to market or not to market

Recently I got invited to try 3 Markets. Well, more like I got myself invited to 3 Markets!

Markets are new to me and I decided I would try these as a Busker! Busking is new to me, as are Markets. The first 3 weeks were a steep learning curve. Not just about what worked and what didn’t but about the people who come to the Market as well as which of those people come to see me and drop something in the tip jar. It is not just those with children! I had thought about vending and having set prices for each sculpture being offered. This does not work well here in my area as I found out years ago. So Busking was what I decided was to be best.

Let me say this first Market I attempted was  a Monday afternoon market and went from 2pm to 7pm. After 3 weeks I learned that the busiest time for this market was from 3-5. Few came with children and those that did were showing up around 3pm BUT the children that were with them were under 3, not the age group for a Balloon Guy!

Let me explain about this location. It is a market that has one year under it’s belt. It is crafts and produce. The location is at a Mall where not many visit as they once did. Not built for foot traffic!

So, how did I do? First 2 weeks were fine as far as what I took home. The third the traffic was better at the market and I found I had 3 regulars. But when 90% of what you take home is from these 3 you start to wonder if this is a place for you. I think that this Market will grow as the year goes on but not with the crowd that I need. So after reflection I have decided not to return to this market. I still have 2 others to try. Both are Thursdays and there is one that I would prefer. I will have an answer as to which I will attend soon. I think each of these locations will work. Here is why.

  1. I am not coming in at the beginning of the year. Each of these Markets have been running for a few weeks now. So no slow start to the year!
  2. They are Markets that have been around for a number of years and have well established vendors
  3. Both within my normal area!
  4. And school is out as I start!!!
  5. Both are in areas where there is constant foot traffic. One is on Main Street that gets closed for the Market day.

I do believe these are going to be good starts as I am testing it on special event days. So I will need to temper any success with that thought.

I did these Markets not because I need more work, but because I wanted to try something new as a challenge to myself.

I am not just making Balloon Sculptures at the Market but also routines when I can. But to make busking truly work for me I must be where there is a crowd. The Monday Market lacked that, yes after 3 weeks might be too soon but talking to other vendors I found that it was going to take up to 6-8 weeks before I will see crowds. When week 3 provided me with little over gas money (45 minute drive for me) I realized it was time to pull the plug on Market 1. I will keep you posted as to how things go.

Stepping out of the normal or getting out of the comfort zone is something we all should do! Even if you have to pull the plug or think things over, tweak things…it will be a worth while venture! It has been for me and even with just 3 weeks under my belt I have learned much and made connections that I hope will bear fruit down the road.

To Market or not to Market? The answer is still unknown, but I will say if you have never tried this you should.



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