So Provo has a pretty cool little market they hold a few times a year, full of vendors of different handmade items. There are a few around Utah County, but the one I’m talking about is the Beehive Bazaar. I’ve been to it in the past and thought it was pretty rad, so this year, now that I have an Etsy shop, I decided to venture out and apply to be a part of it. I had a table at it for one weekend, and that experience has made me want to be a part of many more markets/shows!
[here was my table – it surprised me how stressful it was to try to display everything in a good way]
The great thing about the Beehive Bazaar was that it was 3 full days, but I didn’t have to be there for any of it technically! The people in charge run a cash register basically for all of the vendors, and you just walk through a building (The Startup Building) lined with tables for different shops. It’s great because as a vendor, you don’t have to spend three full days at a table, and even better for the shopper in my opinion, because you don’t have to deal with the owner watching you look at their stuff or being pushy about trying to sell things to you!
The downside, though, is that because a few people are there all the time at the register, The Beehive Bazaar got a portion of every sale. 20% to be exact, which is really quite a bit. So it was a dilemma trying to figure out a fair price for the buyer that would still make a profit for myself after the 20% was taken out. But overall, it went really well! I was terrified nobody would actually like my items enough to buy anything, but I was relieved when I checked on things the first night and a couple quilts were already bought!
Anyways, I have the best, most supportive family. My mom came and set everything up with me, many family members went to the Beehive Bazaar to see it and check out other booths, and a few more family members helped me take it all down. I’m blessed.
Also, a few things I learned:
-Having a physical place to shop, especially when there are other vendors too, will make you a lot more profit in a short amount of time than selling online will. If it’s there and you don’t have to pay shipping, I’m more likely to purchase something. I was thrilled with the profit I was able to make, especially as we’re stressing out financially with a new baby on the way and Reeve’s change of plans for school (now we have to pay for some online classes – not cheap!).
-Presentation makes a huge difference. I didn’t sell any blanket carriers – which I did a major stock up on – and I think it’s because of how they were displayed. Next time, I will definitely make it more obvious what they are, even though there was a sign. Also on that same note, next time I’ll change the way my stamped swaddle blankets are displayed so that it’s easier to tell the difference between plain colors and the patterns on the stamped ones.
-A lot more people buy the inexpensive items. I’m glad I decided at the last minute to add burp cloths and pacifier clips, because those were my most bought items by far. It makes sense – it’s easier to pay $5 for something you like than $30, even if it is that much more valuable. I think I’ll be adding those to the shop.
-Baby items sold so much better than adult items. I think it’s because it’s easier to justify buying something for someone else than for ourselves.
Well those are my thoughts on it all. In the meantime, I’m planning on signing up to be a vendor at the Highland Fling in August, and I’m going to keep my eye out for other opportunities 🙂
Here are some pictures of some of the new items I offered at the Beehive Bazaar: