Monday, 23 June 2014


Hello everyone

I am really pleased to be able to present this guest post from Lesley Beeton who not only took photographs are stallholder's work at the 7 June Godalming Bazaar, but attended the event as a customer.  It certainly contains food for thought for both me and the stallholders who took part and it is a timely reminder for stallholders taking part in any event.  Thank you Lesley for a very interesting guest post.

The Godalming Bazaar – a customer review

Hundreds of people visited the indoor Godalming Bazaar on Saturday 7th June.  The rainy morning kept some shoppers away, but those who braved the damped conditions were greeted with food and crafty delights.  These are some of my favourites.

JoJo from Artyfacial did a great job, keeping children occupied with face-painting, whilst Julia from Glutton and Glee provided a pop-up cafĂ© for that much-needed cup of coffee and a sit-down.  Stallholders included Melanie Capper from Melanie’s Garden, a natural skincare range, Kevin Gorton, a local artist and musician who hand-paints scenes of Godalming on everyday items, and Dawn Hart of local home-industry knitting enterprise Stone Pit Crafts. Crafts and gifts on sale varied from beautiful oil paintings on canvas by Jan Windle, to delightful glass products by Hot Glass.  There were plenty of hand-sewn items for sale, many to delight younger shoppers, such as customised bags by Made By Lorraine, and the gorgeous tooth-fairy pillows made by Lauren Broughton of Love Sew Sweet. Acorn to Oak provided a little bit of peace and quiet with reiki massage and crystal therapy.  Jewellery, re-incarnated plastic bags and fascinating items by Juraj, the blacksmith, added to the mix.  There were foodie highlights too, in the visual splendour of the macaroons by Pinch of This and the Chai Tea and Perfect Curry kits.

I do however, have some observations (as a customer), which I hope will provide constructive criticism for both the organisers and stall holders. Remember, you want to sell, and I want to buy.

Firstly, although slightly up on last time, a footfall of 50 an hour, or 2 visitors for each stand, seems a bit low. I wondered if a Town Crier out and about in town would be better than someone trying to hand out leaflets.  If you are going to hand out leaflets, what about numbering them and having a ‘Lucky Number’ draw each half hour, with a different stall holder putting up a small prize each time.  The poster boards at the door were not visible.  The banner poster was not effective.  Bunting might make people look twice.

There should be a unique selling point for the market - something that local people will look forward to each time.  Jugglers and knife throwers (or balloon artists and face painters) are too gimmicky for a luxury market. I spent a minimum of £10 at each stall I bought from, most were £12.50 starting point.  That's not cheap (nor should it be) but the market should promote itself as something special.

The first door (opposite Stone Pit Crafts) should have been open. It would have created a better flow of people, and more welcoming on entry.  A large map of who's who would be nice. Stall holders need badges to identify themselves.  Many were not very friendly.  One even had ear phones in!

I really don't like the borough hall as a venue. It was difficult for stall holders to display on one table top, with nowhere to put a banner or hanging items behind them.  This meant that buyers always look down, instead of up and out at eye-level, making eye-contact with sellers.  The noise in the room is unbearable.  There is nowhere for it to go. I had to work really hard to engage the stall holders in conversation, even when I had my purse open and money hanging out.  The exceptions were Melanie’s Garden, Peru Project and the local Godalming hand-painted coaster artist.  They wanted to tell me about their work, and they were interesting to talk to.

I didn't like having the food court stuck away.  More people would have bought a coffee on the way in/out if it had been part of the main event. 

Well, that’s enough feedback.  Good luck with the next market on Saturday 6th September.  May it be happy and successful, with lots of sales.

Lesley Beeton

Note: I took photos of, and talked to every stallholder. If anyone wants to talk to me directly about ways of improving the marketability of their stall, or get a high res photo, please let Jill Spain know. No charge.

Monster face-painting by JoJo of Artyfacial

Yummy macaroons by a Pinch of This

Kevin Gorton, local artist and musician

Tooth fairy cushions by Love Sew Sweet

Melanie Capper, Melanie's Garden

Dawn Hart, Stone Pit Crafts

Oil paintings on canvas by Jan Windle

Unique blacksmith art by JAJ BBQ and Blacksmith Products


Hello everyone

Rather late, but still important - my review of the 7 June Godalming Bazaar event.  I am still looking for that elusive 'right sort of customer', but also realise I need the 'right sort of venue'.  We had 247 visitors to the event and obviously that is just not enough - but having flogged myself (as did many other people) silly with online, face-to-face, paid, paper, street, notice-boards and just about everything else advertising, what else is there left to do?

