Where is the time going?! I haven’t managed to get writing in a while, so here come the excuses…
I have been ramping things up with Newforge Rings in the run up to Christmas, including my first market appearance at the Black Box on November 30th. Selling things online is one thing, and the process is becoming slicker all the time, but setting up a market stall needed a lot more thought. I hadn’t thought it out at all – I was emailing for more information about the market (as part of the Belfast Burlesque Festival) and suddenly I was signed up and committed to a stand! There was no going back at this point. Well, there was, but I had to tell myself that there was no going back so I couldn’t back down. It is easy to not push yourself in life and live comfortably yet I knew I would regret not following through, even though the first time was unlikely to be a success. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. My mind went into preparation overdrive. I designed business cards, sourced invoice books and price tags, priced items, and spent one brutal Saturday solely making coin rings and necklaces nonstop. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy making coin rings and I wouldn’t have spent so long doing it if I didn’t think it was worthwhile, but I never want to spend an entire day working on them again! It was grim, but it paid off as I had a lot more to sell at the market.
To the actual market then! We set up the stall with the rings, necklaces, and a rather smashing photo (if I do say so myself) of a Canadian cent coin ring. I had help from my co-conspirator Sarah who was taking time out from medical finals revision, and my mum. There were a variety of different traders present, including small businesses selling crafts and vintage items to local shops including Fresh Garbage. Fewer people turned up than I had hoped, probably a result of the Black Friday chaos earlier in the weekend, though there was a great deal of interest. People struggled with the concept initially for whatever weird reason (I thought it was pretty straightforward – coin turned into ring), but were fascinated once they had a closer look. Generating interest is the first step – the tricky part is converting that interest into cash. I did okay for the first outing, selling three rings and necklace, and making a small profit after the costs for the stall and other bits and pieces were added up. One curious phenomenon we observed was the incredible power of people to avoid eye contact or completely fail to acknowledge one side of their vision. Granted, they could be blind in one eye or suffer from hemispatial neglect, but the sheer number of individuals avoiding eye contact made those two somewhat less likely. If you come to a craft fair, don’t be surprised that there are people selling crafts – those crafts will not be on the ceiling, but rather on tables scattered around the room. Don’t blame me if you are terrible at seeing!