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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Our Saturday Market booth and life

Most Saturdays for the past 18 years or so we have sold at the Eugene Saturday Market. We have had our excellent reserved corner booth space on the corner of 8th and W Park Street across from the Farmers Marker for many years now that we earned by doing all those markets and getting the points. And being there when the very old couple finally decided to retire from their spot who had it previously. I imagine Nick and I will be hobbling on our canes too when we finally retire from that corner spot.Luckily Etsy has come along and changed our lives so that we don't have to be there every weekend, especially the ones that are brutally cold or hot.
Now that we have Henry and Max, Nick stays home with the boys while I go to market by myself. (Until they are at least old enough to be somewhat helpful and not poop in their pants.That goes for Nick too.-just joking hun)It's a lovely hour long scenic drive on mostly back roads through the Willamette Valley from our home to Eugene.
I start most Saturday mornings with my old timer marketeer vendor girlfriends and coffee. It is usually the highlight of my day.

This year we revamped our Saturday Market booth display. We had been using the same display for more years than I can even remember.It is still basicly the same but we took off a whole top row of earrings so that I can now see over the top of the display and not be boxed in. We got rid of dud earrings that weren't really moving. We also got one of those new fangled light weight plastic folding tables instead of the super heavy plywood one we made back when we were young.

Those are hanging vases across the front top of the booth and we also have some on a display hanging on the other side of the booth. We love our EZ Up booth although I really think they should be called EZ Down as the process of getting those little metal buttons pushed into the top can require heroic efforts and leave me panting wiht exhaustion first thing in the morning.Taking them down is a breeze though.

I replaced the old ratty purple background on the boards with a crisper off white muslin. It's really improved the visibility of the colored stone and glass jewelry. We still continue to use the method of having lace sewn on the bords in rows that the earrings hang off of. I can't take credit for the idea as we saw it in a store display in Santa Rosa about 20 years ago. But it works really well for us and we get lots of compliments on it from customers.

The is the Aluminum earrings display board. Notice the signs above it say "Light Weight! REALLY! Pick them up!" "Light Weight Aluminum" "With Sterling Silver Earwires".

Perhaps the signs aren't large enough or bright enough but all day long I have customers say- "Wow those look really heavy . I couldn't wear those." And I say- "But they aren't. They are aluminum- pick them up and see."(with a pleasant smile of course.) "Oh my god they ARE light." and then they hand them to their disbelieving friend who says- "Wow, they are" as if I was lying when I made the sign or told them. Silly humans!

The boards all slide off the display and fit into a suitcase. The display is made in two halves that clamp together in the back.

These are Henry's Lego pendants. He came up with the idea about a year ago. He told us where to drill the holes and then told me how to put the wire on it. We have Lego earrings too. They are a huge hit at the Saturday Market where so far no one else sells them. There are tons of people selling similar lego jewelry on Etsy though so we haven't added them to our shop. We have an ongoing debate about it.Someday when Etsy allows us extra shop sections we might add them.

Nick made the folding pendant displays out of aluminum. They also fold up nicely into a suitcase.He's so good like that!

One of our ornamental mirror displays.
There is another one on the other side of the booth. The shawl pins/hair pins hang on that scarf next to it. It's funny how online they sell really well as shawl pins but in Eugene they are clearly hair pins.(And don't sell quite as well.)

We have price signs on the end of each row with an arrow pointing to the row under the price. After 20 something years selling at the market and craft shows we know customers want to see the price easily without asking.

Assorted stone pendants. We don't sell most of these on Etsy because they are each so different due to the nature of stone and would require new photos for each one.That would mean raising the prices on them and more time which I don't have a lot of.
All this stuff packs up in about a half hour into our trusty 95' Taurus wagon. Then I drive the hour home exhausted and get ready to keep up with my little hellions ( I mean sweet high energy boys) who still stay up way to late and get up much too early for any over 40 parent to endure.


eleen said...

Great post, Felice! I love your booth display -- so many great ideas, thanks for sharing them! Also amazed by the sheer volume of inventory you have to sell. Phew!

Felice Luftschein said...

Thanks Eleen!
We've always sunscribed to the theory that the more you have the more you sell. The more price ranges and types of products the more likely someone will find something they want.So far it's worked well for us.

Mimi-n-Moe's Mom said...

wow! looks like a lot of work! i enjoyed hearing about it. i always wondered what the market was like. we don't really have anything like that here.

i can't believe you manage all that yourself! looks tough for one person to do.

have a great week. karen

Anonymous said...

One of these days, Kevin and I will make the drive down and check out the Eugene market. Now that I know what your booth looks like, I'll be able to find you!

Felice Luftschein said...

meeting DancingMooney and Kevin in person would be awesome! I'm easy to find. Right on the corner of 8th and Park across from the Farmer's Market.

My Blessings From Above said...

Thanks for the virtual tour of your booth, Felice! You're life facinates me! Someday we'll come to Oregon and visit your booth. Justin wants to visit each state! ME too! :)

Denise in PA said...

You make me wanna come to Oregon, if for no other reason than to see your "stuff" that is not on your Etsy site!