Sunday, March 11, 2012

First Markets Mayhem...a comedy of errors!

WOWSER'S, what an experience...our first ever Markets. A comedy of errors lol! Firstly, my alarm didn't go off because it is stupid and only works if you leave it on through the night, radiating your head beside your bed and dwindling the battery down at the same time. So I left home without any breakfast or my morning cuppa. Once at the markets, the hive of activity and excitement was palpable. I carried my display ladder and seat twice around the winery where the markets are held. I was looking for my friend who I was sharing a stall with. She makes Japanese 'House Slippers' and also cuts hair. I couldn't find her. I had left my car near the entrance and other vehicles were jostling for position around it to set up their stalls. I found the manager and he said that my friend was waiting over the other side of the winery until he had worked out where we would be. Fortunately, some lovely stall holders were happy to watch my gear as I traipsed after the Markets Manager and went looking for my friend. She had booked a gazebo for us, however after chasing after the manager again, we learn't that there were no gazebo's left! This was not what we wanted to hear given that Perth was forecast for a 40 degree day! Anyway, we continued to hassle the manager (as did a few others) and he said that we could set up under a tree.
Initially we thought it could work and felt it was well positioned. Once set up however, we quickly realized that with the way the sun was rising we would never get shade. The next hour was spent relocating nearby tables, chairs and umbrella's to try and increase our shade. In the meantime, my poor friends mirror slid off the table top she had set up and shattered all over the floor! Well, the response from the other stallholders was just amazing. The profiterole man brought over his bin, another lady came over to help us clean up, another lady brought over her dust pan brush and another kindly offered the use of her mirror. My friend rang her boyfriend and got him to drop down their other mirror from home, which also fell over and shattered! We refused to believe the old adage about broken mirrors and bad luck! After a time, and feeling quite hot, we realized that we were out of the loop stuck in the middle near the food and that people were following the line of gazebos but not to us. Also, I was starting to get concerned about the intense sun shining on my products. So we hatched a plan to chat to two stall holders who had a spare bay between them which was located under some shady trees. Understandably, they were a bit tentative about our request to set up next to them as they didnt want their customers to be prevented from walking around the side of the tables to view their wares. However, they were very kind and agreed to let us move in next to them. We had to leave my friends hairdressing chair and table set up under the tree as it was plugged into power. So my friend sat over by the tree and I over in my new location. I had to place my table long ways though, so that people could access the bays next to me. After a time, my friend became obscured by a guitar player and I suggested she relocate her sign over to my table and for the rest of the morning people asked if I cut hair! I constantly redirected them over to my friend under the tree.
As you may have deduced, it was a rather messy first markets morning, however it was a terrific learning experience. I was so warmed by the offer of tips and welcome advice from the seasoned market stall owners. They were so warm and welcoming and it was a lovely feeling of community to be alongside them.
Will we be back? For sure!! I met some other really nice stall holders and it was great to share their passion about making handmade. Here are a few pics from the morning.
Anyone else have any first markets tales to share? Would love to hear them
x B & B

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