A lot of people involved in the handmade world feel that craft markets may have had their day - I don't want that to be the case for my events.  Having bought a company that organises events and invested a vast amount of time, money and energy into trying to make them successful, I want to, have to, make it a success for everyone involved - not just for me, but for the stallholders, for those who help out on the day and more importantly for the customers.  I have been offered lots and lots and lots of advice: some excellent, some too expensive, some pretty nigh impossible, some that should involve others but the 'others' don't step forward, so what can I do?

This brings me back to the topic of my last post - the right sort of customer.  How do I find them?  Having paid for an advert in a magazine that was to be delivered to 23,000 homes in the local Godalming area, surely somewhere amongst those 23,000 are the right sort of customers?  Possibly, but the biggest disappointment was that I have received feedback that the magazine was delivered after the event, despite being advised it would be delivered during the week prior to the event.  The only small consolation is that I had the sense to put the dates of the rest of this year's events in the advertisement - will people remember them though?

So sadly, it is back to the drawing board trying to think of new ways to promote the event to encourage customers through the door.   If you have thoughts, ideas, suggestions, please do get in touch or leave a comment on this blog.

Do come back later this week as I have a great guest post about the last Godalming Bazaar event - food for thought for stallholders and for me.


Friday, 6 June 2014


Hi everyone

Tomorrow is nearly here - well that's obvious of course, but tomorrow's Godalming Bazaar event is nearly here.  We kick off at 9.30 am and I am sure we will be knee, hopefully neck, deep in customers as soon as we open the doors.  

As I have been told many times, events need the right sort of customers.  How do I find them?  For tomorrow's event I have advertised in a local magazine and it has been delivered this week to just over 23,000 homes - will that reach the 'right sort of customer'?  I have also advertised in a local parish magazine with the potential for 800 readers - again, will that reach the right sort of customer?  I have also advertised extensively online - not too sure how I can sort the wrong Internet readers from the right ones.  I, and my fellow stallholders have handed out nearly 3,000 flyers - have they gone to the right sort of customers?  How do I stop the wrong sort of customers entering the event?

Perhaps I should advertise in the Tattler, the Horse and Hound or similar magazines.  Would I get the right sort of customer then?  As those of you who organise events know, magazine advertising is very expensive and placing an advertisement in the top magazines is not possible for the small event organiser in relation to the space/table fees charged.

So, it is back to the drawing board for me.  Come back next week to see if I found the right sort of customer at tomorrow’s event.


Sunday, 1 June 2014


Hello everyone

Wouldn't it be great to be called that?  What do you think makes a stallholder the best in the world?  While pondering on this I thought a post about the four Ps of marketing and how it could be applied to being a stallholder would be a good post: Product, Place, Price, Promotion.

We all think we have the right product.  How do we know that?  Is it because we like what we make and think everyone else will?  Is it because we have done research and found a niche in the market for what we make?  Have we decided to target a specific sector with our product?  It is important to realise that just because you love what you have made, not everyone else will.  Find out what is popular - check trade craft magazines and visit trade fairs to see what is going to be popular the next season, and the season after.

Are we selling our work in the right place?  Most stallholders you meet will have had good, bad and indifferent experiences of craft events and other selling platforms.  Are craft events the right place to sell handmade items?  Are they the right place to sell your work?  For some items, yes, it is exactly the right place but it is only experience that tells you this; however, the event may be right, but the venue may be wrong.  Some products will not sell well at craft events - there are many reasons why.  It may be the footfall isn't looking for the products at the event, the quality of the product affects sales, a poor or uninviting display puts people off, too expensive, too cheap, an unapproachable stallholder, or the product you make just is not popular in the area you are selling in.

Price is obviously very important.  Price your work too low and people will think it is cheap, price it too high and you may price yourself out of the market.  The majority of craft workers rarely cover the time they have invested in making something - sadly the public have contributed to this because there is a tendency to think that because something is handmade, it doesn't cost much to make and therefore it should be cheap.  We all know how harsh that is.  They fail to take into account the talent, time, care and passion invested in the item they are looking at.  However, that doesn't mean we should lower our prices just to satisfy the public because we will end up often not covering the cost of materials, let alone a contribution to the time taken to make the product.  A piece of advice here is to have a range of prices at events; I appreciate this depends on what you make and may not always be possible, but something around the £2 - £5 range is always tempting for customers.  It's a good starting point for them.  How about some reduced price items?  Everyone loves a bargain.

Finally, possibly the most important thing to take on board is promotion.  This doesn't just take place before an event, it takes place throughout and after the event.  You want to persuade browsers to become customers and to remain customers.  Only you can promote your work knowledgeably because only you know it well enough to give its history, why you made it, who it would suit, how many different colours it could be made in, how long it took you to make, who buys you work and why you enjoyed making it.  Yes, you can pay to have your items marketed, but it can be expensive for the small business.

