After all the excitement of early September, we had a bit of a quiet spell. This time was well spent looking for as many extra events, markets and fairs to attend in the run up to ‘that’ annual event, of which it still seems a little too early to talk about… It also resulted in continued attempts to understand eBay. I can’t say we’re entirely there yet and I’m not convinced it’s actually all that difficult, but I do rather get into a notable state of confusion! But it seems to be doing some good and for that, I can’t complain. With the diary seeming slightly more content, preparation of some description began for our first outing… Old Spitalfields Market, London! VERY exciting!
I have to confess that, despite good intentions to really go through everything properly prior to the event, far too much of this preparation remained in my head. And those were the bits I had actually thought about. I did however, action an afternoon of attaching the newly acquired tags that I had earlier designed, to pairs of slippers. And so we fast-forward to Friday morning. And the packing mayhem that ensued. Having made up a checklist and ticking off round one, the pre-load check (all whilst mum was doing a Heathrow dash-via Northamptonshire), I began round two- the car crush. Needless to say, some re-packing of stock was required upon realising that the car wasn’t quite as spacious as I had pre-empted it might be! The somewhat haphazard nature of all this lead to certain items previously checked in, being reported as missing the following morning…
Cue, 0900 hours, 05/10/13: Old Spitalfields Market, London- the fall down of the set up.
The unload began, frantic box shifting to our allocated table with a metal frame (how this is meant to be remotely transformable is something that is anything, I am yet to fully come to terms with!), followed by mum pottering back to Bethnal Green with the car. Leaving me with boxes of stock, labels, bags and stand extras. And no table cloth. None. Oh, nor change. That’s right, we had managed to drive to London without even contemplating how we were going to give people change. Fortunately, banks aren’t so hard to find in the City making this less of a calamity then it had seemed when our error had initially dawned on us. Mum returned with cotton sheets, cash and Chelsea buns, the unpacking could go ahead, and all was well with the world.
The market opened to the public at 1100 hours and, after a slow start we got in to the market way of all things selling! Our stand certainly generated interest with many people coming back more than once, which was great! The beauty of London is the variety, with interest coming from all directions thanks to the tactile nature of our products. It was great to get chatting to so many different people and seeing their enthusiasm for the slippers, as well as learning the hard way when to go for that sale, or hold back for a bit more thinking time. In the run up, the question in the back of our minds of, ‘had we gone too big too soon?’, raised it’s ugly head one time too many, but come 1700 the pack up began, generating those last few sales for the day. The day was otherwise a success and thoroughly enjoyable, with many lessons learnt and our enthusiasm steeled for the next outing, putting to bed any doubts raised.
We’re now looking forward to being able to launch our website, in time for the next time we head down to Old Spitalfields and on to the Christmas fairs (oh crumbs, I said it). Until then, watch this space!