Being a vendor and selling your own creations is a lot of hard work with many obstacles. It is easy to get frustrated because a market doesn’t work out like you planned. Sometime, however, you are shocked because the market far exceeds what you had planned.
Just before Christmas, Monica and I were invited by a friend of ours to take part in a market in an area of Houston known as The Heights. This is an outdoor market that takes place once a year. The organizer curates this market and invites about 30 vendors to set up.
Monica and I thought that this would be a good end to our year and allow us to visit with other vendors that we know and have an opportunity to socialize. We had moderate expectations for this market but thought that we could make a few more dollars at the end of the year. We were wrong.
The hours of the market were scheduled for 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM. We were almost all set up at 10:30 when people started showing up. And then it got busy. Then it got busier. Then it got really busy!
All day long we were slinging product into bags with both of us working together to package products and process payments. We would regularly consolidate our display to make sure it at least appeared orderly. We sold out of many of our products and had to take signs down reconfigure our display over and over.
Into the afternoon, our inventory began to dwindle. We would reconfigure our display to make it look fuller than it was. Then we would get another wave of people. Monica and I would periodically exchange glances. Her expression was asking “Is this real?”
Close to 6:00 PM the sun went down and we were both relieved that the people stopped coming. While we did a great job keeping up with all the people, we didn’t know how much longer we would be able to. It was time to relax before we packed up our remaining scant inventory and went home.
We were not the only vendors to have such an amazing day. All of the vendors there had a record-breaking sales day. Many were completely out of inventory but did the best they could to take orders or market their products. In short, we did more sales in that single day than our best weekend market to date. It will be hard to beat and I’m not sure I want it to be beat because the pace was maddening!
At the end of the market, the organizer expressed that maybe she should do this market more often. I, and many others, said “no”. Doing this market on a regular basis would make it a commodity and take the magic out of it. We want every market to be special.
I would love to share pictures of this market with you, but none exist. All of the vendors were so busy that nobody had an opportunity to pick up their cell phones to take any!
People ask quite often whether or not it is worth all the hard work and effort. Without a doubt, it is for me. I really enjoy meeting people and being part of the vendor family. Days like this also reignite the energy and desire to create. I hope you get to experience this too.
See you at market!