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Ways To Improve Your Next Market Stall

Ways To Improve Your Next Market Stall

Since I started selling in art markets and had 4 more market events booked for this year, I have been thinking about what I’ve learnt from my previous events and how to improve my next market stall so I am sharing these thoughts below and I hope you find at least one of them useful for your future market events.

Present your products as clear as possible

I’ve got cards and prints both in A5 size and in some of my market events, without realising that it was a potential problem, I positioned them near to each other so some of the visitors got confused whether the cards were prints or prints were cards, having to check for themselves. Put the similar sized yet different products apart from each other or at least group them separately and make clear what they are. I have also made my latest card collection in A6 size rather than A5.

Get a card machine

I’ve had visitors that were let down because I didn’t have a machine for their cards. Personally, it is too pricey but I know they are very useful if you are able to use them in the market events and create more sales. I think this one needs a pros & cons list!

Make your business cards accessible

I don’t know why I was lacking common sense when I placed the business cards kind of inaccessible in my first stall. Well, they were accessible but it needed a lot of energy to reach over and pick them up as the pile was nearly right in the back. In my last two market events, I placed it in the front and it was so much better. But just be aware that some of them might be accidentally swept off the table by someone else’s bag etc. I might provide a box for them next time to prevent that happening again.

Get an interpreter

As my long time readers will know already, I am profoundly deaf and couldn’t speak well, even with these millions of speech therapy lessons I attended all my life. My main language is British Sign Language and obviously 99% of the visitors don’t know the sign language so when I wanted to tell something to or reply my visitors, I couldn’t ‘give it my all’ and not every conversation ended well. I’ve had some terribly rude ones who just made faces and ran off as soon as they realised I am deaf.

I’ve brought Aneurin (who is deaf too and can speak very well, almost like a hearing person) to my every market event so far, which was very helpful but he sometimes has a difficulty understanding people because he doesn’t know them personally. So having an interpreter (the one that doesn’t have a problem understanding me and signs like a pro) will be great but I worry that it will interfere a personal interaction – however difficult it is – between visitors and I. And of course, they are not free. Pros and cons list for that one too!

Do not overwhelm your stall with too many products

I have too many products (about 50 different ones apart from originals) and I have brought every single one to my every market event so far. I didn’t think so until recently in Old Spitalfields market when I looked at my stall very carefully, positioned myself as a visitor and realised – Too Much Products.

It can be a good thing, depending on what visitors are like. Maybe a super arty person will get really excited with plenty of choices. But a person with enough interest in cute illustrated cards could get overwhelmed and couldn’t be bothered to look through everything. I think I will streamline my next market stall (25th October with Fairy Tale Fair!) by bringing a selection of products that are most relevant, i.e. autumnal designs etc.

Be flexible with how you present your products

Throughout the day, you will get to learn what works or what doesn’t work. Move them around, making best products more accessible and visible. Check your stall from a visitor’s point of view quite regularly, making sure that nothing is out of the place or running out. In one of mines, even though I thought I checked my stall enough, one of my bestsellers actually ran out and I didn’t notice for god knows how long! I was so kicking myself for that.

What have you learnt from your previous market event/s and how would you improve in the future?

What I Bought In Designers/Makers Market

Dorry Spikes

Like my Made In Camberwell stall, I managed to leave Aneurin to man my Designers/Makers stall and looked around and said hello to stallholders.

While I would just buy everything, I only could afford a beautiful art print by Dorry Spikes. Approaching to her stall, I immediately fell in love with her big scale paintings. They were so detailed and full of character. I knew I had to buy something from her and being typically indecisive, I was standing there for ages and trying to choose which one! I ultimately chose a print of The Owl Service (above).

Stalls I also saw and loved:

Edith Ceramics
i am acrylic
Mind The Cork
Emily Eggz

Designers/Makers In Old Spitalfields Market

Last Saturday I had my stall in Old Spitalfields Market with Designers/Makers!

It went quite well but it wasn’t the success I hoped for. I didn’t sell enough to cover the cost of my stall. I wondered why it didn’t go as well as my last two market events – it can be the different audience, my presentation, bad luck or several reasons combined.

I did have a wonderful day in the end – I met a lot of lovely artists, visitors that bought my art and gave me compliments. I also had a few surprise visits from my friends!

Apart from the backdrop (I didn’t realise that I would need one!), I love how my stall looked. I improved it from my previous stall by adding an info board detailing what my stall is about and materials I use etc. I also provided a basket for my originals, which was a lot better than awkward sized box I used for the last two market events. I brought my three small succulents as decorations rather than two big ish plants that wouldn’t survive the journey as we had to take public transport. Thankfully I had Aneurin helping me with carrying heavy stuff to there and back!

If I were to apply to trade there again or markets with pricey stall cost, I will need to think about if it is worth another risk or how I can sell better.

Please don’t let this honest post put you off from applying to trade with Designers/Makers! I have seen some stalls there that were selling like wildfire! It really depends on what products you sell, the presentation of your stall or whether the market and its audience is suitable for your business. As always, whether it is a success or not, you will learn something from it and be better next time.

Made In Camberwell Arts Market // My Purchases


When I had my stall in Camberwell Feast, I had a chance to walk around and bought myself some goodies. I would have bought way more than this but I only had £50 budget at that time. I have collected business cards so I can browse their online shops on the other time!

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Made In Camberwell Arts Market // How My Stall Went

Camberwell Arts summer market Katrina Sophia_1

I was at Made In Camberwell Arts market last Saturday with a stall full of my products, including new collections and recipe cards!

Can you spot my new collections in the photo above? I painted a collection of big cats, which I was pleased about and had them printed on cards and prints. There was also a smaller collection of lollies that was nostalgic as you may recognise them from the ice cream vans you run up to every summer! As I thought that my Big Cats collection would be a biggest hit, I produced more cards and prints of it than anything else but on the day, my lolly cards turned out a massive success and I was kicking myself for not producing more cards or prints of them. I wasn’t too disappointed because Big Cats collection did sell quite well at the end but just not as well. I am constantly learning and it is damn exciting!

I am really happy with how my stall looked – due to my new card display racks, my products was presented much better than my Christmas stall last year but there were still rooms for improvement. I like that I included my houseplants to liven up my space!

Thanks to everyone who sent me words of encouragement, stopped by and bought my art products! I’d also like to thank Aneurin, my mum and her boyfriend for helping me out on the day and Camberwell Arts Festival staff for making me feel welcome.

I am photographing my new collections this week and they will be up on my shop very soon – keep your eyes open for their launch!