Some people say there is a fifth P in marketing: personality and I think this is a very important one.  Do you present or project a cheerful, helpful, happy image to your customers?  Do you find talking to customers easy?  Do they find it easy to talk to you? Are you enthusiastic about your work, happy to share ideas (but, of course, not your trade secrets)?  Think about it.  I think half the battle in our business is presenting a positive image and sadly, I have taken part in and visited many craft fairs which have had some unhelpful and miserable people behind the table.  Some have had an off day, some are not happy in a selling environment, and this takes me back to place - is an event where customers are to be encouraged the right place for them to be?  Let's face it, we are not born sellers, we have to train ourselves to be.

I hope this gives some food for thought and if you have any feedback, comments or contributions you would like to make on this post, come along and join in.


Tuesday, 20 May 2014


Hello everyone

Despite promising myself and my blog followers that I would be posting here regularly, not too sure what has happened.  However, here I am back in the world of blogging and I can honestly say that I have been busy working on the eh June event.  The highlight of recent weeks is the name change from the Godalming Independent Market to the Godalming Bazaar - I love it, it's catchy, short, memorable and still retains the Godalming link while giving the impression of something rather exotic.  Thank you Dawn and Lesley for helping, or rather thank you for coming up with this brilliant new name.

Lesley has also been doing lots of PR for the events, so along with  lots of online advertising, stallholders passing out flyers, posters being placed in shops, notice boards, etc and an advertisement in the Advantage Point magazine and the Compton Parish magazine, the word is certainly out there about the event.

My helpers on the day will be sporting smart t-shirts - these can be seen on the Godalming Bazaar's Facebook page.  the Bazaar also has a new logo - again this is displayed on the Bazaar's Facebook page and is included in all tweets posted on Twitter and here it is:

My planned 'next post' was to be about being a stallholder.  No, I am not claiming to be an authority on this, but feel I have been involved in so many as a stallholder and a customer, that I can confidently put forward my thoughts and suggestions as they may be food for thought for both 'old' and new stallholders.  There you have it, the topic for my next blog post.

I have also been working hard to bring to the life the planned Food Court (to be held in the Court Room of the Borough Hall).  I want this to be a dedicated food court and so far have one stlalhodler - am I disappointed?  Yes, very, as I have contacted over forty local food and drink growers/producers, makers.  If you know of anyone who would like to join us, please ask them to get in touch. 

After the last event's refreshments provider disappointment, I am tyring to sort out one for the June event.  I had a meeting with a company last week and I hope they will take part in the event, but it's a 'watch this space' situation.

A quick post to almost bring you up-to-date.  I will be back soon with the promised stallholder blog post, in the meantime enjoy the sunshine (although at the moment it looks like rain here) and have a great week.  I am off to Chelsea tomorrow - wonder if I can find some people for the Food Court there......


Monday, 21 April 2014


Hello everyone

Somewhat belated, but a post-event review post.

We had lovely weather, everyone's stalls looked fantastic and we all (stallholders, my helpers and myself included) worked hard all day long to try to make the event a success.  Almost needless to say, it would have been great to have more visitors to the event.  What is that magic mix that craft and gift fair organisers need to have to sprinkle over their events?  I am not too sure what it is, where I can buy it or, as a crafts-person, find the ingredients to make the potion myself, but I do know that along with hundreds of other event organisers we work our socks off to try to make our events successful.

I received lots of really positive feedback from some of the stallholders and I would like to thank them for their support.   Based on the feedback and my response changes will be incorporated into future events and I am sure they will be positive for everyone.

The visit from the Mayor and Mayoresss of Godalming went really well.  They visited all of the stalls and even enjoyed our last-minute, make-shift refreshments.  I had been let down the day before the event by the people who were providing refreshments but I am really grateful to two good friends, Linda and Dawn, for pitching in and helping out at very short notice.  Thank you both.

The following are photographs of some of the stands at the April event - unfortunately, there just wasn't time to take photographs of everyone's stands, but as many stallholders are taking part in several events this year, I will have the chance to feature them in future blog posts.

Blog-posting will be back to normal next week with a weekly, and more often if possible, post.  I am hoping that stallholders will take up my offer to be a guest blogger - it's free advertising for your work, so how can you not take up this offer?

My post next week will be how to be a successful stallholder - so if you have suggestions and ideas that work for you as a stallholder, please do let me know and I will include them and I will acknowledge your contribution (a bit more free advertising for your work).

