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My Poppet : your weekly dose of crafty inspiration

My Poppet : your weekly dose of crafty inspiration: October 2008

My Poppet : your weekly dose of crafty inspiration

Friday, 31 October 2008

Cinti's Market Wisdom - Part 1

So you’ve decided that maybe you’d like to run your own craft market stall…lots of fun, but lots of hard work as well.
From my experience here are a few things to consider, and this advice is not exhaustive so feel free to add comments if you think that I’ve missed something people might find helpful. If you have specific questions I’ll try to answer them as I go along, otherwise in part 4.

Part 1 will mainly cover choosing the market that is right for you.
Part 2 Products, Pricing, Marketing and Market Committees
Part 3 Logistics
Part 4 Anything else I have missed, including market politics, and answering specific questions.

When choosing which market might suit your particular product and lifestyle you will need to consider a few things:
Indoor or Outdoor?
Area/suburb? Target demographic?
Style of market, Craft, boutique, mixed? Cost?

There are advantages and disadvantages to all points which will need to be weighed up.
Indoor markets- are a great way to dip your toes in the market waters (so to speak). Here is a picture of mum and I at our very 1st market.

-Inside, so not terribly weather dependant (although visitor numbers will vary at any market with extreme weather conditions)
-usually have the option of having a table provided in the fee (or for a small extra cost)
-Fairly social, usually you are in quite close proximity to other stall holders so you can have friendly chats and make lots of friends.
-Often the space allocated is quite small so depending on your product, you may not be able to display a lot of it. Sometimes there can be a little bit of jostling for extra space (I’ll talk about market politics in part 4)
-As most indoor markets are in town halls or similar, depending on the day (Saturday or Sunday) parking can be an issue. You may have to park quite far away which can be inconvenient if you heed to carry heavy stock or move your car regularly because of parking restrictions.

Outdoor Markets- can be a lovely experience on a sunny day.
-Large sites, most outdoor markets have sites big enough to allow you to erect an umbrella or marquee, about 3x3m, some have an allocated car space as well. This means you can have lots of product and arrange it anyway you like. You can have your car right there so loading and unloading is fairly easy.
-On a sunny day, every man and his dog will be out so visitor numbers may be quite high. You get to enjoy the fresh air and general ‘jeu de vie’ about it all.
-Some of the larger outdoor markets have huge visitor numbers, so sales may be higher than say a community craft market
-Weather! Drizzle, rain, torrential rain! Extreme heat, and the market’s mortal enemy Wind! Underestimate the power of a gust of wind to your peril (discussed further in Logistics)
-The great outdoors ie. Flies, dust, sunburn (sunscreen is essential even under an umbrella)
-You’ll need to bring along your own tables, chairs and some form of shelter. An umbrella is ok in nice weather but a marquee will protect you better if the weather turns.
-Cost, you may need to purchase tables, umbrellas, tents.
-Set up and Pack down may take longer as you will need to put shelter up/down

Choosing the area/suburb-
You may need to consider the distance from home. Most markets expect you to be fully set up at least half an hour before the official start. Others have allocated bump in times depending on the stall layouts which can start as early as 6.30am. So if you don’t like dawn wake up calls, stick to markets close to home.
Some suburbs/areas are more affluent than others so crossing town may be worth while if you will sell more and/or get a higher price for your product.
If you already wholesale to retailers that are nearby to the market, you will need to consider this when setting your prices

Target demographic- some areas are not particularly affluent but have a huge population of young families with kids for example. If you are selling affordable children’s clothing you could do well, dried flower arrangements, maybe not so much. Think about who your product will appeal to and where those people live. If there’s a market there, you could be on a winner

Style of market/cost-
These two things are usually closely linked. Find out what your market fee includes. Table hire, chairs, public liability insurance? Liability insurance is quite important. Most markets will include these in your fee, you can opt out if you have your own, but usually having your own insurance isn’t cost effective unless you do 2-3 markets a month. The markets liability insurance will not cover product liability, so keep that in mind.
I have had to opt out of some local council run markets/fairs because insurance wasn’t included in the stall fee and wasn’t worth organising for a single event. Check the fine print before committing time and money.

Boutique markets- these markets are the highly curated ones with lovely covetable and sometimes expensive items. They may only happen a few times a year, are usually well publicised and have lots of affluent clientele with dollars to spend. They can be quite lucrative if you have the right product. ‘That’s my kind of market’ I hear you say. Well yes, it may very well be if you are prepared to spend $300+ on a stall, some of these markets quote up to $1500 for a larger space. Now that’s a lot of product to sell!
Boutique markets are usually intimate affairs, so being considered to attend one may also be difficult. Some are generally invitation or recommendation only, with no guarantee of a regular gig.

