When I first decided to ‘do something’ with my art as a business I was advised that 60-80% of my time would be spent working on the business (i.e. not drawing) and I have found this to be true (but it makes me appreciate my drawing time even more) .
I am working on four projects at the moment – a commission, an exhibition, workshops and a market stall.
I thought I would give you a glimpse into the behind the scenes of my first commercial market stall. In April I applied and was accepted for Craft Victoria HATCH market. HATCH are markets for emerging makers in Melbourne. Since then have been to a mentor session, asked questions in their Facebook group and received lots of support.
In the last two weeks I have been very busy working through checklists that have been provided, with lots of hints and tips from previous stall holders. Last weekend I did a mock up to see what would work on the day.
Things I needed to do
- I needed a banner for my stall. I decided on a pull-up banner that could be used at all sorts of future events (including my next exhibition). I had an initial concept and a local printer did a wonderful job of bringing it all together. I looks so good and makes me feel very professional .
- Create a Newsletter – people can sign up to a mailing list on the day at the markets or on my blog site. I tried myself, but ended up paying someone .There is now a button where you can subscribe, This is different from my Weekly Art Blog. It will be occasional and emailed to subscribers when I announce exhibitions, events, new cards – add your name now if you would like to receive it.
- Decide on how much stock to take on the day ie how many copies of each card. I decided 15, with 5 on display and the others in a box under the counter
- Decide which cards to display. There is room for 20 of my 36 designs. I will bring the others in a little display folder to show people (had go to Office Works to find folder)
- Set prices – they should be all the same retail and my store , so they are now $7 everywhere
- How much float? I will need lots of two and one coins as the price is now $7
- I decided to be cash only and not tackle using credit cards. It may lose me some sales, but will decrease the stress for me on the day.
- Needed to purchase paper bags and bought 500. It is a big box. Then decide how many to take on the day . I decided on 50
- Table cloth – The one I have had creases from never being used – I needed to get it drycleaned
- My table is against a back wall – I have three A4 picture of one of the drawings as a work in progress, Then I have finished product framed – I had to find suitable photo frame (at Red Cross store yesterday)
- Checked out the space during the week – Great place – I discovered it had Masonite wall – had to buy 3M hanging tabs – as my pins and blue tack would not have worked
- How to pack it all up to transport on the day by taxi
- It fits into a suitcase, a backpack, the pullup banner and the two display stands that I have wrapped in bubble wrap.
- When I checked out the venue I saw that I could be dropped outside the door by the taxi , unload my gear There are 30 stallholders all arriving at the same time
The BIG day is next Saturday and I am looking forward to the experience, the people I will meet – the other stall holders and the market customers. It is predicted there will be about 500 on the day. Drop by if you are in Melbourne