Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Flea market or not to flea market?

Crafters at Flea Markets?

Someone recently told me that you should never sign up for a flea market, as they are very disappointing and most shoppers are there to buy mass quantities of things like key chains, plates, expired perfumes and fragrances, etc. I thought, hmmm..., and thus avoided any event to show my items that had the word flea market anywhere in the title.

Recently, though, I decided that I really need to get out there and promote. So, I have jumped into the fire and booked two upcoming flea market/antique/vendor shows. I talked to the individuals running the events and they both thought it would be a nice addition to the marketplace to have my items there. Whether I will do good or not, they could not guess. So, I will wait and see...

I have a wide line of products that appeal to different people in different settings. One of my addictions is creating bath and body products like bar soaps, creams, lotions, sugar scrubs, facial masks and more. I love to not only custom blend ingredients, but seek out and research the ingredients to develop just the right combinations. I think people should get as much bang for their buck as they can in this tight economy, so my soaps aren't just soaps... Some have cocoa butter and shea butter with lanolin to produce the highest level of moisturizing you can get in a soap- others I combine essential oils and herbal ingredients to address special skin conditions like acne, poison ivy, etc. In a flea market setting, I think these items might do well.

I am also ver passionate about crocheting. I can't put the hook down. I am always scanning every free pattern site, magazine, others works, trying to figure out if I can create or expand on something. Yarns are such a fun trend, too. I love chenille, funky chunky's, glitters, and all the new cool shades lion brand has brought out. One fun thing to do is go through ebay and etsy trying to find yarn sellers or the hand dyed batches. Now crochet items, I do not think will be so hot in a flea market setting.

Jewelry is something else I have recently invested in. Not your typical beading, but crochet wire. I think the intricate patterns and random beads displayed make a really unique and individual statement. This is a new craft for me, and I a

m still in the learning process.

But, back to the flea market setting... As crafters and artisans, we have limited outlets for our work. There are few "craft" shows available (at least in my area). Sometimes a fair or festival pops up, but those are truly seasonal. So, what is a crafter to do? Besides setting up shops on the internet? There are consignment opportunities around, and I have been fortunate to obtain 2 of these gigs, but what other opportunities are there for us to display and sell our works?

I would love to hear some comments and ideas from readers on which venues have been successful and unsuccessful. I think it is important to keep in mind, though, that crowds vary by location, by the time of the month/season, and by location of the market. So, maybe one flea market experience was bad, but does that mean all will be? Has anyone had any positive flea market experiences? I am anxious to hear from you.

My first flea market is being held Sunday 6/7 so I will post the outcome. I hope others can comment and share on their venues and experiences....

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, how did your flea market experience go? What did you take away from the whole venture?

My suggestion and you may have already checked into this. Check with your local Chamber of Commerce, and find out what events they put on throughout the year, and consider joining those events. These events are usually well attended, well advertised, and can be very beneficial to marketers like yourself.

June 9, 2009 at 3:40 PM  
Anonymous Michelle Steiner said...

Opps, didn't get to add my sig to the above post!

June 9, 2009 at 3:41 PM  

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