Craft markets- There are craft markets and then there are Craft Markets! This style of market ranges from the nanna’s chenille scarf knitting kind, to the uber trendy inner city type ones, and everything in between. Where does your product sit comfortably. Visit lots of markets before you apply to any to get the feel of what the market committee likes.

Mixed markets- these can be good or not so good. I quite like the markets that have home made food stalls and locally grown fresh fruit and veg. This generates a regular market clientele that comes back month after month to by their bread, apples etc...
The ones you may need to look out for are the markets that sell mass produced imported stuff at ridiculously cheap prices. Beautifully hand made products shouldn't compete for attention with a cheap, disposable made in a sweatshop anything. If you sell hats and the person 2 stalls away is selling hats for half the price, it’s unlikely you’ll sell many even if yours are 10x nicer.

So in summary, visit lots of markets, talk to the stall holders, are they happy with how the market operates? Which markets do you like and feel comfortable and enjoy going to? Why? Consider some of the points above, and you should be able to make choice that suits you. But mainly, give it a go, you’ve got nothing to loose.


Wednesday, 29 October 2008

General shop news...

Some things you may all like to know-
1. The shop will be closed on Melbourne Cup day (Tuesday 4th November), will re-open normal hours on Wednesday

2. Not many entries for the free tickets so far. so if you're interested and free on Saturday, leave a comment, you have a really good chance of winning (heaps better than tatts odds!)

3. Poppet in the Post is now bigger and better. No longer restricted to 25 products, I have expanded the online shop to support up to 100 products. I'll be adding new stock every day so pop by regularly. Have even got some lovely products for grown ups by Dick and Dora

4. Taking orders now for Christmas for Dobbin and Drum Tee-Pees. They can be made to order in the colours of your choice, as well as their standard range. Here is the one i had made for the shop last year. Due to space restrictions I won't be purchasing any for display/sale in the store.
The basic style is $279, and special orders take several weeks to make so don't wait too long if you need pre-Christmas delivery.

5. Tune in on Friday for Part 1 of the 'Cinti's market wisdom series'

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Another Giveaway!

Wow, am I generous or what?

I'm pleased to announce that My Poppet has teamed up with Melbourne based Curious Legends Theatre Company. Primarily focused on creating unique and imaginative theatre for children, they also run Workshops and perform at birthday parties.
I've been given 2 tickets to giveaway to their show 'Haunted House' this Saturday the 1st of November.
If you're free on Saturday, have kids between the ages 5-12 and in Melbourne, go ahead and leave a comment about what scared you silly as a child.
I was terrified of witches, especially Witchiepoo from HR PuffnStuff, I still am a little uncomfortable watching it now as an adult!

If you don't win the free tickets you can still go along to the show. details here:

Haunted House - November 1st, La Mama
Are you scared of the dark? So are Jen and Tom... and other things... that live in the haunted house. Come join Curious Legends at cosy La Mama theatre for an intimate performance about the things which scare us. After all, what are you afraid of?
Ages: 5 to 12 year olds plus their families
Cost: $10 per person
Date: November 1st
Time: 11am & 2pm
Venue: La Mama Theatre,Carlton
Bookings: 03 9347 6142

I'll announce the winner on Thursday and you must get back to me by Friday lunchtime at the latest so I can leave the tickets at the door.If you leave an anonymous comment, make sure you leave your name as well so i know who you are.

Now if that wasn't enough generosity on my part, there's more. Mention My Poppet when booking a birthday party and receive 10% off the cost of the booking. Their performances and workshops are a great alternative when facing another fairy party is just too much to bear!

Oh almost forgot...this prize is on its way to Diana's place (winner of last weeks giveaway)

includes some vintage fabric and trim, vintage style coin purse, badge and hand made (by me) felt pin cushion. Apparently Diana is into making softies so some of these bits should come in handy.

Friday, 24 October 2008

And the winner is...[drumroll]...

...Diana, who left this anonymous comment: i always look forward to reading your blog. You have a wonderful style and it is very inspiring looking at all the lovely things in your store and that you make.Diana
So Diana, could you please contact me with your address so I can post your prize to you. (hopefully only one Diana will respond otherwise we're in trouble!)
Legal Disclaimer - this was a random draw conducted under the supervision of an independent government official (see below)

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Kewtie Kewpie...

