Norfolk Farmer’s Market and Craft Fair July 9, 2011

Last Saturday I made good on a plan. I had talked about wanting to have a booth at a crafts fair for months and this was the day. The Norfolk (CT) Farmer’s Market and Craft Fair is held every Saturday from May through September in front of the village hall in Norfolk. It is a small market with the preponderance of vendors from local farms. Unlike many farmer’s market, they also encourage local craftspeople to exhibit.

July 9th was an absolutely perfect summer day. I had been preparing and planning my booth for quite some time. I had made checklists of the things I would need to have on hand. I had a cash box and Ellie had supplied me with bills for change from her Cheeburger earnings. A trip to Staples yielded price tags and a pad to record sales. I had a good sturdy table, table cloths to adorn it and two chairs. Some weeks ago Jim had found some inexpensive earring display racks online and I had three of those.

Of course, an important part of the preparations was creating the items I would be selling. I had amassed quite a collection of earrings, necklaces, sewn baby bibs and knitted chenille washcloths. There were also beaded bookmarks and a large collection of beaded place markers for knitters. While I have some woolen items knit up, I am saving those for cooler days.

Peter had gamely volunteered to work the show with me. I was up at 5:30 the morning of loading the car and making sure all was prepared. We didn’t actually have to be there until 9, but I was raring to do. My booth space was quite good. I had thought I would be off in some corner as a new vendor but I had a good location on a corner of the inner row of booths. Peter and I spent a happy hour setting up and by 10, we were ready.

Now I would love to tell you that I couldn’t keep up with demand and I was a complete sell out, but that wasn’t the case. Peter had some advice for me from someone he knows who works in gold. She said that if things didn’t sell it wasn’t because they weren’t good, it was the crowd. I think she was right. My stuff looked pretty darn good and a lot of people commented that the jewelry was beautiful. Truth is, most people came to buy fresh produce or locally made cheeses. I don’t think they were psychologically prepared to spend a larger sum of money on crafted goods. We definitely sold some stuff and made a profit, but I would have liked more action.

Speaking of action, my colleague was eating the profits as fast as we could make them. Peter may be a delightful companion for a morning’s craft fair, but he is voracious. His tally for the morning was three baked goods, two Italian ices, two hot dogs and a bottle of water. I guess we were good supporters of our fellow vendors.

So, that was my first foray into retailing. We are signed up for more Saturdays and I am hopeful that as we get into vacation season more people will be looking to buy some delightful earrings or whatever. There is a holiday fair in December and I am thinking it might make sense to try that, too. Those people will definitely be looking for gifts. In the meantime, it was a delightful summer day with a band playing, good company and lots of people watching. Not a bad gig at all.

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One Comment to “Norfolk Farmer’s Market and Craft Fair July 9, 2011”

  1. Jenny!
    Your jewelry and crafts are fantastic…you are right about mind set. I see this at Farmers Markets and Art Festivals all the time, that is people are coming for cheese, produce and fruit. I think it’s so cool that this became a family affair.
    Love, I.

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