Since my first blog on 27th Dec, letting you know how I went about setting up in the business of selling eco-friendly home products and health & beauty products, I have become a market trader in my local town , STROUD- trading under wendygoesgreen. I have had some previous experience selling on a market stall as I used to help my parents out with their antique stall in Camden Market in London on Saturdays. (We used to get some quite famous people visiting the market so my Mum started up an autograph book! I wonder if she’s still got it?) That was over 20 years ago! I’m pleased to say that I don’t have so far to travel to get to my market – Shambles Market in Gloucestershire Town of Stroud. However it was a slightly earlier start for me, and my son, who I had to drop off at school on the way. Also, there was the one way road system to manage having dropped my goods off and then parking the car up for the day, then doing the reverse trip at the end of the day.
There had been a lot to do ready for the first day of trading which I did all in a matter of days. I’d visited the market the Friday before, got all the admin and paperwork completed, made up some advertising, sent info and photos to go on the market website – www.shamblesmarketstroud.co.uk – checked I had all the products ready for selling etc. I’d made a number of samples up which went down very well. More on that later!
so…. how did the day go? It was reasonable cold, but I had opted for a stall in the indoor section inside a church hall. I had a target to make which was to at least cover my costs for the day as I was expecting only a steady trickle of customers on this first occasion – being new! Obviously I got checked out by some of the other traders but that’s to be expected. I had the watch repair man to my front and left side, the sock man next to me and behind, the book man and market organiser in front and the CD man to my right. There was a lovely stall in the corner selling home-made unique clothing and jewellery and another lady selling homemade and designer cards.
I only have the stall every other week presently but as I’m also busy building other aspects of this business – evening party events, coffee morning parties and setting up an eco-friendly cleaning service, that suits me.
An important part of the experience is that as well as meeting customers and getting a better feel for what they were looking for in eco-products, I had lots of fun working alongside the other traders. Oh, yes, I forgot to tell you that to my right was the sweetie stall, but the trader couldn’t make it in until the afternoon so it was partially covered up. That didn’t stop the morning regulars who wanted their 100g of sweets, so the rest of us traders took turns in serving the customers. At one point there were 3 of us all ‘sussing’ out how to use the electronic weighing machine!
What did I sell? There was lots of interest in my sample bags of soap nuts as they all sold out. An alternative to washing powder, they really work! I did a test and took a photo of my children’s mucky rugby kit before and after. No marks left! I’ve done a few more test washes on other items with equally good results with the soap nuts and testing good old borax and bicarb of soda to get rid of cuff and collar stains. I have totally switched to using soap nuts now! They are so much cheaper at only 10p per wash. Also sold a kitchen Kaddy set to scrape waste food into, lavender essential oil, cotton balls, total degradable plastic bags, a mucky-pup cleaning cloth, and an ice scraper. Not massive of items but a start and visitors took away information on my website: www.wendygoesgreen.co.uk.
I think as the new girl I fitted in okay and I’m looking forward to trading again this Friday.
So if you are in the area, come into town and visit us down at the Shambles!
wendygoesgreen is now live, very active and determined to make a positive impact (and a living) from going green!