Who am I kidding, it's not a little,
it's A LOT!
Lola & Alice wouldn't be what it is without the amazing friendship and help from Kirsten. I would never have been brave enough to go out in public to risk markets on my own. The self doubt of what I was doing was too strong.
Sometimes it just takes one person to give you a bit of confidence to take a risk. Taking your quirky products out to the world. Kirsten was, is, that person. She understands the quirk - completely gets it! We laugh together at the madness.
Kirsten makes beautiful bags, quirky totes and appliqued cushions amongst other delectable treasure. She's not half talented! Kirsten's pieces blend perfectly with the array of Lola & Alice products. We really do have something for almost everyone.
I'd hate to think how many times we've packed and unpacked our cars of tables and gazebos over the last five years. We've certainly picked up a thing or two about essential market items - and it's nothing to do with the product you're there to sell.
If you're thinking about selling you wares at a market, this list is very much for you!
MARKET TOOLKIT ESSENTIALS
- In addition to a gazebo and tables (we use any where from three to six, and they all fit in the car with a coupe of gazebos!), table covers, gazebo walls, back up tarp for wet ground.... you'll need:
For pinning gazebo legs into grass - if the venue allows.
Two per leg is good. Have extras on hand.
These will have velcrostraps to attach to gazebo legs. Fill these with bottles of water. Many bottles of water. Sand seems a good and easy idea until there is more sand in the car than the bag. These are used as well as the tent pegs. Canterbury wind prepares you for gale force scenarios.
A bonus with the water bottles is on hot days at dog friendly markets, you can give thirsty furry dogs a much needed drink.
A Selection of Tapes (no, not cassette..)
Duct tape or some sort of tough tape is essential.
From taping down table covers around table legs, to sticking back together a counter.
Broken gazebo leg, no problem. Duct tape fixes all. Including the odd rip in the gazebo roof.
Double Sided Tape
Another wind guard essential. If you have light weight stock, stick it down discretely.
Signage, prices, last minute labels, double sided tape is the only thing to make the job easy. Also perfect for that last minute idea to cover that box in fabric you want to use for display.
For tent pegs. Also for smacking your gazebo back into shape when mangled by the wind. - true story.
Those lights you got for the night market, yeah, they need a screw driver to open the battery compartment.
That flat pack shelf you got on the way to that out of town market to use as a counter; yeah, that one. The only flat pack thing to never come with an Allen Key. - true story
The perfect item for hanging bags from the gazebo frame. Especially when you've misplaced those hooks you bought specially.
You'll always need a longer size than the ones you first buy. So get a selection of sizes.
Also helpful for hanging price tickets, big signage and good security for hanging bags at busy markets.
Even the ones with the broken handle still work, as long as they've got sharp blades that cut.
Black Marker Pen
There's always a price you've missed.
Ballpoint Pen & Note Papaer
Finally! A colour that people see the prices on AND read.
String and/or fine rope.
Another tool in your wind guard box of tricks.
Think the table may blow away, tie it down.
Extra Printed Prices
Nicer than hand written.
Part of the covid kit with face masks and face shields.
Also very useful when used in conjunstion with a baby wipe, to clean your product after a child decides to put it in their mouth, while their parent looks on and says nothing...-Sadly, another true story.
They work for a baby's bottie, they will work on your sticky hands after eating that sticky morsel from the bakery stall.
Cheap plastic table cloth
If the rain or drizzel comes, the stock needs to get covered.
When the gazebo walls and velcro trim canopy don't match. Safety pins are very much needed. We've used safety pins for everything from holding prices on; using for hanging items from cable ties; securing flapping table cloths.. all sorts.
Other Essentials for us include; extra eftpos rolls; business cards; rubber pin backs; earring stud backs; sticky velcro; giant push pins; wonderclips; charged powerbank and cord for when the eftpos charge gets low.
If I've forgotten something, Kirsten has usually remembered it. Such as rubbish bag, thermos of hot water, a selction of tea and mugs. A Towel for spills. Water to drink!
All of that before any stock even reaches the car, which is really a tardis.
My friends are treasured. Their help at events in any capacity, I am so very grateful for.
Especially the out of town events, when a market and the madness of them, isn't something they're used to. There's the lovely ones who give you somewhere to stay, who see you, me, far from my best, in the morning, and far from my most coherent at the end of the day. Events are always much more fun with someone else to share them with. There are some sights you just can't relay, but sharing that knowing look of, 'we-can't-unsee-that-and-you-know-it!', is priceless. Sharing these times with friends adds to the escapist qualities of what Lola & Alice is about. It's work but it doesn't feel like work, more an adventure. Then there are the friends who visit the events, those who are sounding boards and support your ideas, squash your fears and want to wear your product. They've been there, they get it.
Truly treasured. That's what they are.
Toolkits and treasured friends. Markets are a piece of cake when you've got those.
Do you have a market buddy? Have they helped you conquor any market fears you may have had? How about a toolkit? What are your top essentials? Leave your comments below.
Thanks for joining the journey. Until the next escapist instalment....