Christmas is only a month away!
Obviously, I am a huge supporter of small businesses and I try to buy from them as much as I can for gifts or something for myself. Being a small business owner, I wholly understand how a purchase, even just a card, means so much to every single small business because basically, it helps us to live. But it is not all about small business owners. It is also the products you buy that are very special, one-of-a-kind and made with heaps of love. It is a win-win situation!
I have compiled a mini list of handy links on why you should buy from small businesses and how to support them:
It truly makes us happy when we receive a new order email – I’d spend a good amount of time carefully packing an order and make sure that it would make my customers smile. I bet you that I am not an only one that really enjoy packing orders, it is actually one of my best bits in running a business and I am eternally grateful for this, as well as the fact that your purchases, small or big, are helping my business to grow.
When I had my stall with The London Artisan, I made time to look around and discovered so many fantastic businesses! I bought gorgeous clay earrings by Grayjay, fun greeting cards and notebook (with screenprinted cover) by Anna Beam. I think I was particularly loving the salmon pink shade on that very day!
Please check out these amazing businesses too –
Storm In A Teacup
Kat B London
Rebecca Gladstone Jewellery
The Elephant’s Journey
Charles Of Lloyd
To my huge relief, my stall with The London Artisan was a success! I was a bit anxious whether I would sell enough to cover the cost of my stall because I didn’t in my last two market events. Before my TLA stall, I decided to improve my stall presentation and range of products. Here are changes I made:
New art browser
I realised I needed an art browser to display my prints better especially that I now have A4 and A3 prints. I actually bought a professional art browser online at first but it was bigger and heavier than I expected so I had to go to B&Q to get some hardboard cut and built it at the last minute. It was quite wonky but it worked!
Quality over quantity
Like I mentioned in this post, I feel I have too many products and some of them actually never sell. Deciding which to bring, I asked myself honestly – do I really love it? Did it sell well before? Will it look lovely framed or on the wall? It was really worth it, my stall looked fantastic with a selection of my few best work rather than everything I have.
More framed originals
I included more framed originals. It created more homely feel to my stall and I hope this helped my visitors to be able to visualise what my artwork will look like framed at their homes. I also placed two of them on a box so my stall had a height too.
My product and price labels used to look like these – while I liked it, I was beginning to feel that they didn’t suit my style anymore and used brown gift tags instead. My boyfriend thought that my stall looked much friendlier this time and I agree! I also made a shop like sign of my business name and tied it to the frame above. It looked really nice!
New art prints
For the first time I brought new A4 and A3 prints (yay!). These new prints with the art browser made my stall more exciting and having various sized prints definitely reached a wider audience.
I can’t confirm that these above were the reasons my stall went well, it could be because of suitable venue, type of visitors or the fact that Renegade Craft Fair was held upstairs. I will never know why exactly but the main thing is that I am having fun and will continue to strive for improvement!
As you might know already, I love flamingos and my art products featuring my bestselling Flamingo has been very popular since I launched the design at the beginning of 2014. It was only recently that I felt it was a bit dated so I wanted to paint it again, and to give it feet too!
Not satisfied with my first try, I am utterly delighted with my second one (this one!) and not knowing whether people other than Aneurin and I would like it, I took the risk and had it printed in various sized prints (I got A4 and A3 prints for the first time, yay!). Fortunately, I sold A5 and A3 prints of it in Old Truman Brewery last Sunday and this new painting definitely got a lot of love by visitors.
At first, I spent too long worrying about the feathers and it didn’t look natural so for the second painting, I loosened up and added layers of darker shade and white acrylic paint. The watercolour I used for this painting is Winsor & Newton’s Cotman Watercolour Painting Plus.
I will be adding an original and some prints up on the shop this week so if you are also in love, keep your eyes out for them!
As always, I made time to visit other businesses when I had my stall in Brighton and bought few things.
I bought this lovely mug from Czech Ceramic, Snowy Mountain hanging decoration by Cat’s Ceramics and British Birds print by Abby Cook. If you follow me on Pinterest, you would know that I have been loving ceramic art recently and on the other day I bought myself an air dry clay and made some pots! Knowing my big love for birds, I had to buy that bird print and it will be hung somewhere in my studio for every day inspiration.
I also saw and liked:
I Drew This
I also had a stall last Sunday with The London Artisan and it went really well! More on that in next post.
Two Sundays ago, I had a stall in Brighton Open Market with The Fairy Tale Fair for the first time! It was also my first time to bring my art outside London. I didn’t sell enough to cover the cost of my stall like my stall with Designers/Makers last August. I felt a little let down – having to get up at 5.30am, carried super heavy bags for over 3 hours each way and didn’t make a lot of sales in the end. I think if you are going to venture outside your area to sell your stuff, you will need a car. When I get a car, I would definitely consider to sell with The Fairy Tale Fair again or other markets outside London. I would love to travel all over UK (and maybe Europe too!) with my art.
Please don’t let my experience with The Fairy Tale Fair put you off applying to trade with them! Honestly, there were so many great stalls that seemed to be selling very well. I believe in taking risks because that way I know which market works for my products. If I don’t try, I won’t know! I learnt much more on how to improve my products from having four market events in 10 months than when I was painting commissions and running an online shop for over 3 years. So worthwhile. Having an unsuccessful market experience doesn’t have to be a bad thing as it forces me to think about more about my products and stall presentation. It also gives me more motivation to improve.
My next market event is this Sunday 8th November in Old Truman Brewery with The London Artisan. Hope to see you if you are in the area. I am doing a little different with my stall presentation and bringing along some new products. I am both excited and nervous about it!