See you next week


Friday, 4 April 2014


Hi everyone

We are very nearly at the start of the first Godalming Independent Market of this year.  Not without hiccups and stress along the way, most difficult to deal with has been the cancellation today by our refreshments people, Splendid Occasions, due to illness.  I wish you all a very speedy recovery.  This has created a mega problem because being able to offer refreshments was something I was really pleased about.  Most of today has been spent trying to find replacements or alternatives - not easy as it is very short notice.  My thanks to Dawn Hart, Linda Holden and Natasha Berthoud for jumping in to help.

It is the last blog post before the event and my planned shout out for all stallholders didn't take place because of today's events.  However, here is a roll-call of everyone taking part tomorrow:

Tracy Adaway
Linda Banks
Natasha Berthoud
Elaine Briars
Anita Burrough
Adrienne Card
Wendy Cunningham
Brenda Emerson
Joyce Daniel
Jayne Evans
Zahida Fieldhouse
Barbara Fletcher
Bianca Grant
Jennifer Haiselden
Dawn Hart
Jill Hines
David & Carole Hudson
Kevin Gorton
Christine Kendell
Andrea Killick
Anna Lewicki
Karen Maione
Jackie Malcolm and Izzy Taylor
Sally Mitchell
Anne Owens
Pennie Pearce
Angela Peel
William Smith
Jill Stobbart
Di Swaddling
Kimberley Tyler
Becky Watson
Fran Tang

Good luck tomorrow everyone - I am looking forward to meeting you and hope we all have a very successful day.


Sunday, 30 March 2014


Hello everyone

Hard to believe this time next week we will have completed the first Godalming Independent Market of this year.  Still lots to do, and the butterflies are beginning to take up residence in my stomach.

As well has having over 30 fantastic stallholders at the event, there are lots of great things taking place on the day including face-painting by Artyfacial and balloon modelling by Mr Magic.  Some great news, the Mayor and Mayoress of Godalming will be visiting the event with their daughter at 11.30 am.  It will be so good to have them there and I am sure if will encourage lots of new visitors to join us.

Posters and flyers are still being distributed and this morning I put up the brand new colourful banner outside of the Godalming Borough Hall:

As the hall is immediately opposite Waitrose's car park which is also used by people going into the town centre,  the banner should create a lot of interest.

I have advertisement in Wednesday's edition of the Surrey Mirror and Friday's edition of the Surrey Advertiser.  Despite this being an online world, many people do not use the Internet and if they do they do not always use it looking for events to attend, so newspapers are a great place to let people know about the GIM events.

I was in Godalming during the week dropping off flyers to shops and was so pleased to meet Poppylocke who works in the Godalming Art shop.  Poppylocke was the first blog follower here and it was great to meet you and looking forward to seeing you next Saturday.

It's back to the grindstone now: floor plan to finalise, flyers to be posted, bookings to confirm for the remaining events this year, as well as a million and one other things that I have probably forgotten.

If you read this blog do come along to next Saturday's event, it is going to be a lot of fun and there will be so many fabulous things to buy.


Tuesday, 25 March 2014


Hello everyone

In addition to today's Stallholder Shout Out, I have some great news!  Councillor Tom and Mrs Jessica Martin, the Mayor and Mayoress of Godalming will be visiting our event on 5 April and will be with us at 11.30 am.  How wonderful is that?  Do you think we might tempt the Mayor to have his face painted by Jojo of Artyfacial?

Today's Stallholder Shout Out is all about:

Jackie Malcolm: Facebook: Brown Rabbit. Beautiful handmade felt pictures, unique designs. Animal and country pursuits theme to accompany Brown Rabbit jewellery

Andrea Killick: Little Nannies Soap Company Gorgeous handmade soap and body products: bath bombs, body butter, body wash, lip balm - lots of pampering things and candles too

Anne Owens: children's fairy items, backpacks, gifts and dog jackets

Splendid Occasions: gorgeous fresh cakes, tea and coffee - all served on vintage china

Sophie Denny Facebook: Kerfuffled Beautiful necklaces, pendants, earrings and bracelets as well as a small range of essential oil candles.

Don't forget to come back tomorrow to see who is next on the Stallholder Shout Out list.


