We asked first time seller at Etsy Made Local – Sheffield 2016, Ayla from Popeye & Daisy to tell us about applying for and trading at her very first market last December at Sheffield Town Hall:
My road to Etsy was quite a long one – I attended a Silversmith & Metal Jewellery course at Sheffield College for a few years and absolutely loved it. However, as you can imagine, making silver jewellery starts to become an expensive hobby! As I was not able to wear everything I was making myself and after friends and family had received plenty as gifts, I had to start looking for ways to sell my jewellery and reach out to a new audience.
It was early in 2016 that I was at that point, and I set up my own online Etsy shop.
I put my first pieces on sale in April and had my first purchase in June, around the time I joined the Etsy Sheffield Team. The team are great bunch of creatives who are very welcoming and were only to pleased to offer support and guidance from the outset.
Shortly after joining the team, the application process for Etsy Made Local 2016 opened and I applied immediately. At the time, I didn’t have much stock, but I knew I would have the next few months to design and create pieces to sell at the event. The application process was straightforward and involved filling in a simple online form with information on your shop and items for sale, along with links to your Etsy shop and social media sites.
In the run up to the event, the team leaders kept everyone up to date with news at our regular meetings and via social media – this made the final few weeks leading up to it a lot less stressful. They also sent out helpful tips and advice for anyone who was new to selling which definitely helped settle my first-time nerves.
The few days before the event, I started to get apprehensive – what if I didn’t sell anything? What if no one liked my jewellery?
It felt like a very big leap to step out from behind my online Etsy shop in to the real world of selling, but I had spent the prior months creating pieces and planning my display, I knew, at the very least, I had done everything I could to make it a personal success.
The market weekend was fantastic, from the preview evening on the Friday Night, to the last hour of Sunday afternoon. The rooms were packed from start to finish, and knowing there was a one-in-one-out queue at one point was really exciting for all involved. This was testament to the hard work of the team in run up, especially on the media campaigns to promote the event.
Etsy Made Local was a great success for Popeye & Daisy and I am continuing to build on what I learnt at my first fair to grow my little business further. I have sold at several other fairs and markets since, including several Peddler Night Markets – a personal favourite! I am also building up my product ranges and hope to release my first cohesive collection very soon.
I cannot wait to apply for Etsy Made Local 2017 and hope I can be a part of what I am sure will be even bigger and better than 2016!
- Do a trial run of your display stand before the event so you know how it will look and how long it will take to set up (and take down).
- Stand your ground – I had a few customers who tried to barter and get a better price. You are not at a car boot sale – you are selling unique items and you need to price accordingly. If you reduce prices because someone asks you are only underselling yourself and under-mining other customers who might overhear. Yes, it meant I lost a sale, but I could have lost many more if I have agreed.
- Make wrapping and packing as quick and easy as possible. All my jewellery was displayed on wooden blocks or in dishes so I needed to individually wrap each item. I set up a little packing station behind my shop sign (so no one could see) and had everything to hand (i.e paper cut to size and bags opened and ready) this made things much quicker, especially when there was a few people waiting to pay.
- Offer card payments – I was surprised at just how many people wanted to pay by card rather than cash. On the recommendation of other Sheffield Etsy sellers, I purchased an iZettle card reader to take card payments. Make sure you factor in the additional fees into your pricing though. *Use code RLQRY4 to get £10 credit if purchase an iZettle reader and you use your new card machine within 30 days*
- Be friendly with your neighbours – days can be long and if you are alone you may need them to watch your stall whilst you grab a coffee.
You can find Popeye & Daisy on Etsy and on social media at:
Etsy Shop: www.popeyeanddaisy.etsy.com
Facebook: Popeye & Daisy Jewellery