Folksy Ltd

Would you share a stall at a craft event? Advice please!


(Ellie Whitehead) #1

Last year I took part in a christmas market, which I did very well at. Out of that, I met a lady from a local shop who occaisionally sells some of my goods, and sometimes I sew things she asks.

This year she has asked me to share a stall (it’s a 4 day event) but I am slightly uneasy about this.

My reason is that I fear I may get sidelined as she is so much more a business woman than me (maybe I need to wise up) and the stall will be more her than me, even though we will pay half each.

On the plus side, it was really cold last year and it would be nice to share the workload!

Am I worrying needlessly or do I have a point?

Grateful for any advice
Ellie x


(Stephanie Guy) #2

If you’re going to have less than half of the stall can you pro rata the fees?

On the other hand, it depends how much of your stuff she sells in her shop - you don’t want to sour the relationship at all.

And if there are 2 of you to share the stall, you can take comfort breaks much more easily :smiley:

Also, if people flock to her stall, you may get attention for your goodies that might otherwise have passed you by? Of course that works the other way too.

Not much help am I?


(Ellie Whitehead) #3

That is helpful Steph, we are going to pay half and have half space, its just that she is a more dominant character than me and I am going to have to dig deep to stick up for myself. I suppose that’s the bottom line…
x


(Le Petit Bijou Uk) #4

Hi Ellie

I just shared a stall with four other artists at a festival in Sheffield. We all contributed toward the cost and it was very successful. Each vendor attracted different types of customers who then gave all the stalls a once over which resulted in many incidental sales. As long as you have a workable agreement I think its a marvelous way to reduce the cost of participating, have some company and make ££! We shared a paypal card machine and we all had price tags on our goods so that there was no confusion.

Good luck,
Leslie


(Liz Lothian ) #5

Hi, I’ve shared with my Sister at a stall, knitting and crochet, worked well.


(Joy Salt) #6

I’ve been to several events as part of the Country Markets. I just have to stick up for my space as on one occasion my shiny glass was hidden behind a stack of woolly articles which didn’t enhance the appearance of my glass.
Nowadays it is much easier to get a better spot on the shared stall as a goodly proportion of the total takings are from my glass.
So just make sure you stick up for yourself and be careful how you arrange your 2 halves so they complement each other.
xx


(Rebecca Hart) #7

Go for it Ellie, you know the saying : nothing ventured, nothing gained!
You sound like you’ve got it pretty sussed already - the other gal being forthright etc - so you know what you are up against.
I shared a stall at a Vintage Handmade Show with my sister (she is a fab upholsterer and much further than me with her business), but it worked for many of the reasons already mentioned … Half cost of stall, coffee/loo breaks (!) and the company. Being indoors is a huge benefit, as two smallholders near us lost their gazebos in high winds…
Best of luck!
Rebecca xx


(Helen Smith) #8

I have shared with a friend a couple of times and it has been great - and less painful when the fair itself has not been so good! We have an imaginary line down the middle of the table and take one side each, it works for us.


(Ellie Whitehead) #9

Thank you thats much more positive than i was feeling! I just need to be able to stand my ground i think!
Ellie x


(Maggie Gee Needlework Studio) #10

Ellie, you sound very intuitive and so to be honest I would be inclined to go with your gut feeling. I am sure your work is beautiful, so have faith and take all the credit yourself!..

Just a funny cautionary story…I shared a table last year (I don’t realy do craft stalls) and I had a lady who called me and e-mailed me and popped along to the event to purchase a kit from me. I jokingly said to my friend that I hoped I wasn’t experiencing a stalker!..the lady duly turned up and my friend says ‘Ahhhh! Mags thought you a stalker!!!’…I could have died!!!..I vowed I would NEVER compromise my brand again!!! LOL!!


(Minerva) #11

If the other person is more dominant, that would be tricky. It could lead to more attention for you and your work and therefore more sales. You could even get some tips as you watch her. But what if she is not having a good sales day? I bet she’ll get more pushy and dominant. If your relationship gets strained, then she might not ask for your products.

