This past weekend we did our first outdoor art market, at Harrison Festival of the Arts.
I wasn’t sure what to expect since I’ve only done indoor shows before, and not many of those. I started by researching-thanks Pinterest!- and gathering display ideas, and tips for outdoor shows. We picked up a tent at Walmart, thanks to a tip from my eagle-eyed cousin who spotted them there for $98- done & done, and two tarps to use as side walls. We also picked up a portable table, and I had one on hand already, plus two display easels, so that was easy.
I made table covers out of a large canvas painter’s drop cloth, found at the local hardware store, thanks to my fab friend Cathy for the tip on those (they are very useful for many sewing projects!).
After all the display stuff was sorted, I got busy making things to sell. This painting attracted a lot of attention, and almost went home with someone, so close! I made sure it stayed right at the front of our display where people walking by would see it.
I made a pile of zippy pouches, handmade books, and art prints to sell, along with original pieces as well.
These passport pod pouches, the Tulip pouch by Clo Bird Designs were a good seller, you can find the pattern here. One even got stolen so I guess somebody really liked it!
Handmade journals, all made by me with upcycled paper Cathy gave me.
The weather all in all was ok, it changed from hot and sunny, to cold and windy, then cloudy, then every variation in between. It didn’t rain til about 2 hours before the end of the day on Sunday, when a big thunder, lightning and rain storm moved in. We were given permission to pack up, so we did!
We learned a few things:
- You can’t have enough zap straps, duct tape, and bulldog clips- seriously! Must have’s. In multiples and more.
- We got allotted our spot at the very, very end of the line, so getting people to come down that far was a challenge. There was an unfortunate turn-around point of garbage cans that were situated in the middle of the sidewalk about 3 tents down from us, so people would turn around there and miss us and our two neighbours. I added some sparkley tassels to our tent, and turned my large painting to face that direction, which seemed to help a bit.
- There was no clear winner as far as a best seller, we sold a bit of each thing we had. Lots of happy comments on everything!
- Be prepared for sudden weather changes- we had our tent walls attached & rolled up so when the rain started we just had to roll them down and strap them to the tent legs.
- I got a Square credit card reader and hot damn, it’s awesome. When people don’t carry cash as much anymore, it’s super easy for them to just swipe their credit card and super easy for us to process. Can’t live without it. We heard several vendors saying the same thing.
All in all it was a fun weekend!
We have another outdoor show coming up on August 20, the Vancouver Mural Festival, on Main Street in Vancouver. We’ll keep you posted as it gets closer but I will be there with my pouches, books, prints, and originals! Hope to see you there!
So! Much! Fun!