CREATIVE ART FAIRS & MARKETS
Hello, I'm Chloe, a freelance illustrator and pattern designer based in Leicester and also part-time creative artworker at Ohh Deer! Inspired by nature and plants I create watercolour and gouache patterns which I hope bring a little of the outdoors in. Since graduating from Graphic Design & Illustration at DMU I have taken part in lots of markets and fairs, including Paperdolls Handmade, Attenborough Arts Centre Markets, The London Illustration Fair and Pick Me Up. I've popped some useful tips below so you can be extra organised when preparing for your next market!
Even though the festive season for markets is over, it’s always good to look back and think about how to best prepare for markets for next year! I’ve listed some tips below that I’ve found useful to make sure you’re organised and ready for upcoming markets.
Test the waters! Go to a few different fairs as a visitor before committing to becoming a stall holder. It’s good to get a feel for the atmosphere and to see if you think your products will appeal to the markets visitors. I’ve found that if the audience isn’t right you won’t sell much and you’ll leaving feeling deflated about your products, when realistically it was probably down to the market not being the right market for you!
If you don’t have the chance to attend the markets as a visitor, look into becoming a stall holder at local markets to see what works and what doesn’t that way – when I first started out freelancing I did markets all over, and just because you’re in London you think you’re going to sell loads…which isn’t always the case. Once you know what kind of market suits your brand you can then branch out and attend markets further afield.
USEFUL HINTS & TIPS
Promote – build up a buzz on social media, let your followers know where they can find you and if there’s any products they can only get by coming to see you at the market!
Display is an important one to think about! You want your stand to be on brand, eye catching and organised well so customers can see your products easily. Think about your brand colours, creating business cards or leaflets that people can take away and how you can best show off your products. If you have prints for sale, pop them in a frame to show your customers how they will look in their homes or if you sell ceramics, show how cute your planter looks with a cactus in it!
I’ve found pricing products leads to more sales as having to ask the price of products can sometimes put people off. Whether it’s with price labels or little pricing blocks it will help keep your stand organised and your customers informed.
Engage with the customers! Give them a bit of an insight to how you create your work, it’s nice to speak to people at fairs so they know they are buying from a real person, especially if you don’t like putting videos and photos of yourself on Instagram!
Get talking to other stall holders; whilst it’s the place to sell your products, it’s also great to meet people who are doing something similar to yourself. You’re likely to attend the same markets in the future and you can make some really good friendships with fellow makers!
Things to remember…
Stock – it’s hard to judge how much stock you will need but I always take a bit more than needed, there’s nothing worse than running out of a product and missing potential sales!
Packaging – don’t forget to get in bags, bubble wrap and anything else that will keep your products safe on the journey to their new homes!
Tablecloth / Table covering
Change – as well as having change it’s also really handy to have the PayPal Here app as you don’t need a card reader to process card payments!
Price list / labels
Props to make your stand look pretty!
And plenty of snacks!
You can follow Chloe on Instagram @chloehallillustration to see what markets she gets up to in the New Year!