Yesterday was our first ever market with our new range of Studio Mali products, and what a jolly good one it was!
There was a last minute slot available at the Urban Maker East craft market held at Old Spitalfields London, so we quickly got our make on to ensure we actually had some stock for the stall. We had 10 days to make 3 Arshan Side Tables, 18 Ebony Necklaces, 8 Ishrim Wall Hangings and some greetings cards, and we already had 50 organic and carbon neutral T-shirts that we’d had printed.
We really enjoyed the week building up to it, until three days before the market when our laser cutter decided to break. Talk about timing! It was making some horrendous noises as it moved down the X and Y axis, so we had to accept bad luck and shut it down. It was going to be 10 days until an engineer could come out to fix it, so we had to just take what we’d already made and hope that we weren’t going to end up with an empty stall. Well, that would have been an amazing achievement on our first market so we wouldn’t have been too sad about it!
The market was really well organised, and each maker had a 2m X 2m stall that they could either layout into a tabletop format or into a walk in configuration. We opted for the open one, giving us a bit more space to display our products. In hindsight I think the table top option would have been better for us, giving the customer a bit more confidence to come over to the stall.
We met some lovely makers; there was Catherine from Sargasso Trading Co. who makes beautiful hand-made cosmetics using all natural ingredients and Jemima from One Time Design who specialises in hanging textiles made from banana palm fibre. There was such a community feel at this craft market and I got the feeling that everyone really wants to help one another. Because everyone is selling such different crafts, it never felt like there was competition as such. And if someone sells something, then you are genuinely only happy for them because they have worked so hard to get that sale.
Also none other than Charles Dedman pops his head in for a chat after seeing our instagram feed. A couple of months ago we wrote a piece about his incredible woodwork, you can see it here in our blog post. It was lovely to hear what he’s been up to, and that he’d just visited the London Design Fair for the 3rd time this year in the Old Truman Brewery. He usually shows his work there every year but on this occasion he had a year off.
Mark’s sister is also a permanent stall holder at Old Spitalfields selling silver jewellery, so we had a familiar face nearby to give us some tips! She kept on sending over all of her trading buddies, so we got to meet a few experienced sellers which was helpful.
Although this wasn’t the best ever day for us with regards to sales, we were so happy to have taken part in our first ever crafts market and it’s all just a big learning curve. A lovely graphic designer travelling from America was our first customer of the day buying one of our Ebony Necklaces and a greetings card, and if you are reading this post then drop us an email because we would love to hear from you again!
We are keen to try out some different markets over the coming months, and we will keep you posted once we know more. We have our eye on Chatsworth Road in Clapton and Netil Market in London Fields at the moment, so lets see how it develops in the coming weeks.
Thanks also to our friends Si and Jazz for coming down to support us :)