Guest Blog by Sarah Bowers owner of Toadstools and Tails
The trouble with having a creative mind is that you change it all the time. Once you think you’ve settled on something, another brilliant idea pops in…..and of course you just HAVE to do it!
Finally I have decided on a ‘range’ and I’m going to stick to it. We will now be concentrating on our well known ‘Toadstool & Mouse’ blankets (we also provide monogramming on the blankets), swaddling wraps and an assortment of gift packs. All packaged beautifully and our gift packs are especially ideal for baby shower and newborn gifts. If requested, we will also hand write a personal gift card.
I have to say though, the beauty of taking your wares to market is that you can create every idea that pops into your head as it’s a great way to road test, get feedback and most importantly, see if it sells.
Markets are a fantastic, inexpensive way to get your business some major exposure especially when you’re first starting out. This was why I first started markets. The adrenalin (and nerves mind you), on the day of your first market are exhilarating. You look around at your display and possibly for the first time, you realise just how proud you are of yourself and your products.
It gets better…wait until the market goers come in and start paying you compliments, then it feels amazing and makes all your hard work worth every minute.
Doing your first market is a bit like your first day at a new job…how much stock is enough? How much money do I need in my float? Can I leave my stall? What is correct market etiquette? Obviously do as much research as you can and ask as many questions as you like but at the end of the day, it’s such a wonderful community to be a part of. Everyone helps one another, supports one another’s business and this community is where you will receive the most valuable advice because everyone has been in your shoes.
Before not too long, you’re an old hat at it. Your marquee is up in minutes, you know exactly how best to display your products, you know which markets work best for you, your organised and most importantly of all….you have worked out who sells the best coffee!
You will make lifetime friends, have a laugh and admire the amazing work of others BUT, it is hard yakka, so be organised, always have plenty of stock (it makes your stall look so much more attractive) and practice setting up your marquee and how you would like to display your products. Oh and plenty of sleep! This can save a lot of time and disappointment at 6am in the morning, best of all you will be confident and feeling on top of the world.
Markets and Community had the pleasure of selling Toadstools and Tails products at the GO Festival held in October at the Melbourne Showgrounds, the products were bought as gifts as they were presented beautifully ready to be gifted.
Toadstools and Tails products can be purchased via their website: http://www.toadstoolsandtails.com.au/
This is my second market tour of this market, (I haven’t put the first visit post up yet), today is the last market for 2012 and whilst the plans for 2013 markets dates haven’t been released yet due to some issues with the venue (due to the parking constraints) we anxiously await the next market.
Grassroots Community Market is a well planned out and successful market, set in the foothills of Dandenongs with many stallholders chosen from the local area. The market is a handmade and community market, therefore displaying an array of gorgeous products and foods.
I live in the nearing suburb to Upwey and driving to this market, I thought to myself, how lucky I am because this is what i drove past, rolling green hills of acres of land with horses and cows grazing (hopefully not zoned for development) and the quiet hilly roads filled with beautiful native trees. The best thing is this is only just over 5km’s from me.
Back to the market, well like the summer market, I walked in to a very busy market with all the stallholders having someone browsing through their stalls. I spoke to my friend Amy from Lillebeart who also runs the Kallista Community Market, it had been a few months since I have seen her, so it was good to catch up.
Next stop was CuuRLeaV where Christine had her baby massage and pregnancy oils, girls perfect for your little bubs. She had a beautiful looking stand that I was eying to use at my exhibition booth at the GO Festival that her husband had made, when you put a special touch to your stall it does go noticed.
I then purchased some soaps from BodiLuv Handmade Spa & Produce for my girl friends birthday presents, I love buying handmade for my family and friends, it makes it special. Had a lovely chat to Violetta hoping to catch up with her at Mulgrave Makers Market soon.
After purchasing some yummy food and drink I met up with another friend from Indie Market Place, Bubidi Boo who makes BOOTIFUL kids gear at awesome prices. You can also view her items at her showroom in Rowville, Victoria.
I had a long chat to Jen’s Soaps, who also sells at Emerald Market, Gully Market and many other markets around the area. Her soaps are in shapes of balls and it was an instant attraction to kids which in turn leads mum’s buying these great looking soaps. Anything to make bath time fun.
Finally we had a little visitor to the market, this social butterfly really enjoyed the attention of the cameras clicking away. It decided to land on one of plants of Kookaburra Fields.
I truly hope that GrassRoots Community Market will come back to their roots, as it would be such a shame to see a wonderful market fold in where the organisers have taken so much of their time and love to build.
Markets and Community show our support to your market.
The Gully Market is my neighbourhood market, it has been around for over 40 years. Some of the stallholders have been there for well over 30 years.
As all community markets you can feel the sense of the community and close knit feel of the market. Saturday’s are very busy at the market with locals stocking up on fresh fruits and vegetables from Tony from Pellegrino’s, his fruits and vegetables are usually sourced from the local area when possible, I love the freshness of his produce (definitely an A+ from me.
I remember going to the market when I was heavily pregnant and stocking up on my weekly produce, I didn’t have a trolley to carry everything back to my car, and one of Tony’s lovely and handsome sons helped carry my bags to the cars. I was chuffed that he did that and still blushing now.
Another couple of favourite stalls of mine is Pam “The nut lady”, who stocks all sorts of nuts, the Turkish dried apricots tastes divine and she will advice on what’s best to use for your Christmas cakes or even just for your general baking needs. Remember to purchase a statue from Mick, he has some great ornaments for your gardens to go along with your plants from Wolf’s Carnivorous Plants.
It is advisable to drag along your partner, as he can get his haircut at $15 whilst you shop. He can even get his dutch poffertjes and a coffee whilst getting his hair cut.
On Sunday’s when you go for a drive through the Dandenong mountains, you can stop by for a quick look at the market before purchasing your groceries from Maxi’s for you dinner, as the market trades on Sunday’s as well.
The market is open every Saturday and Sunday.
It is located at Upper Ferntree Gully Sation Car Park.
Visited 04th February 2012