This photo has got to be one of my favorites. Can't take credit for it unfortunately, was taken by a lovely customer, Lisa, whilst setting up some promo shots of the shop. I love the way the shadow frames the picture.
Anyway, have had lots of you asking for Kewpie dolls, and after a long patient wait, a handful are available on Poppet in the Post (along with some retro picture cubes I thought were discontinued [sob...] but weren't [yay!])
If you were on a waiting list for the dolls, I've put those aside for you already so don't freak out if you miss out online.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Ruby slippers...

What is it about red shoes that are just so adorable? I have my own pair of red patent flats (similar to these) that just go with everything. Match with denim and hey presto! Super stylish and ready to hit the town!
Baby ballet flats $31.95

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

You do care...

Wow, thanks for all of your constructive comments, plenty of time still so keep them coming. And if you leave an anonymous comment, please leave your name so I know who you are if you win the giveaway. Looks like every one likes different aspects of my blog so I'll do my best to take some of your suggestions on board.
Got me to attracts like in bloggyland. I'm a bit of a picture skimmer when it comes to reading blogs, I don't tend to read the post unless I like what I see first. So i suppose my blogging style is quite a visual one. You won't tend to find me reading too many blogs without pics...funny that.
Spent Sunday morning at my old stomping ground, the Flemington craft market. It was lovely to catch up with some of my fellow stallholders.
Jodie from Poss Bloss who sells lovely handmade PVC accessories for kids, and stocks a few products at My Poppet, has a fantastic new blog shop called The Habby Goddess. I know a few of you out there are a bit partial to haberdashery, so have a browse, you can never have too many buttons and trims.
I'll be throwing some vintage trims in the giveaway prize (don't think I can part with any of my buttons though)

The market atmosphere almost made me nostalgic for the good old Cinti does Vintage market days...I said ALMOST! Because, anyone who has done a few markets knows, they are really hard work, and a big commitment. So I was glad I was just there for a visit and not as a trader. But since I've had a good 3 years of market experience, I thought some of you our there might benefit from some of my wisdom. In the coming weeks I'll try to post some hints and tips on how to run a successful market stall.

Some new additions to the My Poppet family, very sensibly dressed in their hand knitted jumpers. It's really cold today in Melbourne...

Friday, 17 October 2008's time for a GIVEAWAY

I think I've had an existential blogging crisis...I've been blogging for over a year now and I think maybe the blog is getting boring! Is anybody reading? If this wasn't my blog would I read it?
Initially when I started writing this blog over a year ago, the whole idea was to share the ups and downs of running a small business. To share my inspiration and perspiration. Now I just seems to be all product, buy, buy! Not what I envisioned, but unfortunately that's the reality of retail, if products don't sell, I can't keep doing what I'm doing. So from now on I'll try to strike a bit of a balance, sometimes nice new products, sometimes whining and most times general loveliness.
And because I totally missed my 1 year blogoversary, I'm going to have a giveaway now. (Better late than never). All I ask for in return is a comment. Tell me what you like, love, hate, miss, about the My Poppet blog. What interests you, why you like to read the nonsense that I post (hopefully someone is still reading!)
This time next week i will randomly draw a winner to receive a nice pack of goodies, which may include some lovely vintage fabric, some handmade loveliness and some other random good stuff which has yet to be decided. I can only post within Australia but overseas readers leave a comment as well(with your country of origin) and you may be lucky enough to receive a little something too...

So now I'll share some pictures of my re merchandised shelves...
for the girls
for the boys
And some new art work by illustrator Wendy Tyrer

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Flat Batteries...

Camera batteries totally flat today so no Frocktober picture today. Instead I thought I'd share my friend Carla's nifty new website with you. The label is Emotional Baggage and as you probably guessed, she makes bags. The cool thing about her site is that you can design your own bag online. Choose your style, fabric, and leather and see what your bag will look like before it's made. Lots of fun - go have a play...
The Carry All makes a stylish nappy bag.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Frocktober - day 10...the best dress ever!

Is this not the most perfect and amazing dress you have ever seen? Made totally out of selvedge, it is truly a work of art. Well done Jodie, see more pictures on the Ric Rac blog.

Cup mania...

Wow, people out there are really loving these melamine cups on Poppet in the Post. Now I can say 'as featured' on Michi Girl and Babyology...


