But it's hard work doing markets. You've got to prepare, stock up for weeks before, lug all your stuff into the car, lug it out again and finally set up. And then do it all again when the markets over. Not that I'm complaining, i love doing the markets and you get to meet some great people. But it wasn't always like that for me and this week got me thinking of my disastrous first ever market..............grab a cup of tea.......
My First ever market
It was the day of my first ever market, August 2009. Nervous doesn’t even begin to describe the thoughts going through my head at 5am that morning. My hubby kindly said that he would help set my tent up, so off we went, in two cars. Me in one with my work and what felt like everything but the kitchen sink, and him in the other with two very sleepy and bewildered children.
We get there. Its pitch black and rammed with people unloading cars, van’s backing up from every direction, lots of noise and EVERYBODY looking so very professional. And then there’s us! Idea now is to get the tent up quick before the kids start to lose the plot.
We find our spot, park up and start to unload. Up goes the $30 bargain tent from Bunnings. Great! Things are starting to go my way. Tent up, tables up, works up, admiring glances from other stallholders, stress levels coming down......but then disaster strikes and the tent falls down. My beautiful wind and rain protector is as I watch, not just falling down but trashing my work as it plummets back down to earth. As I look in the opposite direction, I see my hubby and the kids, satisfied all is well, slowly driving off to a Saturday morning filled with warmth, hot coffee and bacon and eggs!
I manage to put the frame back up, the back of my head burning with the glare and gossip of the other stallholders. “Oh, she’s new, she’ll learn....” and “...but did you see that tent...CHEAP, we won’t be seeing that one again” The frame is now leaning precariously on one of my tables. O.K, I think, that will have to do and just hope to God the market has insurance in case the whole thing falls on someone’s head. And then......the wind gets up, and the beautiful canvases that I have spent hours lovingly making are flying off the table like bales of hay in an old western movie.
So, to sum the experience up. I spent my first market running around trying to catch flying canvases, hoping to God my tent wouldn’t kill someone, freezing, hungry, nerves in tatters....and did I sell anything. YES, one blinking small canvas priced at $20. All told that day, I went home down $75 and feeling like....well I’m sure you can well imagine.
So now for my next market. Now this time I was prepared. Five layers of clothing, flask of coffee, food and other stallholders letting on to me like I was one of them, and this time I FELT like one of them. But it was windy, very windy and those clouds didn’t look too promising either. Up went the tent...and away it blew, a tent pole almost spearing my lovely neighbour on its way down. The now ruined tent was thrown in the back of the car, not without a good kicking and a few expletives screamed at it. It was to be found later that day in next doors skip. Off drove my hubby with the kids, leaving me to brave it out. Me, a table, my work and nothing more than a flask of coffee to keep me warm.
Another six hours of catching flying canvases finally did it for me and you’ll never, ever see me at an outdoor market ever again.