Yes!! I was one of the lucky people to be chosen to be one of the 70 exhibitors at Etsy Montréal: Holiday Market!
Now that the market is over, I can take a deep breath and analyze my experience!
I remember when I first saw the Facebook post announcing the call for applications for the Etsy Montréal Holiday Market. I think that my initial reflex was telling myself that I was too “small” to even think about applying. And then I told myself “Why not, I’ve nothing to lose by trying!”
At the time, I really didn’t believe I would be chosen. And then, when I was waiting to hear whether or not I was accepted, I found myself thinking that I had to order fabric to start my production to make sure I’d have a large enough inventory for the market. And that was when I knew in my heart that I would be part of that great adventure (and no, I’m not a seer!).
I got the long-awaited email on a Sunday night. I was in my workshop with a huge smile on my face! I almost levitated on my way to see my partner (well, that’s how it felt, anyway!).
And from that moment on, intensive production kicked into gear! For two weeks, I worked hard and late into the night, every night. I took some time off work and on the night before, I went to bed at 3 am. In short, I gave it all I had! I was stressed out about not having had enough time to produce enough for the market. But I had succeeded!
Big surprise – I never felt stressed once at the market. Here I was, an introverted person, about to meet thousands of people and yet … I felt no stress!
The market was a blast! Everybody was smiling, the promoters and volunteers took very good care of all the exhibitors, I met a lot of people and, incredibly, I made a lot of sales! In short, the market was a great reward for all my hard work and sacrifice. I am just so delighted with the experience.
I had a chance to talk to visitors and I realized that participating in this type of event is also a way to receive direct feedback from customers. I learned what my clients want from my products. For example, two customers told me that they preferred snack bags with a zipper instead of ‘Velcro. Copy that!
I’m a great fan of handmade markets myself, and while I was at my stand, I surprised myself by often envying the visitors. I would have liked to take a tour of the stands too! Fortunately, I had a chance to take a quick look at the end of the weekend and I bought a little gift as a treat for myself!
I’m still on cloud nine! But now that it’s over, I can focus on other stuff. I have lots of ideas as well as many products that I want to develop.
So that was my experience! Would I do it again? Yes! But I know that I made so many sales because it was a Christmas market and people were looking to buy gifts. They were not just window shopping. Good for me – especially since it was my first market! I was very lucky!
Let me know about your experiences in selling direct to the public. Were they positive?
See you soon!