Monday, 24 March 2014


Hello everyone

Mondays always seem to be pretty grim, but today the sun has been shining so it's a good time to showcase some more of the great stallholders taking part in the Godalming Independent Market on 5 April:

Tracy Adaway: - Jewellery: Handmade 'pick-your-own' beads

Natasha Berthoud: Scrumptious handmade brownies

Anita Burrough: Neatly Does It Silver - Silver Birthday Candle Holders

Lorraine Castellari - Made by Lorraine: Handmade fabric and paper goodies

Wendy Cunningham: Facebook: LJS Handmade Jewellery - Handmade semi-precious necklaces, pendants, bracelets and earrings

Jill Hines: Felt & Fabric - Felt and fabric materials, haberdashery accessories and handcrafted items

David and Carole Hudson: Project Peru: Peruvian handmade crafts

Come back tomorrow to see who is next on the Shout Out blog post


Sunday, 23 March 2014


Hello everyone

Well hopefully all of the words are out - the words about the Godalming Independent Market that is.  Just over 2,000 flyers for the 5 April event have so far been distributed in and around Godalming.  Over the next week a further 2,000 will be popped through local letter boxes in Compton, Godalming, Normandy and Shackleford.  This is in addition to those stallholders who have had the flyers and posters emailed to them who will be printing them off and posting as I write.

I took part in the Play Kenya Craft Fair yesterday and was really pleased to discover that my next door stallholder neighbour was Jill Stobbart of the Gilded Raven one of the stallholders taking part in the first GIM event of this year.  Jill produces beautiful cards, jewellery and lovely decorated wooden items - have a look at her Facebook page.

Over the next two weeks I will be blogging regularly to showcase the other lovely stallholders taking part in the first GIM event of the year - not long to go now - and here are a few of them to whet your appetite:

Dawn Hart of Stonepit Crafts Dawn's knits are fabulous: lovely bangles and wellie toppers are among the most popular of her makes

Linda Banks of Orchid Stained Glass Linda creates the most beautiful pieces of stained glass that you can imagine, have a look at her stunning lampshades

Adrienne Card of the Beach Shack creates beautiful cushions, ponchos and lots of other lovely handmade items

Come back every day this week to find out who else is taking part in the first GIM event of the year.

Have fun everyone


Sunday, 16 March 2014


Hello everyone

I know it is an odd title and I haven't really been looking for clowns, but I have been looking for entertainers to take part in the April event.  Easy peasy you would think?  No, not at all - out of the six I have contacted so far, only three have replied.  I have to assume they are so busy they are not interested, or just can't be bothered?  Very disappointing really.  The good news is that one of the entertainers that did reply is the one I have booked - so not all disappointment really.

The Surrey Independent Markets website is now up and running and contains details of all of the stallholders taking part in the April event:

Flyers and posters have been sent out to all stallholders who are helping with promotion.  Flyers and posters are currently being distributed/displayed in Chilworth and they have already been distributed in Mytchett.  Over the next two weeks more 'paper advertising' will take place in Compton, Farncombe, Binscombe, Shackleford, Godalming and Normandy.  I am in the process of preparing an advertisement for the Surrey Advertiser which will go out on the Friday prior to the event.   I will also be visiting shops in Godalming and Farncombe town centres asking them to display a poster in their windows and hand out flyers to their customers.  This, together with the flyers taken by helpful friends and the stallholders, means appx 5,000 flyers will have been distributed.  Wouldn't it be lovely if all recipients of the flyers came to the April event?  Okay, half of that number will be fine as 4,500 might be rather cramped in the Borough Hall.

Back to the website now as I am going to being adding photographs of the April event stallholder's work over the next week or so.  As all you website owners know, building your site is a long process - worth it in the end though.

Have a great week everyone - if you would like to be a guest blogger, please let me know.  If you live locally to the Godalming events and would be happy to help hand out some flyers for us, please get in touch.


Monday, 10 March 2014


Hello everyone

What a lovely weekend.  I took part in a wedding fayre yesterday and the footfall was low compared to previous fayres at the venue.  Sunny, warm weather is rare at this time of year, so people were obviously making the most of it.  Everything in the garden is growing so fast at the moment and blossoming much earlier than usual, I think spring has definitely sprung.

Just under four weeks to the first event and the raffle prize list is growing nicely.  In addition to prizes donated by local Godalming businesses, there will be L'Occitane, Molten Brown and Yankee candle goodies as well as handmade items.  I love candles, so might just have to buy a raffle ticket myself.

Getting an 'On the day' sheet ready to send out to stallholders, producing the tea/coffee vouchers and even better, I have produced the Surrey Independent Markets website: I used the Wix free website package and purchased the domain name, but then found to  link the name to my website I had to pay for hosting.  It is a good deal and the after-sales support has been brilliant - I had a few problems soritng everything out as I seemed to have created several websites!  Er, not too sure how that happened.  The website address is:

Do have a look - it is in the early stages now, but I plan to have details of all participating stallholders on there as soon as possible.

I have been trying to recruit a candle-maker/seller, face-painter and a musician for the first Godalming event.  Despite putting out requests on Facebook, Twitter and Streetlife I have not had any replies at all - I can only assume they are either so busy they are not interested or don't use social medial.   Such a shame as I think it would be so lovely to have them on board.

