Monday, July 29, 2013

Vivocity craft market post-mortem 27th to 28th July 2013

Dear friends,

As you know I had a craft market at Vivocity over the weekend. I'm very, very sad to inform you guys that all my customers were very nice and respectful. No one tried to teach me how to sew or design a "better" bag. No one scolded me for refusing their business. No one tried to buy my display set. (yes I'm looking at you, lady who wants to buy my box!) So all in all, the weekend went very well. But how utterly boring for you!

Traffic was remarkably heavier especially on Saturday. I would attribute the bigger crowd to two events. There was a Hair for Hope fundraising charity event in the main hall, some distance from my booth. It attracted such a huge crowd that it was quite difficult to walk through. One of the main events was getting your hair shaved for a small fee.

I happened to walk past when this lady (a total stranger) just had her hair shaved. What a brave beauty. I know I would never be able to part with my hair willingly. Btw, is it just me or do bald people look alike?

The other crowd puller was Jamie's Italian which opened recently. The restaurant was right next to our craft market and we could see the hungry people queuing up even before the restaurant opened for business. On both Saturday and Sunday, there was always a long queue before lunch and dinner. On Sunday, the queue for dinner was so long I couldn't even see the end of the queue. In the future after the hype dies down, I may take my kids to try the food but no way are we queuing. No freaking way.

Let's get down to the important part of the post-mortem. Did my sales suck? Or was it awesome? I think I did pretty well on Saturday. Sunday as always the sales wasn't as good. But it was better than my usual bad. So overall I think I did pretty good. Seriously though, the size of the crowd just did not translate to awesome sale. 

Hubs said he missed my review of what I had sold. I used to list every item I sold but I got lazy. Anyhoos, for old time's sake, I made a collage of some of the items I sold. As you can see, I sold all the items I made using Flights of fancy and  Dress up Day (the one with hanging laundry). The rest of the items I sold were zip pouches and accessories and I'm not gonna search for the pics. I am disappointed I couldn't sell all my big bags. I'm quite tired of lugging them around!

Oh, a shout-out to my blog reader, LT (he's a guy) for chionging (rushing) down to be my first customer on Saturday. I noticed he was quite botak (bald) and forgot to ask if he had it voluntarily shaven for Hair for Hope or was it genetics or was that his usual hairdo?

This was Saturday's display. My stock is seriously pathetic. Oh, I just noticed a drawstring bag I had made (the one with the bird) which I had already sold but forgotten to take a pic of! The customer was delighted (my word) to discover the bag was lined with no visible raw seams. Okay, the "no visible raw seams" are also my words.

Very importantly, what did I wear? On Saturday I went dressed as "a woman who had just given birth and was desperately trying to hide her tummy" unlike a certain Kate Middleton who had no such fears. I think I succeeded because you can't really see my tummy. Can you? And before you guys fall off your chairs, I did not just give birth!

I took a selfie at a shop and the security guard behind me was desperately trying not to pay attention to me. He must be thinking, should I stop her from taking pics of herself?

My kids went to help me on Saturday. Here's my girl who went dressed as a emo.

At this point I should probably end my post-mortem but something someone said at the craft market really irritated me. Why it irritated was because it has happened many times before. Since I joined this market in 2011, every time I'm at Vivocity, someone is bound to ask me the same question in one form or another. Something like this.

Young woman: Is your stall a social enterprise?
Me: No, mine is Handmade.
Young woman: But..but..I was told this is a social enterprise market.
Me: Who told you that?
Young woman: My friend...
Me: Ah.
Young woman: I know this is a social enterprise market. My friend said so. But you are handmade...
Me: Yes. (feeling sad I am handmade)
Young woman: So why are you selling here?
Me: Because I can. (wtf?)
Young woman: You mean you're allowed? (horror)
Me: Yes, I'm allowed. (smiling in a evil manner)
Young woman: Ohhhh (faking understanding)

If you're wondering why anyone would ask me if I were a social enterprise, it's due to the craft market being "marketed" as a champion of social entrepreneurship and a showcase to sell "handicrafts". However, the craft market also positions itself as a handmade market. So I can understand why customers are confused. Some people seem to think all social enterprises are non-profit. Yes dear, there are non-profit ones. But many social enterprises are profit based as in yes, yes, make money, moolah, ka-ching.
Of course I know I'm also asking for it when someone asks me:

Who benefits if I buy from you?

And I cannot help but answer gleefully: ME!

Surprise/shock/horror on customer's face.

You know what the customer should ask me?
Who pays for everything? Me.
Who shoulders the cost and loss? Me.
Who makes the products and does everything related to selling it? Me.

Who gets the miserable profit, if any. Should be me, rite?

Please! Support my products or not. Whatever. But don't try and make me feel bad for selling my handmade bags for a profit.

Sorry, rant over. It's been 2 years of holding it in.

See you in a while. I'll be in my cave.


Mandy said...

No one ever asked me if I was selling as a social enterprise....probably because they looked at me, they knew I must be one...I looked poor.

Suzee said...

So happy you had a better weekend at the sales!
I liked what you wore too. no way you looked like you gave birth! what?? LOL you are so funny... tiny you.
enjoy your cave time!

Anonymous said...

Seriously people jus know nuts about the meaning of social enterprises. Social enterprises still have to make profits ok! Or else how they generate money for the charity! And how they cover costs. And how they pay wages. They think money drop from the sky ah or grow on trees.

Projects By Jane said...

they're scared to ask you!

Projects By Jane said...

@pebblejoy some sellers do play the sympathy card! And social enterprises aren't charities. They do indeed have to generate profits too.

pennydog said...

Hehe you are totally right in your rant. To use my favourite expression, they can "do one".

punkychewster said...

I empathise completely! Even though nobody here asks if i am a social enterprise (whoever came up with this stupid concept/term anyway) they all want mass-produced prices for an original one-of-a-kind item!

*My rant over, and out*

Aunty Stitches said...

Is your cave air conditioned?

Has it helped with the headaches?

Reading your blog always cheers me up,
so don't stay in there too long!

Linda said...

Oh, my, I've missed reading your blog this summer (while I was busy with grandkids!) You are just so funny!
You can always make up some new terminology to tell rude customers when they ask if you are a social enterprise. Something like, "Yes, I am working to send two under-pampered (insert your own term here) offspring to university". As witty as you are, you can come up with something!

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