been a very interesting time. It’s been a bit slow in taking off because of having to be in the market (where not that many people ordinarily go) but we’ve been selling a few things each day and some days have been very good.

The most important things to come out of this are the interest and support that has been shown by the customers. I tend to explain what the project is about to everyone who stops by and this has also led to them telling other people they know and those people coming along because they also support the idea. Some customers themselves have returned to buy more things so in terms of that, it has been a success.

The other thing is that more makers have heard about it and wanted to join the venture. It started off with having work by 12 people on sale and in the fourth week it has gone up to 20. This also means the stall is filling up with lots of things and looks more inviting but also, it means it’s running out of space to display more things! At this moment, it will be open for the next four days leading up to Christmas, so I hope all those last-minute customers will come along and support us.

Also this week I have put together the application form to apply for funding from the Idea2Reality Portas project, which will give a shop possibly in the main shopping centre to the winner for 6 months rent free. This would obviously be a great thing if we could get this, especially in terms of the increase in footfall that would come from it. The closing date for entry is 4th Jan and the results will come out in March so let’s keep our fingers crossed for that. The stall will stay open till mid-February and after Xmas, will switch to more art-based products but also keeping those things that aren’t directly related to Xmas. There will also be Valentine’s Day to prepare for.

To keep up with the development of the stall, please visit the facebook page.

29 Dec 2012

Today was the last day of the year on the market and was quiet as expected as it’s right after Christmas. Discounting this, I can say that it has been the start of a successful venture as there are a good number of people who know about it and are involved with it. The figures for the first four weeks are that there were exactly 200 items sold in that time and although some makers’ products were more successful than others, at least all of the work has become better known.

Although some items have had to come off the shelves due to them being Christmas-specific things, most things are still on sale. We need to move in a different direction though, now, and even though the current makers will still have their stock on sale, I would like it to become more art-oriented. I feel it would be good to have lots of good quality, unique items on sale and from a business sense we are looking at attracting people buying for birthdays or for themselves. This means that we’ll be looking to expand the audience to reach out to different tastes as well. I have also put in a request to change the location of the stall. Currently, it is not near to any similar stalls and it would probably get more customers if it is nearer the vintage/ antiques section as this is more gifts-based. This change should hopefully happen in the 2nd week of January.

February will see the chance to latch onto the Valentine’s Day shoppers and that will be the last action on the stall as the 12 week period comes to an end just after that (the 16th). Of course, I will emphasise that it is not the end but planned to be the beginning of the next stage, i.e. becoming a shop. We’ll only have to wait until early February to find out if the idea has been shortlisted for Idea2Reality and if it is, I will attend a workshop on either the 15th or 22nd of Feb. After that, we’ll know within 28 days of this whether it has been a winner.

Anyway, there’s still more to work on before then so make sure you keep supporting it and help us to spread the word even more! Happy New Year to you all!



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