Markets, Markets, Marekts!!!

Welcome back!

As I sit here tonight, I'm feeling led to write about what it has been like being apart of a farmers market. What its like behind the table, how to set your table up,and how to talk to people. Also, how to get people to look so they are intrigued to come over. The beauty of it and the frustrations so far. This is solely my opinions and experiences.

My very first farmers market was a couple weeks ago. I had no idea what to expect other than what I know about markets from being the costumer, the looky-loo, or the one just going for samples. I have a whole new appreciation for the one behind the table that just wants their product to get out there and for people to love it! The appreciation comes from finally putting myself in that persons shoes and realizing the hard work they are doing. They are not a corporation that makes so much money that it doesn't matter if you buy the one bar of soap or not. They are the one that is trying to pay their bills, put their daughter in dance lessons, save up for their kids college. They are the ones who are trying something different and unique. I have also started to appreciate how amazing and how much talent we have right around us. There is no need to get from bigger chains other than the convenience of it. So how can you really compare? Bigger isn't always better.

So how have I set up my table to bring attention to myself... Well first I found a beautiful table cloth, that is calm and not asking for to much attention but grabbing the eye at the same time. I found a really subtle green and blue flower table cloth that blends in with the grass but still adds a lot of rustic character to my display. I really love the rustic decor look. I have old apple boxes to put my soaps on and since my soaps look more like dessert and are more embellished I thought putting them on a cake stand would look really attractive too! I have gotten so many compliments on my display and more often than not I have noticed it attacks peoples eyes and then they turn and walk over to my table. They compliment how nice my display is, how fresh, clean, simple and attractive it is. Our eyes love things that are simple and clutter free but they really love that simple pop of color. Nothing to overwhelming or busy. The ones that have come up to compliment have usually purchased a soap or taken my business card. Over the last week I have had just over 3000 views on my Facebook and Instagram. Something I thought I should be very proud of!

I get excited when people start coming into the market, I get excited that I am going to sell my product, and all the possible positive outcomes and growth that could potentially happen. But when it doesn't happen the way I thought it would I start to get down on myself. This weight or pressure I am putting on myself just creeps in ever so quietly. This is my frustration. I don't even know the pressure I am putting on myself because I am enjoying this process of getting out there so much until I cant focus on one thing, I cant stop talking about starting the business and the possibilities. Then I start to recognize the pressure. I mean I guess this would be completely normal to feel this way and have some frustrations right?? But the top frustration is how I tell myself lies like maybe my soap isn't good enough, maybe my display sucks, maybe I haven't tried hard enough, maybe its just me... and I have to actively say to myself.. "Stop!". When you are first starting out in anything it is scary and hard because you are being so vulnerable. We will tell ourselves anything to scare ourselves out of doing it because we don't want to be vulnerable. Vulnerability is a unique, hard feeling to describe. But then I tell myself to be vulnerable because that is the most uncomfortable way to be and no one likes it. And because no one likes it, is a huge reason why so many don't succeed.

When I grew up I was in a beauty pageant called Miss Lumby. While in this program we had to take public speaking and I attended Toast Masters. I can say this was one of the best things I could have every done. In this program not only was it about public speaking, I learned about eye contact. You'd be surprised how many people don't like to do that. But if I'm behind that table and I can make eye contact with someone its almost guaranteed that we can exchange a smile and they will feel the need to come have a look at my table and see what I am selling.

How do I talk to people when they come up to my booth? Well this is a really tricky one because there are so many different personality types, so many different reasons why people are coming over to see what you have going on. Some are genuinely interested and want to know all about my product, why I'm doing it, how I'm doing it. These people are the ones who will ask lots of questions and are the easiest to engage with,  and will usually buy something. I don't have to work to hard for this group of people, but they want to see that I am confident in what I am making and selling. There's another group, the obligated group. Once I make eye contact with them, they feel they should come over and check the table out to be polite. They are the ones that are on the fence. They could be really interested and really intrigued but they can quickly say wow everything looks great and they are trying to look for an exit route to get out. LOL. So its saying just the right thing to spark just the right conversation to grab their attention long enough that they feel invested and want to try what you are offering. This is the group that is the hardest work but I'm hoping in the end the most worth while. Worth while in the sense that they are now so invested they want to try your product, if they take it home and try it and love it they will make sure that they tell their friends and everyone around them about it. Then there is the last group.... the samplers... you gotta love these people. I am one of these people! They are cheap, don't need a lot, don't want a lot, don't want to listen to pitches because it is a waste of their time. This is a group that knows exactly what they want and if you don't have it.. sorry... So when I see these people that look at the table and keep walking I know I cant engage with them because I know they just want to be left to their own. If this type of person comes to my table, they don't ask a lot of questions. Also tip, this person you need to let them ask the first question. If you start to bombard them they will leave faster than they approached. But I do love how strategic people can be with their exit strategies. LOL. As you are talking they will use something in that one sentence and change it ever so slightly and turn it into another conversation while they start walking away. GENIUS! Talking to people has been very interesting, and I love my perspective that I have gained in a few short weeks.

So to wrap this up, it is awesome to be the person behind the table because it is so empowering to do something so different than before. It is hard at the same time because our own lies we tell ourselves end up becoming truth unless you actively tell them to get lost. We need to put ourselves out there and be vulnerable, make mistakes, grow through our frustrations. What do you have to loose?

What do you have to loose?

Foggy Valley Soaps AKA Angela


Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Mathew5:16


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