Yesterday I held my very first pre-loved fashion market stall. Did I mention I had only decided to do it three days prior? I know, madness but I did it and whilst it was really hard work it totally paid off. I checked my local council tourism website for a list of local markets, picked the nearest possible date so I wouldn’t loose my nerve and booked it in. The stall cost $40 which wasn’t too bad. I had planned to hold a stall with Jessica Dee from Too Many Sequins but she had a friend visiting and wasn’t keen on last minute decisions.
In the days prior I went to my newsagent and bought bundles of little white paper tags with strings attached for around $4 for 100. I could have bought a big box from Officeworks but I didn’t need that many. With a fine tip pen I wrote “Danimezza.com” at the top of each card and then in thick marker I wrote the price I wanted. I’d already culled my closets turning my newly redecorated studio into something resembling a bomb site. I looked over the clothes, balanced out how much they were still worth and what I would actually get for them and decided that $50 would be my ceiling with two special pieces selling at $80. I was then able to gauge the price vs. value very quickly once I’d figured out my scale.
Here is a list of things I used to make my stall simply awesome:
- Two white fold up tables from Kmart that were $19 each.
- Table cloths.
- Paper Bunting to add some flair.
- Four simple cheap garment racks for around $15 each.
- A large mirror, mine was a special buy from Aldi.
- A chair.
- Business cards.
- An umbrella.
- An esky filled with ice pack/water/salad roll/twirl bar.
- Plastic bags.
- Packing tape, blu tac and scissors.
- A cross body bag to hold all your money.
- A heavy weight poster and thick marker.
- Extra swing tags for last minute sale additions.
- Sunscreen, forget make up.
- $150 float.
Now here is a list of things which I wish I had taken as well:
- Another chair for when people visit… and they do.
- A stake and hammer to get my umbrella in the ground.
- Tent pegs and thin rope to stop the garment racks from toppling over.
- A gazebo for shade, no one wants to try on hot jewellery.
- My iphone speakers for a little music.
- Sweet treats to sell like cupcakes or cookies.
- My painting easel to prop my (last minute) sign up at eye level.
- Triple the amount of water I took.
- An extra salad roll for when your son visits you and eats yours.
- My iPad (hot-spotting from my iphone) to show people my blog.
- Another table to bring the shoes up to eye level.
- Insurance, it wasn’t compulsory for this market but for others it is.
- Spent more time on this website prior to the market.
One of the things I got right was the prices. Thanks to Olivia’s tip of keeping things under $50 things sold really well. Lots of my Aussie Curvettes came down to support me and grab things they’ve loved from my blog which was super lovely. There was a lot of “Oh you can’t sell THIS, this looks gorgeous on you… will it fit me?” and honestly, the fact that my clothes were making other people deliciously happy made me happy.
My biggest sale of the day is thanks to Claire who even got a big special hug to say thanks for her support. The money I make goes towards my trip to New York and LA in June. I had barely any spending money last time (I refuse to use credit) so I plan to have a little savings nest egg before I leave. Old clothes funding new clothes, kind of like closet karma.
Unfortunately I was unaware that I picked a Rotary market, one of the smaller ones on the Hawkesbury calendar. Apparently the Lions Market which is on the 9th of March is huge so I plan on plonking my butt there for that one too. That market gets a lot of advertising and lots and lots of stalls so I figure it’s worth looking into. I only planned on hosting one stall and then selling the rest online but it wasn’t until I saw how epic a listing process that that would be and how little time I had to dedicate to it that I figured another Saturday spent meeting new people and selling clothes in person couldn’t hurt.
If I can be honest here for a minute, I didn’t realise how much I missed selling clothes, that sounds strange right? Well I used to work in fashion retail, I was really good at it and then I fell pregnant with Aidan. I had customers that would come in just so I could help them. They would ask my advice and for my assistance to break out of their fashion box and try something new. Just like my blog but it was process was tactile. Being out there yesterday, each new person coming into my little shop, it felt nice. Maybe I’ve just been cooped up in my house too long but whatever it was, I kind of can’t wait to do it again.
Market stalls aren’t meant to look like shops. They’re meant to be humble, approchable and tidy. Sure I didn’t have matching garment racks but they did the job and sure all my coat hangers weren’t the same but they came from my closet and they did the job. Sure I didn’t have a fancy tent or extra chairs or funky music blasting out but I got it done. I made almost $400 profit for 6 hours work plus 4 hours organising everything in the days prior so I’d call that a good result. I had good quality clothes for sale and people could tell.
Some customers understood the value and knew the labels and saw them as a bargain but some people didn’t and that’s ok. Some of the garments had been gifted to me during past seasons and worn once or twice or not at all. I never felt comfortable selling them before, I usually gave them away to friends (and I still do) but I knew the brands I work with had already put those styles on sale/clearance and would understand my fundraising efforts.
My jewellery was a big hit, lot of ladies were loving my big statement necklaces so I gave them all a big speel about how awesome Wild Bling is, I think I’ve converted quite a few newbies. You see the market stall didn’t just end up being a place to sell my stuff but it also ended up being an educational space for some as well. A lot of the women coming through were unaware of the brands, the size ranges, the affordability of international shipping and that at the end of the day it’s ok to be plus size and still look fabulous.
Sadly quite a few couldn’t comprehend that last lesson at all. That is why I do what I do, why I blog and why I care about this industry and it’s also why I can’t go backward. I can’t go back to just running a fashion store, I’ve realised my purpose. It’s scary to put that out there. Sometimes I falter at believing in myself and I falter in believing that I could make a difference. I’ve let less than a handful of negative people cloud my judgement and fuel my self doubt for the past few months but that’s not on anymore, I can’t allow it. I’ve got stuff to do.
I’m not saying a market stall is going to change the world but if you have a lot of stuff like me, you have a saturday morning free and want to play shop for the day then I say do it. Plus size stalls that aren’t just filled with Millers clearance items are few are far between and you never know, you might just open a few women’s eyes as well.