A quick post this week as still lots to do for the first event.  Don't forget to leave a comment and also your website link if you are a stall holder - all helps you get picked up in the rankings.

'See' you next week.


Saturday, 1 March 2014


Hello everyone

How can it already be 1 March?  Two months of this year have disappeared who knows where.

The first Godalming Independent Market is getting nearer and nearer.  Lots of lovely stallholders have signed up already and spaces are filling up very quickly.  If you have sent in your Expression of Interest form and received a Booking Confirmation, don't forget to return it as soon as possible (with payment) to ensure you have  a space at the events you want to take part in.  I know it is tempting to leave it until the last moment, but there really is no guarantee there will be a space available for you.

Over the last few weeks I have had questions along the lines of ‘this will be my first event, what do I need to know/do/have ready?’.  There are lots of forums on the Internet that provide advice for this, but I thought it might help if I add mine here as it is from my point of view and based on my experience:

Be welcoming and chat to your customers, even if only to comment on that good old English activity 'the weather', but don't overwhelm them (you know how annoying it can be when you walk into a shop and an assistant immediately pounces on you asking if you need help?).  If your items can be picked up by customers, tell them.  If you do not want customers to pick up your work, please tell them - politely.  Offer to hold the item for them to have a look at.  Remember to smile.

At one or two events I have taken part in, I have seen stallholders sitting reading books,
magazines, etc - it doesn't look good and gives the impression you are bored, not interested in or proud what you are making/selling.  I know you don't necessarily want to be bobbing up and down all day, but it is polite to stand and greet your customers.  Or, how about taking a high stool with you if space in your car/van permits?  You can remain seated but still be at or near to eye level with your customers.

It is a good idea to have items with a range of prices, for example some lower priced ones will attract customers to view/buy what you are selling and they may then decide to buy something of a higher price too.  You may have some things that are not selling well - can you reduce the price and make a special display of them?

Have different levels of displays on your table to attract interest.  It is much more interesting to a customer than having everything either on one level or flat on the table.

I have what I call my kit box in which I have scissors, string, Blu-Tak, drawing pins, paper clips, paper, pens, blank price tags, etc - the things you always need when you haven't got them with you.

Remember to price all of your items or have labels near to them - the majority of customers hate to ask the price and sadly will walk away from your stall rather than do so.

Have bags to put your sales in and either a stock record so you can tick off your sales or some other way to record them.

Have plenty of change in your float and make sure it can be secured.  Often you will have customers arriving with a £20 note for a purchase of say £2 and if you don't have change as much as they promise to return, they often don't, or if you do have change and you give it to the customer, you spend the rest of the event trying to get some.

You will need a cloth that reaches the floor so that your table looks neat and tidy and you can store boxes, etc underneath the table without them being seen.

It's a good idea to bring refreshments with you.  There will be tea and coffee and cakes for sale at the event, and the Borough Hall is opposite a Waitrose Supermarket, but lots of stallholders don't like the additional costs of buying refreshments as it adds to their day's expenses. 

Don't forget to bring publicity material with you - business cards or something that contains contact details and information about what you do.  If you take orders for your work, make sure customers know this.  It's also a good idea to have details to hand out of other events you are taking part in.

The way to approach an event is put yourself in the position of the customer - what would you like to see, experience, find out, buy, what do you expect of sales people?  Most important is to enjoy yourself – this is not just a selling day, but a promotional event for future sales.  It is also a great way to network with your fellow stallholders who will have details about events that you may not be aware of.

This blog is getting lots of visitors and a new follower this week - a big welcome to you. 

Have a great week everyone - 'see' you all next week.


Saturday, 22 February 2014


Hello everyone

Another beautiful day - makes even the horrible jobs (housework, for example) one has to do a lot easier.  I keep checking the forecast and hoping that we have seen the last of the rain and wind, so fingers and toes crossed.

Although not yet counting down the days, it is now less than two months to my first Godalming Independent Market as the organiser - exciting and a  little nerve-racking too.  More display material has been ordered, printed and is on its way to me - these signs will be placed at prominent positions (roundabouts and other places where permission is given) around Godalming for approximately a week/two weeks prior to each event.

Places are filling up for all of this year's Godalming Borough Hall events and I am getting at least one request per day for information about booking a stall.  There are quite a few new businesses taking part in this year's events and that is really good because it means different and new products for our customers to view and, of course, buy. We all know that variety is important when selling at these types of events, so new sellers alongside the regular stall holders are very welcome.

As I mentioned above, places are filling up fast and I only have 6' table spaces available at the April event now as all 3' table spaces have been booked.  April is also now fully booked for jewellery makers/sellers.  It's a popular month for the Godalming Independent Market as this one takes place in time for Easter gifts to be purchased.

