So my first (and last) Christmas Market is finished and as promised here is an update on how it all went.
The worry about my stock leading up to the big day did not diminish, even after sharing my fears with you all. Fortunately, however, the day arrived, so no more worrying about what might be and into the world of reality.
As my daughter was organising the event I was all packed and ready to go by 7.00pm the night before. I intended to leave early, so I could be set up and if my girl did not need any help, pop off to the local coffee shop for a latte and a bite to eat before it all kicked off at 11.00am. It was a good thing that I did, because the issues started just after 8.00pm when I received a text from my daughter to say that the tables she had hired for the event, which had been due to arrive that morning, had still not arrived. She had planned to have all the tables set up with the sellers name on, before she left work that night. She was a bit upset to put it mildly. The next morning the company phoned to say the tables would be arriving at 11.00am. My daughter was mortified to tell me that she had used a swear word when told that, personally I think she was very reserved only to use one. Needless to say she informed the company not to deliver. This meant she had 30 tables to find in less than 3 hours. I ended up dragging 2 camping tables with me on the bus but 5 mins after I arrived a local source of tables was found and they were able to deliver in 30 mins. A brilliant result but not the best start to the day.
As soon as the customers started to arrive I knew it was not going to be a good day for me. Anything that could be eaten or drunk was flying off the stalls. After that was jewellery and then other stuff. I came in to the realm of other stuff. The big issue that I had was that people have no idea about their size in cm/in let alone the size of their partners. As a dressmaker I suppose I am obsessed with measurements, you could say to me that you buy a size 14 and all you will get from me is a blank stare, give me your measurements and I can see your shape. I had lots of people love what I had made, but not many sales. I think that I had been too personal with my items. If I had sewn small zipped pouches or even little fabric baskets I think it would have been more successful. However, I would not have learnt as much as I did about knicker making and construction with elastic. Who says you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. I will be doing some posts about all I learnt in the New Year.
Do I think my pricing was too high? I don’t think so at all. In fact I matched my prices to my confidence, which was quite low. I had asked Eve to check out the prices being charged at the Etsy Christmas fair and one stall was charging £29 for knickers and £39.00 for bralettes, because they were Eco. I was charging £8.00 for knickers and £16 for bralettes. I do believe that was an honest price for fabric and a very small amount for making.
Would I do another Christmas Fair? Definitely not. I found the mass production of garments very stressful and worried that the quality was not to my normal standard or consistent. Trying to decide on sizes and quantities was painful and then on top of that is displaying your wares to attract customers, yet another stress.
However, I am glad I did it. I am not one who ever wants to regret not trying, that is the reason I ended up on the Bee. All experiences in life need to be grabbed and even though it may take a lot of searching at least one positive can always be found.