First Time at a Farmers Market
So all of my lilies bloomed at once this week forcing me into action. I could either sit back and let them come and go, or I could cut them and try to make bouquets to sell. I had tried to sell them to my small list of florists but had no takers. I also tried selling them to my co-workers and while I did sell 3 bouquets, I needed to sell more. My next idea was to sell them from my sister's driveway but that notion was not given much consideration for a variety of reasons. So that left me calling the Corydon Farmers Market and discovering that they have single day booth spaces. Just as a bit of background, many markets take applications at the beginning of the season and then expect or require your participation for the entire season. While I do have some confidence in my abilities, I missed all of the deadlines for the local markets because it was really off my radar since I have not really had large enough volumes so far.
I should also explain that I have been very reluctant to participate in any type of market or fair over the years. I have made quilts, note cards, and had other things to sell but the idea of sitting in a confined space and having folks wander by and make comments just had me scared out of my wits. I am not really a salesperson. Sure I can talk - a lot if the truth be told. But trying to convince someone to buy my wares is just not something I have been successful at over the years. And believe me I have tried. From quilts to life insurance to Mary Kay and handmade note cards. The pattern is that I invest a whole lot of money to get up and running then for one reason or another, the venture fails. And when the venture fails, I equate that to my self worth and feel like a failure. Right or wrong, that's what happens. So to tell you that I finally sucked it up and committed to a booth space is kind of amazing.
I had 2 days notice to get ready for the market and I cut enough flowers for 24 bouquets. I also took a few extra stems just in case I needed them. Of course, it is my nature to be stressed about this. I wanted my booth to be "perfect". I had to buy a canopy, but other than a sign, I had everything else. My mom was an absolute trooper and meet me there and we sat for 3 hours and guess what? I survived. I sold 11 bouquets and got great feedback. I was also asked more than once if I would be back. So take that Fear! For the moment, I conquered one of my demons. Will I do another market? I am not sure, but probably yes. My fears for another market are more related to inventory rather than self-confidence. And to be honest, it is a significant time commitment. But those are parameters that can be weighed and considered and if there is a business case to be made, I can do it. Look at me, all grown up and ready to embrace the other side of being a flower farmer. After all, if no one buys any of my flowers, am I really a farmer or just a gardener? Until next time...