Our Blue Abode Meets the Farmer’s Market
The town near me started hosting a farmer’s market & I think all of Northwest Indiana has been waiting for this moment. Two weeks in, the organization & planning & hype has been well worth it. So much hard work is seen at this event & the growth in the community will prosper for it. If you are in the NWI region, be sure to hit up the Cedar Lake Grounds every 2nd & 4th Wednesday of each month. This event goes from 3 pm to 7 pm & is full of shopping, yummy foods, loud music, & most importantly, fellowship. Being able to join this event is definitely the highlight of my summer. As you know I love creating an inviting space in my home. The Blue Abode hitting the farmer’s market means I have a chance to share that passion with others & that fills my heart with so much joy.
Be a Stand-Out Vendor at Events
One of my favorite activities is hitting up the local craft shows or farmer's markets. Joining the community in a time of fellowship all while supporting small businesses is a beautiful combination. Visiting these booths and interacting with the vendors made me itch to be apart of these events. My strive for owning a small business, doing my thing and staying creative seemed to be a perfect formula to motivate me through the process. I cannot be alone in wanting to be apart of the comradely of these craft shows. Through out my experience of basically starting from scratch to now being a vendor at the local farmer's market, I have come to realize a few things. The biggest - that we should encourage everyone to part take in these events. Not necessarily everyone being a vendor, but for sure a shopper, a visitor. The connections you make and the support you can offer is outstanding to these local small shops. World changing really. For those, however, that strive to be apart of the other side of the transaction, well this one is for you. My years of experience in the matter are rather non existent. I only have two shows under my belt, but I thought what better way to share my piece then to do it while it is fresh in the learning zone. Here are just a few of the biggest hurdles that helped me feel comfortable as a vendor right off the bat.
Creating & Selling a Product I am Passionate About
Of course there is one very important piece to hosting your own booth at vendor events, that is your product. Whether you do direct sales or grow your own garden, there is an array of categories you can fall under as a vendor. Something to keep in mind, however, is that not every event allows three hundred people to sell the same brand of makeup or cleaning products. I know, unfortunate. If you are a fellow creative, then I am speaking your language here. For you to be passionate about what you are selling, it has to be something that gives you pride and purpose throughout the entire process of designing, creating, all the way to the selling. Hand made artisans do so well at these events because the passion they have and the labor they put into their product shines through as they share it with their community.
Some inspiring products I have seen that you can test drive yourself at home are :
candles, jewelry, home decor (my forte!), hair accessories, baby toys, macrame & knitting, wood projects, planters, key chains, wind chimes, pottery, popcorn, baked goods, pillows, other sewn projects, calendars & other graphic design prints, etc...
If you go on Pinterest or Google, I am sure you can find an even bigger list of things you can make for these events. As I mentioned above, my home base is home decor. Shocker right?! This is such a blanket category and it is so fun to see other peoples creations they feel inspired to add to a home. If this is an area that you feel passionate about just like me, then check out these few items I made or re-purposed to fit the vibe of my "shop". A few stops at Hobby Lobby or the local thrift store along side a little imagination, you can create a product that will hit your booth and your booth only. Keep in mind that the importance of your passion for the product with shine through. It is very hard to sell something you are not passionate about. Think about anything in this life that you love. A restaurant, a game, a majestic Father... When you love something so deeply, you tell your friends, family, neighbor, cashier, bank teller, mailman, ANYONE! Well if you create a product you are passionate about, you will enjoy every step of the process from designing it to selling it. The point of these events are to make a little cash, yes, but I think most importantly it is about showcasing your talents and passions, growing your community, and making the connections that are only possible when running and supporting local small shops.
Organize and Create a Show Stopping Display
Creating the atmosphere for a “mobile store front” is one of the most tedious & important items on your agenda. One of my most favorite! I enjoy this process because I think of the easiest way everything will fit in my compact car & requires the least amount of hauling, all while creating the look I need. Sounds easy right! Some important things : a folding table or two, tables clothes, a chair, some sort of checkout area, some home vibes, & items that can bring height to your display. For outdoor events I use a canopy & have three walls if needed. I bought mine from Walmart. Once you plan out your display, the rest is simple. Flow your inventory in the way the crowd visits. Be open & inviting with your presence. Enjoy the fellowship & sharing of your talents with your neighbors!
The display portion of my booth is so important to me. Bringing my items to eye level by hanging them is a great way to spread out your inventory, but mainly to draw customers in. We only have one folding table, & with me making wreaths, it was imperative that I had an option to hang my items. Luke built this quick stand with two shelves & a hanging rod for me to display my items. It collapses completely for an easy carry & an easy set up. Something I can do by myself, since most of the time, I am. Your display will differ based on your needs & your inventory.
This market has opened so many doors for those involved. If you are at all apprehensive about joining your local market, reach out! Do it once. You will never regret trying it, but you will regret thinking about it over & over with out any execution. I am so happy I made the jump. The joy these Wednesday’s has brought me, made me open a small online shop now too! Crazy.