Behind the scenes of working and kid-chasing, enormous morning teas, and life in general, I've been busy knitting away to prepare for my first ever market, which was on Sunday in Canberra. I signed up for it months ago thinking having a date in the future to aim for would be motivating. And it was, even though many times in the lead-up I nearly pulled out. Hand-knitting isn't the most time-efficient business. I can knit a couple of dozen hats for my Etsy shop and trust that if someone wants something specific, they will custom order it. But for a market I needed stock, which pretty much just involves relentless knitting. By the night before, I reckoned I had about 50 hats to take to market. My final stocktake as I packed it all up revealed there were, in fact, 99. That's a lot of hats.
It was a quiet market. I've been to Mathilda's Markets in Sydney before and they are huge. I chose Canberra because of its proximity and I figured the climate is right for my product. It certainly was on Sunday - foggy and freezing! But on this day there were only a handful of other stallholders and a steady but small stream of customers.
When I made my first sale I was ecstatic. Off the mark! Several more followed. In the end it was definitely worth going, but I'll be putting off retirement for a while yet. The best part, though, was the feedback. I see my hats in photos customers send me, or on Instagram and Facebook, but to watch them in the flesh oohing and ahhing, stroking the wool, holding them up in pairs to decide between colours - that was fun.
It affirms for me that I have a lovely product here, one that people really like. And that is exciting!
I also got to catch up with lots of Canberra friends who popped in to say hi, including lovely Rachel who I met last year at The Nursery. She's managed to grow and produce another entire human in that time! And my little helper who tagged along for the day certainly enjoyed trying out the wares from the vegan cupcake stall and the face painter, as well as doing a spot of hat modelling when required.
All in all, a grand day (and one that I'm very glad is behind me).
With all that extra stock on my hands, I've restocked the shop with lots of new hats, including many more in the baby size. More will follow in the next few days.