For this weeks blog I thought I’d do something a bit different. Yesterday I went to Coggeshall Farmers Market, which is a regular bi-monthly market/craft fair which takes place in a gorgeous little village called Coggeshall. If anyone is familiar with the 80’s antiques comedy drama Lovejoy, much of it was filmed in Coggeshall.
I thought I’d blog about craft fairs and markets to explain about the preparation that goes into them, in particularly Coggeshall Farmers Market which I just attended.
I have always done craft fairs since I used to do glass painting and handmade cards. At one point, about 15 years ago, I was doing roughly 35 fairs a year which was hard work! Having said that, it was my only means of income – apart from selling in one outlet. Websites were not an option seeing as what I produced was delicate glassware so couldn’t really be posted.
Craft fairs are very different nowadays but they still require tons of preparation.
Preparation for Coggeshall Farmers Market
Preparation started on the Saturday afternoon when I had to box up all the soap from the shop. I started about 3pm and it took about an hour to pack up everything.
It takes 3 trips out to the car to load it up. The pictures show half the stock packed up.
Once the car was loaded I went home and after my dinner I began wrapping some soaps and bath bombs which needed to be made ready for Sunday morning.
I also needed to do some newsletter sign up forms and other signage ready for the fair. So I was working away on the laptop until around 11.30
The morning of Coggeshall Farmers Market
The alarm went off at 6 and I got up and finished the labelling and cut up the sign up sheets, about us flyers and the signage with the guillotine. I had some help tho from the silent support of my lovely cat Ollie.
After a quick shower it was time to leave for the 30 minute journey to Coggeshall.
I made a video of how loaded up the car was but it didn’t record but the car was pretty packed full.
Arrival at the Village Hall
When I arrived there were a few people there already unpacking cars, vans and various other vehicles. Being a farmers market there are lots of food vendors so there is loads of equipment that has to be bought in like fridges, cookers etc.
Once I’d bought everything in from the car (another 3 journeys) I had to start unpacking. It’s back breaking work if you suffer with your back like I do but if you pace yourself it can be done. I was lucky enough this time to be given 10′ of space instead of my usual 6′ table so I had to rethink my whole display.
I also had to rejig my table cloth layout as it’s for a 6′ table and I had to make it fit 10′ but, although it ended up a bit wonky, it all worked fine.
Now I knew where everything needed to go it was just a question of putting everything out. Oh and then there’s the breakfast and cuppa…
Once the craft fair is set up and before it starts it’s essential to have a cup of tea and either a bacon or sausage bap! Today I chose sausage.
Here we go! The fair started at 10 and I was all ready to go!
As it turned out it wasn’t the best day at the market. The weather was really cold and theturnout to the market was only about half what it usually was but at least I was well prepared if it had been.
Although I saw some of my regular customers it really was a quiet day. But that’s the nature of craft fairs and markets, you just don’t know what you’re going to get. All the preparation in the world can’t make people attend an event. Still, onwards and upwards and look forward to the next one.
I’ll do another ‘day in the life’ another time.
Lots of love