I’ve got my first post-lockdown market this weekend so I’ve been slowly starting to get everything ready. If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen in my stories that I’ve been busy painting my new display stands this past week. Now, my first date has been confirmed I’m trying to take it slowly and think carefully through what else I’ll need so that I don’t have to deal with that last minute panic the night before. If I’m honest I’m also feeling a little bit anxious about it so taking things slow and trying to think rationally so that doesn’t become overwhelming.
Something I learnt very quickly when I started doing markets and events was that it was really useful to have bag with little bits and bobs in that might not be essential, but are definitely useful to have to hand on market days. I’m sure everyone who has ever done a market before has been in the position where they’ve forgotten something and wandered around the event begging for pens or scissors from other sellers. Now, I keep all those things in my ‘grab bag’. I tend to keep this stocked all the time so I don’t need to pack and unpack it each time and (hopefully) always have everything I need.
Because it’s been so long since I last did a market I started fresh with my grab bag this time so thought I’d talk you through it in case it’s useful to other makers.
I always start with what I might need to look after me on the day. You are the face of your business and if you’re not happy at the market that’ll show. It’s inevitable that I’ll catch a nail whilst setting up, or develop a headache from not drinking enough so, in my bag I pack hand cream, a nail file, lip balm, paracetamol and I’ve also added hand sanitiser this time.
Then I move on to think about things that are handy to have or I’ve had to borrow in the past; scissors, tape, superglue and pens. Other things like string, elastic bands, and clips can be handy too. Maybe even the odd peg. You don’t need to go overboard and some of these things might be dependent on what your display is like (I used to use string and clips all the time in my display so extras were handy).
Lastly, I think about my business bits and what I’ll actually need for selling on the day. It’s helpful to think through the whole ‘checkout’ process to make sure you don’t forget anything. How will you hand the purchased item to the customer? I pack my thank you cards, little bags and stickers for packaging. And obviously, how will the customers pay you? Don’t forget your card machine and make sure it’s charged. You’ll usually need a float as well and a tin, money bag or bum bag to keep that safe.
Snacks and drinks are also an essential market day provision but I normally pack so many they need their own bag! If you’re not a snack addict like me it can still be handy to add a pack of Refresher type sweets to your bag for when you need a little sugar throughout the day.
What would be in your market day ‘grab bag’? Have I missed something essential?