Saturday, June 02, 2007

Harstine Island Farmers Market

This is my area with my card rack, table and peg board props.
The last two weeks, or there about, I've been so busy with packaging my Giclee's and Note/Greeting Cards and printing up business cards etc. in anticipation of my first time selling in an open Market. Today, that day finally arrived. It was a beautiful day with sun shine and not a cloud in sight. My husband had an early meeting to attend and wasn't able to help me set-up at the market, but my neighbor (and good friend) offered her help. It was much appreciated to have another woman's eye for detail.
Me, in the thick of conversation with a customer about watercolor.

This little Farmers Market is located on Harstine Island at the local Community Club and only open from 10-12 on Saturdays. Today there must have been approximately 25 vendors selling their wares (wish I would have counted ). I have been working diligently to be prepared for today, and was a bit nervous when I left to set-up before the Market opened this morning. I felt it was a positive adventure, one I'll do again. I received some helpful suggestion's and came home with more money from sales than I had expected. It was great ... no booth fees, close to home and the support of my many friends who dropped by during the morning.
Things I'll do different next time:
  • Consider using a canopy. Three of my friends have now offered the use of theirs and I'll probably take them up on the offer as the summer continues .... or at least get to the market early enough to grab one of the few shady spots.
  • Take something better to use as a change drawer. I hadn't given this much thought, but ended up using a make-up bag. It worked fine for only two hours but I'll try to come up with something different for next time.
  • I should have made more packs of cards. I sold individual cards for $2.25 each, Packs of 6 for $12.00, and the packs sold very well.
  • I need to paint more "local" sights.
  • Next time I'll arrive at least 1 hour early. TodayI arrived 45 minutes before the market opened.
  • Place price tags on each pack cards instead of relying on one sign to tell the price of all cards.
  • Also, I will take a photo of all the vendors. (aha... maybe that would make a nice subject to paint.)


  1. You look very well equipped (except for something to protect from the sun, like you said). Very impressive. Do you print your cards yourself or do you send them out and if so who do you use? That's great that your sales were so good that you needed a bigger cash box!

  2. Great information! Sounds like you had a great day -- I'll bet a canopy would give your customers a little more comfort (and incentive to linger ...), too! I'd also like to know how you go about printing your cards, etc.!

  3. You sound like your were very organized!!

    I'm thinking of buying a tent from Costco. It has 4 sides and is 10' x 10' - it's about $180.00 and looks pretty good. I've been lucky enough to share booth space with people who own tents in the past. It doesn't come with weights, however, so I'd have to come up with something else.

    I use a fanny pack for change. It's not the most convenient, but I can keep it safe and not worry about having to keep an eye on the cash box.

    How wonderful to have a venue that doesn't charge a fee!!

  4. PS. I like being able to put a face to the name! : )

  5. Thanks Jana and Linda.. I did see one woman looking feverishly for her sun glasses as she came to my table. I think the sun was shinning on the celephane packaging and causing a glare. I'm not sure I want "one" more thing to pack, but I may just have to do that. I really liked my location. I was between two gardeners who had top quality plants and a great display.. that can only help me. About my cards... I do not use my Epson printer (the one that makes Giclees) but I use a HP deskjet. I have a card program that I've had for years and was not expensive at all. Print Master Deluxe 7.0 It has 5 CD's (ugh)but I use only one. I use a quality card stock and can make two cards on each paper. I can and do print on the backs giving the title, then my name, along with my logo... if you want to call it that. I think they are top quality for a note card. I use only linen envelopes to add to the quality of the packaging.
    Funny you should mention the fanny pack Cynthia... I had one and can't find it now... That would have been my first choice. I don't want a cash box, or anything else to set around. Think I'll buy one next time I'm in town. I also think the "no fee" is great, and that its only 2 hours.

  6. Your corner looks great as does the day! I have found that at these open markets a canopy of some kind also draws more attention. It is like Linda says, it is like an incentive to linger and see what is going on in this corner. Setting up a corner in an open market depends quite a lot on the visual impact, drawing people to your stand.
    I was at a market this weekend where there were amazing watercolors by an artist. There was not a soul in sight, because his corner was uninviting, with simply a table and a stand displaying his work and he was sitting very lonely on a chair next to it. Just a little way further on there was another artist with a mixture of work, not at all the same standard, but her stall was so busy and visually attractive, with a wonderful buzz and people were crowding to look AND buy!

  7. sounds like you learned a lot! This is so great to see you selling your artwork - I'm so happy for you!!

  8. I enjoyed reading about your experience, as well as what you would do differently. wow, no vending or booth fees!