Why the title 'the flyers are flying out' for this post?  Nearly all stallholders who have booked places for this year's events have agreed to take a quantity of flyers and posters - thank you everyone, it all helps with the promotion and as you know it is a two-way thing.  Over the next couple of weeks I will be posting these.  One pack is already on its way to a local event organiser who is including them in the goody bag she hands out to the first 100 visitors to her event in March.

Time to do some gardening, it's a little chilly outside but the sunshine is gorgeous.  Have a great week everyone, don't forget to get in touch if you would like to be a guest blogger here or would like more information about the Godalming Independent Markets.

Have a great weekend - 'see' you next week.


Sunday, 16 February 2014


Hi everyone

What a gorgeous day after so much miserable weather.  I know we are not completely finished with the grim winter weather, but I understand this coming week is going to be fairly reasonable. Let's hope it gives those people that have been flooded out of their home a break from the torrential rain and wind.

Onwards and upwards with the Surrey Independent Markets and Streetlife has provided me with an amazing number of  people wanting to take part in the markets.  A great variety of items and lots of them have already booked their spots at some of the events.  I am getting communications from at least one potential seller every day and this makes me feel that the Godalming Markets have a lot of interest from both sellers and buyers - thank you Streetlife.

The flyers for the first event have been published and during the beginning of March I will be posting some out to the sellers who have agreed to assist with the promotion of the events.  I am also going to make the flyer available for sellers to add to the Facebook, Blog and websites, so please let me know if you would like to take part in this promotion. Here is the flyer:

I have added our event to the Waverley Borough Council website, and I am working my way through adding the events to other visitor attraction websites.

The items donated for the raffle are increasing and I am pleased to say that a local business has offered a one month free gym pass.  I will be adding a list to a later blog of the names of the businesses who have joined in promoting the Godalming Markets.

I will be back next weekend with an update on the Godalming Markets' progress.  Have a good week everyone.


Saturday, 8 February 2014


Hello everyone

I know, not a very imaginative title but I thought it could become a piece of music - perhaps Mozart (my favourite classical composer) would have turned it into an opera? Or my other favourite composer/singer, Freddie Mercury, could have made something great out of it.  Sadly, neither of them are around, so it will have to remain just the title of this week's blog post.

A soggy week for everyone and aren't those pictures of the West Country heartbreaking?  It is hard to imagine what it must be like to lose your home, and for some having to give up their farm animals and their livelihoods, but it is an experience I really want to avoid.  We are lucky in Surrey - yes, I know it is bad in some places and the bottom of our garden is permanently under water at the moment, but on the whole we have faired well.  Let's hope it stays that way.

Welcome to my two new followers: Dawn and Jill.  Both supporters of the Godalming Independent Markets and both create beautiful work.

Another busy week with the Surrey Independent Market events - I feel as though most of the week has seen me chained to the computer.  The new banner has been designed, ordered and is on its way and here is the final design:

This is the banner which will be placed outside of the the Godalming Borough Hall for the week prior to each event.  The date of each event will be added as necessary.

In addition to completing and ordering the banner, I have also designed and ordered 1,000 fliers.  Most of these will be used for letter box drop in the residential area around the borough hall.  Others are destined to be included in goody bags that are distributed at other events - some organisers offer this to other event organisers and for a small fee it is a great way to increase promotion.  Some more will be left at venues that have agreed to hand them out for me.  I have also bought some spotty bunting and balloons - pink, green, yellow and blue.  I will add these to the display outside the borough hall and also in the entrance hall, which always seems rather dark and uninviting.

Details of the Godalming Markets have been added to Streetlife - if you haven't come across this yet, it really is worth a look.  My interpretation is that it is like a very local Twitter.  You can advertise, promote, engage friends and neighbours and find out lots of information about local activities that you might not have heard of.  I have added information about all the Godalming dates and the good news is that the listing will be seen/accessed by just over 2,000 people.  How lovely it would be if they all came to the markets - well, not all at once, but you never know.

Posting today as my 'other me' blog (Christmas Pie Crafts) is written and posted on Sundays and it was getting a little tricky to fit both of them in on the same day.

Time to unglue my fingers from the keyboard - I will be back next weekend with more information on how things are progressing for the Godalming Markets.  Don't forget to leave a comment and do get in touch if you would like to be a guest blogger.

Have a good week everyone.


Sunday, 2 February 2014


Hello everyone

The blog has its first follower - welcome Poppylocke, your work is really beautiful.

I am running a raffle at the first event (possibly others) and am very pleased to say I already have some lovely local Godalming business people taking part.  The raffle will be drawn on the day of the event and if any stallholders want to take part, please let me know.  It's another great way to promote your work.