If you are the type who likes her space and has a more subtle approach to selling, why don’t you improve your skills and do it on your own? Even better, take a friend or family member you trust with you and enjoy the company and your breaks.

Go with your gut and don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ if you need to. I would only do it if I know the other seller very well as a person and her work ethics are similar to mine. Otherwise, I like my space, quiet and focus when I work.


(Annelee Roscoe) #12

Hi Ellie,

I tend to think that nothing ventured is nothing gained. What is the worst that can happen, she may dominate the whole event and you come away with hardly any sales, but that could happen at any event where you are on your own too. View it as a bonding opportunity to build a stronger relationship with someone that you currently work with, and when it comes to making sales to prospective customers stick to your normal approach and you may find that you complement each others differing styles and enhance each other’s sales. And as Steph says, it is so much easier to take a break if there are two of you. :smile:

Annelee xx


(Ellie Whitehead) #13

All this advice is great and it’s really making me think throught the issue.
I think one thing I perhaps haven’t explained well is that as it’s a 4 day event, we will be taking shifts rather than working together, so I’m trusting someone to sell my products while I’m away, as is the other seller. I don’t have worries about dishonesty, just a vague sense of unease for some reason. Probably becuase it’s a new situation for me.

Our products are different - her is ceramics, mine is sewing, but as she has a shop she does sell some sewn item, some which I make, but also she sells a lot of Gisela Graham type products. The event is not a handmade fair, it’s more of a promoting local tradeer and artisans.

oooo I am such an avoider!!!
Ellie x


(Chocolate Puddingknits) #14

Hi Ellie,Don’t stress! I had the same situation last year!

I went with my gut feeling & traded on my own.

Its simple go with your gut feeling

Do well
Happy Selling

ChocolatePuddingknits


(Joy Salt) #15

I sell, 4 times a year, at Country Market events. These are also Staffordshire WI so well attended and a great market for my glass, especially as the ladies now all know me, expect me to be there and come prepared to buy :smile:
As the Country Market is a cooperative I have to share my space with whatever I am put next to.
Experience tells me to make sure my glass is not positioned next to the crocheted scarves as they in no way enhance my display :grimacing:, nor next to the bulky handbags… so I make sure I get set up early as possible and next to crafts which go well with my glass - , ceramics, jewellery etc.

So what I’m saying is, if you do share a table space be careful to chose what you are sharing with as your craft may be overwhelmed by the others.
xxx


(Kate Turner) #16

I have shared a stall with a friend who makes items from hessian, it worked well as my items brightened up his hessian.
I sold more than he did and my story pillows went very well as they are bright and colourful. We are doing another one together at the end of the month and we are both looking forward to it. As I provide the lunch sandwiches he won’t let me pay as much. I just know it will be fun.
As long as you remember you are paying as well, just have the confidence in yourself and your items. You are as good as she
Is so don’t let anyone intimidate you. Just enjoy the day and good luck
Kate :smiley:


#17

It is nice to share the expenses and have some one to talk to during the long cold hours at a stall however, there are a few lessons I learned by sharing stalls:

make sure you share with a person that believes in her/his product as much as you do in yours
do not compete but complement each other
share the buyers and help each other sell
ensure your products are priced correctly so if you are not there, your sales will not stall
be respectful and sincerely happy when the other person sells

Happy Stall Season Everyone!


(Ellie Whitehead) #18

Well, an update!
I ended up sharing the stall and it went really well! It would have been a lot to do a four day outdoor event on my own, epscially as two nights were until 9pm.

None of my fears happened, the lady I shared with was very fair, we had a great laugh, and she even produced a box full of gin, tonic,glasses and lemons to get us through the day!

Needless to say we are booking again together next year and I am already looking forward to it.

Thank you to eveyone for their advice and help.

Ellie x


(Sams Gemstone Jewellery) #19

Glad it went well for you but am I surprised you managed to last until 9pm if you spent the day drinking G&T… daytime drinking makes me sleepy !!! :smile:


(Liz Lothian ) #20

Sounds like good fun, glad it went well. Liz