Saturday, 11 October 2008

Frocktober - day 9

My Poppet Vine Print dress (sizes 2-6) $79.95 - purchase online here

I'll be posting a picture of a frock a day for the rest of Frocktober. If you like it, buy it! Mention Frocktober and I'll donate $2 for every dress sold to the Ovarian Cancer Research foundation.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Frocktober - day 8 + new stock in store

Nanoou, organic cotton t-shirt dress Aqua (sizes 18mo, 2, 3) $42

I'll be posting a picture of a frock a day for the rest of Frocktober. If you like it, buy it! Mention Frocktober and I'll donate $2 for every dress sold to the Ovarian Cancer Research foundation.
Poppet in the Post updates - Melamine cups are back in stock, this may be the last time I can get them so if you're wanting some, get them now to have your choice of colours. Don't think about it forever and then e-mail me in 3 weeks wanting one in every colour because I probably won't have any left! (oh, I've gone all Aunty Cookie on you...sorry)
Japanese paper balloons are about to be de-listed as they are nearly all sold out, bulldog and cats still available for the next couple of days. All other animals are sold out.Just arrived in store - Itch design Melamine plates and me at the shop if you are keen.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Frocktober - day 7

Mini Arabella, Vintage tablecloth dress - one of a kind (size 3) $59.50

I'll be posting a picture of a frock a day for the rest of Frocktober. If you like it, buy it! Mention Frocktober and I'll donate $2 for every dress sold to the Ovarian Cancer Research foundation.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Frocktober - day 6...the teatowel dress is back!

Well I finally got my sewing mojo back after several weeks of non-motivation. I've had these little beauties cut out for a while now, just need to sit down and sew. On Sunday I managed to make 3 dresses and 2 pairs of pants from vintage tea towels. My souvenir tea towel stash is now almost non-existent, so these may be the last batch for a while.
The dresses and pants are now on Poppet in the Post, get in quick for your pick.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Frocktober - day 5

Ohh! I was so excited to receive some new pinni frocks from one of my favorite Melbourne labels - Cherry Stew...
Lots of lovely random colour combos with sweet vintage trims.

Sizes in this style start at 00 and go up to 3 - $69.95 each

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Frocktober - day 4

Ceci-bean Carmen Miranda sundress (size 2,3) $66 (also available in Lilac)

I'll be posting a picture of a frock a day for the rest of Frocktober. If you like it, buy it! Mention Frocktober and I'll donate $2 for every dress sold to the Ovarian Cancer Research foundation.

Frocktober - day 3

Chalk n Cheese Vintagesque seersucker dress (sizes 1,2,4,5,6) $79.50

So I'll be posting a picture of a frock a day for the rest of Frocktober. If you like it, buy it! Mention Frocktober and I'll donate $2 for every dress sold to the Ovarian Cancer Research foundation.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Frocktober - day 2

So I'll be posting a picture of a frock a day for the rest of Frocktober. If you like it, buy it! Mention Frocktober and I'll donate $2 for every dress sold to the Ovarian Cancer Research foundation.

Mini Arabella vintage fabric A-line pinni (one only) size 2 $59.50

Thursday, 2 October 2008


The radio today told me it was 'Rocktober', but I beg to differ! Here at My Poppet it is officially Frocktober. I thought I was super clever coming up with the whole frocktober concept, but it seems like some clever girls in Geelong have taken it one step further and are raising money for ovarian cancer research. Well done ladies! If you are in the Geelong are and want to get involved to can find more info here.

My reasons for Frocktober are not so altruistic (I was just hoping to sell some more dresses!) but after doing a bit of research I found out that Ovarian cancer is one of the most serious forms of cancers affecting women. Every year approximately 400 women in Victoria are diagnosed, most of them with an advanced stage of the disease. This means one in 90 women have a chance of developing ovarian cancer in their lifetime, equal to a lifetime risk of 1.1%. If any of you would like to make a donation to the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation just follow this link

So I'll be posting a picture of a frock a day for the rest of Frocktober. If you like it, buy it! Mention Frocktober and I'll donate $2 for every dress sold to the Ovarian Cancer Research foundation.

Chalk n Cheese Floral print Jersey Dress $59.95, sizes 1-6 available

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Check out the little piece in Living Creatively with hints on how to get your handmade wares into retail stores. My Poppet (and my big head!) is featured, although the pictures are from last summer so most of the stock featured isn't available.

I've popped some new and exciting products on Poppet in the Post today, here is a sneak peek.