In my last post, I talked about being featured at the Mount Hope Farmers Market, The experience was truly wonderful, rewarding and reassuring to me that I AM making products that people are interested in. I sold more books then I thought I would, and gained priceless insight into what people are interested in, and are most drawn to purchasing. ( both of which, are extremely difficult to asses with an online store )
When I left the farm that day, I was over the moon excited by my sales, for both monetary reasons, but also on a personal level. I loved meeting the people that were going to use my books. I even ended up meeting a Pratt grad, which is very unusual! Of course though, when the dust settled, ( from my happy dance ) my first course of action was to e mail the director of the market, thanking her for the opportunity, and to express my desire to return when she had an opening. As it turned out, the next week was available, and I ended up returning the following Saturday. Both foot traffic and sales were slower, but that was most likely due to the weather ( it was dreary with threats of rain ) and post 4th of July sluggishness. I am not going to let that discourage me though. I will be back to MHF on August 4th.
The interesting thing that happened after that, is that fueled by my excitement, I decided to once again, look into and contact other venues for booth rentals. I looked into a few. I found one that I couldn’t find contact information on, and then I stumbled across a fair being held on September 15 and 16. It is apparently a very big event, and people travel from all over to attend it. There is one similarity to the MHF event… and that is that it is at the Coggeshall Farm Museum, and the show is the 39th Annual Harvest Fair. This is a big undertaking for me. I need to make more inventory, and more variety of inventory. Based on comments from the patrons I met, I have begun to letterpress small enclosure cards, and other paper products, and I am working on an additional paper based project – details to come! I also had to determine how in the world I would make it through two 7 hour days by myself. I am great for the three hours I spend at the farmers market, but by the time I start packing up the table and books, I am in need of both a chair, and a bathroom. I needed to find someone that 1. I could trust with my products to both watch them, but also sell them and 2. Could work for free, as the buy in isn’t much, it is enough, that if I had to pay someone for 14 hours, it would greatly cut into my profits. Luckily, my sister is available that weekend, and God love her, she will be driving up from Philadelphia to help me for those two days.
So apparently, I am a farm girl. Don’t get me wrong. I will be branching out of the agricultural realm soon enough. I do have an event scheduled for November at the Narragansett High Schools Mariner Marketplace, and I have begun the process of contacting local retailers and businesses regarding selling my books in their locations.
But I’ll never forget where I started….
… on a farm