So, here is the post I promised - details of my first (but hopefully not my last!) Holmfirth Art Market. I think it's always good to go through these things afterwards and reevaluate them, especially the first time around. I've interspersed this post with photos of a few of the things that sold. As usual, I didn't have photos taken of quite a few of the new pieces that I designed with the fair in mind. Some of them are now in my etsy shop, but quite a few others have gone off to new homes in Yorkshire!
So, the market started on Saturday night, 8-10pm. Initially, I thought this was a little strange - a bit late for a Saturday night, and although it was *kind* of a preview night, it still seemed a little unusual to start a market in this way.
However, the organisers (unsurprisingly!) knew more than I. Not only did we have an extra 2 hour window for making sales, meeting customers, tweaking our stands, but it allowed us to come along to the market on the Sunday morning, with the stalls all set up and ready to go. We started at 10am on the Sunday, and so it was really nice to turn up at 9.30 - no desperately early morning start, no panicking to get it all set up before customers arrive. And on the Saturday evening, I had decided that I wasn't happy with my selection of earrings - restocking two bricks and mortar shops and a big FB earring sale with do that for you! - and so I had stayed up late on the Saturday night cranking out some new designs. So I both had the time to do that, and also had the time to go in and do a little rearranging.
This photo - the only one I took of my stand, unfortunately! - was taken just before we opened on the Saturday evening. (When I say we, I mean me and Helen - I was very lucky and had her to help the whole weekend! What would I do without her; I really don't know :-)). The pale blue 'walls' you can see are the boards I showed in this post. On the second day, we took down the back board. We felt it was blocking the light a little, and not really adding much to the stand. With hindsight, we didn't really need such heavy duty boards. Perhaps next time, we would use fabric, or just make a simple, half-level corner piece. We'll see. It's all a learning curve, isn't it!
At the end of the weekend - which was just fantastic; pretty busy, made lots of sales, made even more contacts with customers and other artists alike, and handed out loads of business cards - I thought about the new set up. The space I had chosen in Holmfirth was a lot smaller than the space I had been luxuriating in at recent markets, but it is almost exactly the same as the space I will have at an Edinburgh fair in August (more details on this to follow). A good first run, and I think I did a not bad job! There are a few things I noticed though. The earrings on the stand to the right barely got noticed. And the large palette on the RH side isn't ideal either - we did sell a few things from it, certainly, but there was definitely an element of having to peer round the corner to see 'in' to it.
In Edinburgh, I think that I will be able to sit around the front, as the booths are all separate from one another, rather than joined as they were in Holmfirth. So I won't be blocking anyone round at the front. This will allow me to use the space on the back left, which is were I was standing in Holmfirth. But, we'll see! You never know with these things until you turn up.
I would love to hear any thoughts you have, in looking at my stand - even in just the one picture, and not a great one at that! Where does your eye go first? Do you want to look at those earrings to the RH side; what would you put in their place? I'm thinking another bust, perhaps. Putting the chain-necklace palette to the back left, and then maybe some more earrings on the RH side, perhaps with something else so it doesn't look too empty. I've a shutter I used to use, which I might give a bit of a makeover and put it in the palette's place. Less bulky, and easier to angle so that it's facing outwards....you never know until you try though!
As a market, Holmfirth was one of the best thought out and most organised that I have exhibited at. I was one of those very annoying people who sent a million emails beforehand, as I just couldn't envisage the set up of the stand, and as I'm a bit of a worrier, I was panicking a little that I was going to turn up and get it all wrong!
Victoria, one of the organisers, was extremely patient with my tirade of emails, and I got there in the end! She and her team did a really amazing job, and there were lots of little touches that made all the difference. All designer/makers had our own name badges so we could be easily identified by the general public, there was a lunch service for stall-holders on the Sunday, and on the Saturday evening, the cellar of a local bar had been booked out for us, complete with delicious nibbles, and half-price drinks vouchers. This was a lovely occasions on which to meet the other makers, and chat in a relaxed environment. I so appreciated it! Being relatively new to the craft market scene, and naturally shy, it was a nice, low-key way to chat with others over a glass of wine.
All in all, it's one of the best markets I've taken part in! They hold Art Markets in November/December and I really hope I will be accepted next time around! I know that they like to mix things up and keep them fresh, so it's no guarantee. I need to make sure I send in some damn good photos with my application!
Phew, I've spent an hour writing this post, so I'd better get off now and get on with some making. I have a bunch of copper findings overdue for Curious, so I need to get cracking the whip on myself!