Another busy week for me Surrey Independent Markets - lots of new sellers coming on board, which is really great.  Still space for regulars, but spaces for jewellery sellers are filling up fast.

I have spent the last few days working on a new banner for the Godalming events, as well as new business cards for Surrey Independent Markets.  Here is pic of the new banner - although as I change the layout every five minutes, this may not be the final design:

I have been busy adding the event details of websites - I know that not everyone uses the Internet but its the best place to get advance notice taken of the markets.  A few of the places details have been added to are:

Where Can We Go

Friday-ad (it will run for one month on this site and then be renewed

The Best Of

If you know of places that are good to advertise in (or on), please let em know.  I know all of us involved in the Godalming Market Events want to make them a big success, so join in the marketing and promotion with me.  Reading and comment in this blog helps, because it pushes it up the Internet rankings.

A mini post this week, lots of Independent Market work still to do, plus with my other hat on, CPC Wedding Stationery, I have two wedding fairs to create stationery for.

Don;t forget to get in touch if you would like to be a guest blogger here, lots of lovely free promotion as I will tweet your post every day in the week following publication.

Have a great week.


Sunday, 26 January 2014


Hello everyone

I hope you have had a good week.  We have had some very odd weather here recently; apart from the now normal heavy rain, we had what appeared to be a mini-tornado yesterday!   Winds that bent trees over, heavy rain followed by calm.  Very odd.  Looks like the weather this week is going to be similar, but with some snow to break things up!

I have spent a lot of time this week contacting previous and new stallholders with details of this year's events in Godalming Borough Hall  and I am pleased to say that I already have bookings for all six of the events.  It was a little nerve-racking really because this is the second change of ownership of this business in a year and understandably people do wonder what the future will bring.  Thank you to those of you that have already booked, I will be in touch with each of you in the next week to confirm details.

Marketing and promotion of the events has begun: I have been promoting the events on Twitter and Facebook this week to attract both new stallholders and customers.  All Godalming events have been listed on Stallfinder and also on UK Craft Fairs; both websites are visited by customers looking for fairs to visit and by stallholders looking for events to take part in.

I am in the process of contacting local shops and businesses in Godalming to see if they will support the markets by way of advertising.  This could be by allowing me to place a poster in their shop window, having leaflets on their sales counters or other ways of advertising that will be mutually beneficial to the markets and the businesses.

One final new action this week is that along with a new owner, I have changed the name of the event company: as you know originally it was called Godalming Independent Market, then Independent Market and I am changing it to Surrey Independent Markets.  I know Anna wanted to add other venues to the list of markets and as I want to continue with this, I felt Surrey needed to be included in the name as the markets will be held in this county (although if great venues over the borders seem ideal, I will certainly check them out).  I am in the process of setting up a new website for Surrey Independent Markets and will post details on here once that is complete.

That's all for this week.  Don't forget to contact me if you would like to be a guest blogger on here - it is free and another way to promote your company, new product or range and freebies are always welcome.

Have a good week.


Sunday, 19 January 2014


Hello everyone

This is my first blog post on the new Independent Markets blog and I am really looking forward to a very exciting year arranging craft and gift events.  A big thank you to Anna Matthews for all the great work she did in 2013 and for handing over such a well organised business to me.  I have inherited a list of fantastic stallholders and I am looking forward to working with them and also to welcoming new sellers on board too.

The aim of this blog is to share the experience of the Independent Markets with both stallholders and customers, so please feel free to comment and if you would like to be a guest blogger, that would be great.  This is an extra place for you to promote the products you will be selling at the Godalming events.  I will also use this blog to add links to websites, articles and blog posts that I feel may be of interest to both customers and stallholders.  If you come across information that you would like me to publish on this blog, please do get in touch with me; this may be something you feel works well at craft events or great ideas for promoting what we make and sell.  Please remember to ask permission of the owner of the article, website or blog before you recommend its publication on here.

Anna had plans to hold markets in other venues outside of Godalming and I will continue with this.  She had already identified some other great places which are ideal for our sort of market, but if you know of any other venues in Surrey that you think would be suitable, please let me know.  Ideally we want somewhere that is either in or very close to a shopping centre or in a residential area, has plenty of parking and is well known.  I stress well known because there are some venues that are poorly sign-posted and this cans affect the footfall.

The dates for this year's events at the Godalming Borough Hall are as follows:

Saturday, 5 April 2014
Saturday, 7 June 2014
Saturday, 6 September 2014
Saturday, 4 October 2014
Saturday, 22 November 2014
Saturday, 6 December 2014

I hope to be posting on this blog at least once a week, so do come back to catch up with the progress of this year's events.

Have a good week everyone