As Melbourne ceramicist Arcadia Scott celebrates two years being a business boss (go Arcadia!) we ask her to step into the limelight to dish on stall set up! With the countdown to Finders Keepers spring/summer in motion, this advice is golden and worth the read for new and established stallholders! PLUS our own master of curation Monique tops it all off with her bonus five tips too. Let’s get this season started!
All images by Samee Lapham, taken at Finders Keepers unless otherwise credited.
Best ways of incorporating branding into your stall
I am still in the evolution phase of getting the right branding for my stall set up but it is important. I make a concerted effort to have my logo link from the piece of pottery I stamp to social media I.d. through to packaging and point of sale.
Branding through repetition makes you recognisable.
To price or not to price
There may be a few exceptions but I am always in favour of having a clear, simplified pricing system. You have thousands of people viewing your work with really diverse spending abilities or habits so it gives them the option to browse without pressure. I also want to limit the necessity of the “how much is that” question.
Creating a shoppable stall
This is crucial. Always be willing to adapt and change according to the range you are selling and the space you have been allocated.
Consider traffic flow— how many people can shop from your stall at one time? Is your work visible from a few meters away?
My stand has evolved from a trestle table to recently a modular display that can adapt from a 2×2 space through to a 4×2 corner stall. I now have an area to display a really broad range of work, it photographs well and its also easy to assemble for one person.
Less is more in my philosophy and rely on restocking regularly as the pieces sell-through. Think about using the space at eye level as its prime real estate visually so consider how you are optimising the allocated stall height. I always have multiple locations for the ‘best sellers’ so that you don’t limit the number of people that can shop them and lastly, pay attention to your social media feed in the lead up to an event. You can get a great indication of what people are responding to so you can then incorporate these items in a highlighted section. Oh, and add some (or many) plants and cut flowers!
Customer purchases and packaging
I have a pretty simple approach to the point of sale I use. I don’t spend too much time wrapping items however I do make sure the materials are recyclable, there is clear branding on the bags and each purchase receives a thank you card with my contact details included. Having some information cards accessible is also well received. If you have a mailing list, ask people to sign up if they want to stay informed of what you are up to.
Lean on me! Riding solo and asking for help.
For the most part, I have been a one-woman show (*cough* not jealous at all for those that have helpers!!) at the markets from start to finish. It’s challenging at times but it also highlights what a supportive community fellow stallholders are. I have a wonderful network of market friends that enable me to take those essential breaks and never underestimate getting to know your neighbours! Just remember to return the favour or shout a coffee when possible.
Don’t forget to….
Be kind. Take a break from phone/social media. Engage with the customers.
+ bonus five with Monique from Finders Keepers
(to make yourself unique and stand out)
1. Think about how your products make your business unique!
You want your products to be the highlight! Riff on their character and bring colour and charm into your stall to suit! This means not being afraid to add colour to your stall, there’s nothing like a bright colour to draw you in or a subtle shade to highlight your product and stand out from the crowd.
Idea: Adding a backing wall or coloured tabletop or different material all together could make your products pop! Choose a colour that will complement or make your work look striking. This can be a easy update to keep your stall and brand looking fresh!
2. Create engagement!
Think about what can make your stall extra special and highlight your talent! Have an exclusive offer for your market weekend, perhaps it’s a custom product like ‘design your own’ shoes or ‘customise your beanie’ or maybe there’s a way to show how your product is made or how it should be used.
It can be as simple as bringing your current ‘work in progress’ to your stall. It will definitely helps those quiet moments.. there’s nothing less approachable than when someone’s on their phone!
3. Share your story!
Whether it’s sharing a behind the scenes video or poster of your workspace and/or process look at creatively incorporating business journey into your stall. People love seeing how and where your work came to life, and in turn this helps them understand and appreciate their value even more.
4. Envisage how your product will be used and create a ‘stall story’ around it!
Think about your product and envisage how customers will engage with it and create a ‘story’ in your stall that conveys that.
Sharing the behind the scenes action is just the beginning… invite customers into your ‘figurative’ living room, show them how it works or how it could be worn. You might know your product inside and out but don’t expect others too.
It might feel like a simple one but it’s so often missed! Who are you? How will you be remembered? Brand your stall, make sure customers can see it and will remember you! Again think about height.
Make sure your label name is visible throughout your stall. Do this through signage or by having your name on your work, even labels that are visible and recognisable. It doesn’t have to be over the top either, if it doesn’t suit the style of your work then make it subtle.
You’ve worked so hard to get into the markets why not invest in your stall too! Good luck and thanks for reading!