Monday, June 3, 2013

Vivocity craft market 1st to 2nd June 2013 Post-mortem


I spent the first 2 days of June hawking my wares at Vivocity. First of all, I want to bitch how hard it was to book a taxi on Saturday. Apparently I did not get the memo that it was the first day of school holidays and somehow that meant taxi drivers weren't taking booking. It doesn't make sense to me! I spent 45 minutes on the phone and I tried different taxi numbers and nothing. Finally I decided I had better take my chances on the road. Worst case scenario: take the train with all my luggage.

Of  course I had no luck trying to hail a taxi standing by the road. Worse still, a family cut my queue and stood a short distance in front of me. That meant I could only get a taxi if they got a taxi first. Much to my surprise, this taxi with "on call" displayed stopped beside me. The driver rolled down the window and told me to "pretend I had booked his taxi", wink, wink. I was puzzled and grateful at the same time. After we had loaded our luggage and got into the taxi, the driver realised I wasn't heading for the airport. That's when he told me he had stopped for me because he saw my luggage. Anyway, he wasn't mad or anything and happily took me to Vivocity. He said most taxi drivers were heading for the airport and he wasn't surprised I couldn't get a taxi. I guess I should avoid taking the taxi during the June school holidays.

The driver talked a lot during the journey and he had the habit of sharing stuff with me.
Such as:
• photos of himself on his phone
• his wife's photo
• his wife's online website (after learning I'm in the handmade trade)
• nuggets like he had been married 3 times - to 3 different nationalities
• he lived in his taxi - ew!
• did I know there are many places in Singapore where one could take a nice shower?

The driver also had the habit of correcting the bad driving habits of fellow drivers on the road. And there were so many bad drivers. He would shout, honk and gesture at the offending drivers. I really feared that we would get rammed and I would die and what would happen to my bags in the boot? Yep, I worried about my bags when I were on the verge of dying.

We survived the "interesting" taxi ride and I hope never to run into him again. I think once is quite enough. He is a really good driver though.

Where was I? Yes, back to the craft market. This was my table display on Saturday. I had more or less the same display on both days. Sales was tough. When is it ever easy? This time I had a lot of competition. There were 2 other booths selling fabric bags. When I showed up on Saturday and saw the 2 other booths, I really thought I should just pack up and go home. Much to my surprise, my total sales was a little higher than before. Once again, most of my sales were made on Saturday. I didn't manage to sell all my new stuff. A little disappointing but I do have a few more market dates lined up.

My little hipster girl helped me out for the whole of Saturday. I know it was tiring and boring for her and was really grateful for her company. Nothing much happened during the 2 days. Just a lot of time killing.

Okay, maybe I have one little story to tell.

Do you remember this polka dot sling bag I made for my Easy sling bag pattern? I had another similar one for sale but that one had a patchwork flap. Anyway, my girl sold the sling bag with the patchwork pouch. Maybe a minute later, this lady showed up and asked me what had happened to the bag with the patchwork flap. She was really disappointed it was sold but decided she liked the polka dot sling bag as well. However, she was quite uncertain about her choice and asked me if she could take the bag to show her friend/colleague in a shop nearby. I forgot where she told me her shop was but I told her to go ahead. What's wrong with me, right? I'm so trusting. Anyway, she did return but told me she wasn't buying the bag because her friend/colleague said it was ugly.

Wait. That's not her friend's/colleague's exact words. Her exact words were:


That's right. Not just ugly. But very ugly. So she couldn't buy the bag even though she admitted she liked the bag enough. What would we do without peer pressure?

I do admit the background blue of the sling bag is not a common colour. And it is not everyone's cup of tea. But I don't find it ugly. My girl asked me for the bag and that's quite a compliment because she rarely likes anything I make.

Some time later, I "caught" the same lady back at my booth again, secretly feeling up my bags. Finally she left without buying anything.

I notice that usually when a customer comes to my booth and she needs someone else to validate her choice, chances of a sale dives.

Like if a couple comes and the woman holds up the bag she likes for her boyfriend/husband to see and who's usually standing a short distance away, very uninterested?

(usually they mouth the words because they don't want me to hear)
Woman: this one?
Man: No.
Woman: <pouts>
Woman: what about this one? love it.
Man: how much?
Woman: $$
Man: so much! no.
Woman: <pouts>
Woman: okay, what about this one?
Man: N. O. no.

Finally, woman gets tired and leaves.

Sometimes women come in twos. The interested buyer touches a bag, looks at her friend. Her friend shakes her head. Interested buyer touches another bag and looks at friend. Friend shakes head hard. Both women leave.

The women who buy from me usually know exactly what they want. They're very sure of their own taste. Haha. Needless to say, my favourite kind of women.

Oh, my polka dot sling bag story has a happy ending. On Sunday, right after I opened for business, I sold it to a European looking teenager who came with her mom. I couldn't tell what language they were speaking. Now she knew exactly what she wanted! And isn't it interesting that she looked about my girl's age. Same taste.

To be honest with you, when I buy clothes, I usually ask for hubs opinion because, well, and I hate to say this because he'll gloat, he does have good taste. However, when it comes to bags, I trust myself to make a good choice.

On Sunday, I was looking at my pathetic stock and then I looked at the other two booths selling fabric bags and they seem to have unending stock. Which left me feeling depressed. How do they do it? I seriously need to work my butt off if I want to survive the next 3 craft market dates.

These are my next 3 market dates. They will arrive sooner than you think!

29th & 30th June 2013
6th & 7th July 2013
27th & 28th July 2013

I'm taking 2 days off and then I pinky promise to sew like a maniac.


Anna said...

Jane, you tell a very good story. I hope you made enough sales to have made it worth your while. Spending time with your daughter is always a big plus.

Arts Crafts Stallholders Markets said...

Just the whole idea of people sharing almost intimate photos with their phones makes for a whole new way top say "erm, thanks, but I'm, OK" when they offer you to see images on their phone.

pennydog said...

There's absolutely nothing wrong with that bag!!! And yes I have discovered the same problem when people come in twos, but I don't do craft fairs anymore, they haven't been worth the effort for me.

Dee said...

Your stock may have also been lower 'cause you sold more than the other bag sellers.

Agy Lee said...

There's nothing wrong with that bag - it's gorgeous. Obviously the lady is very easily influenced by others! Have you tried Pasar Bella? They've just opened and heard the crowd is good :-)

Bethany said...

Very ugly??? wow, I loved that bag. I'm a sucker for dots, and that's a great shade of blue. Your customers crack me up.

Tammy said...

I'm kind of speechless. I can't believe someone would say something negative to you about your work.
I think all your bags are fabulous, they always are.

punkychewster said...

i don't know about you, but i think the polka dot sling bag is pretty cute! the wooden ring matches the blue perfectly. I think people just need to know how to carry it off!

Little Blue Mouse said...

I don't know how someone could think something so bright and cheery was very ugly, I love the blue bag.

I was thinking the same as Dee that your sales were probably better than the other two stalls.

Linda said...

I love that bag!!! That is a very popular color here, by the way!
You really need to write a book about your adventures during market. I can't believe anyone would be so blunt as to tell you a bag was "very ugly"!!! Wow! How rude!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am from malaysia. I know I came to Singapore for holidays at the wrong time with all the haze but I understand there is a craft market in vivo city. Is it a weekly affair and is it on today?

Projects By Jane said...

@Anonymous from Malaysia who came to Singapore at the wrong time...

The craft market is on the first and last weekends of every month except January. The next dates for the craft market are: 29th & 30th June + 6th & 7th July.

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