Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
DirtRoads

Canton, Mississippi Flea Market

Recommended Posts

This is a bi-annual event (2nd Thursday in May and October).  This is little different than the Art Shows.  But I thought it might be interesting for some of you.  Keep in mind ... while I do (somewhat) like making pottery, my primary interest is making money.

It's not your average flea market.  A lot of crafts here and wholesale importers.   From what I've noted here is that if you are not a hand crafted item, you have to be a competitively priced  importer selling close to wholesale prices (I would say 20-25% over wholesale price).  Hand crafted items do pretty well there.  Retail stores tend to come and go ... they don't do that much.

I have a 30 x 20 foot booth here.    About 55% jewelry 45% pottery.   I have 7 people working, including my brother and myself.  I have one check out behind the booth, with 3 workers and one in front of the booth with 2 workers.  I float around putting more product up on the tables and racks.  My brother mostly carries bags of pottery to people driving up on the side street in their cars.  He also relieves workers, handles money, change, helps customers, etc.

We have a unique set up, in front of a house owned by the Catholic church.  we are the only booth in that spot and park right behind the booth.   And use extra space for check out areas.

Note the 3 colors I carry to this show.  Two matte finishes and one glossy.  And we carry a small amount of red.

 

canton1.JPG

Edited by DirtRoads
Joseph F likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Antique Turquoise, Fluer de Sand Bar and Blue Swirl.  A row of each color.  We arrange by color.  Stack tons of back ups in the bottom crates.  I took this photo's about mid day.  Sales started at 6:30.  We had almost the perfect amount this show.  Packed up less than 20% of the starting inventory.

canton2.JPG

Edited by DirtRoads

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(omg made pictures smaller ....)

Check out area behind booth.  We wrap well and use this porch for holding items.  Customers drive up to the booth and honk and yell their names and we carry bags to the cars.  Both jewelry and pottery checked out here.

 

canton3 (600x390).jpg

Edited by DirtRoads

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL ... lots of banners, sign boards and even shopping baskets.   Definitely not an art show.  The "It" items are hostess sets (long tray, bowl and spoon) and various shaped bowls.  We had a $40 bowl that sold really well.  Other items ... we pack around 5.  In those items we take 100 plus.

canton8 (600x450).jpg

Edited by DirtRoads

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The booth stays packed.  This is the jewelry side.  I design most of the jewelry.  Have the bead work done in China but we "assemble" most of the jewelry here.  Some of the jewelry is 100% made here, but using imported findings.  All the racks are loading with jewelry and wheeled in using hand trucks.  Those 60 inch bead necklaces are "it" items right.   I carried an inventory of about $15K of those on 2 racks.  Around 12 styles of them.  Opposite are trays of Amazonite bracelets, 7 colors.  I do the same thing with pottery.   "It" items in 3 colors.   It's always about "It" items.

canton4 (600x397).jpg

Edited by DirtRoads

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Look at them dipping their blingy little fingers into those jars of cheap bracelets.  There is a constant stream around this table, making it hard to restock.

IMG_0657 (600x450).jpg

Edited by DirtRoads

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

See all the packages on the porch for pick up.   We use those translucent poly shopping bags and write their names on them with a sharpie.    This pick up feature really ups the pottery sales.  We will also store large items from other vendors here for customers. No paper because shopping starts at 6:30 ish and paper bags get damp.  A lot of shoppers roll around those carts like the customer checking out.  The craft wrapping paper is a must for speedy check outs.  (we started out using ... newspaper).  We also use craft bags in place of wrapping smaller items. 

Yes.  This is a very good show for me.   The only show I do.  It's 40 miles from my studio.    I get a lot of customers from this event.    You have to consider all the people I have working and the fact that I am purely production business.    But the sales here are 5 figure plus.   I started selling the jewelry too because there is a huge market here for that.  More than for the pottery.   Plus importing jewelry is something I know how to do.   I had an extensive back ground in high volume Junior League shows.   I'm an "item seller".  I sell 1000's of the same "it" item.  I was taught this by The Colonel from Nashville, TN. 

This one guy came in the booth and asked who the owner was.  They pointed me out and he came over and told me "You're a really mediocre potter.   But a brilliant marketer ... I suppose."  Turned and walked away before I could even say anything.  Oh well.

 

IMG_0661 (600x450).jpg

Edited by DirtRoads
BlackDogPottery likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a good looking operation. Congrats! I especially appreciate the part about making the checkout and pickup process easy for the customers. These days customers are very savvy about good and efficient service. I've seen a lot of festival artists who check out process is painfully slow. It impacts the experience negatively. Especially if the process is slow because the artist is talking too much :-)

 

"You're a really mediocre potter.   But a brilliant marketer ... I suppose."

Too many artists waste their energy on ego and envy. It only hurts themselves. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, DirtRoads said:

This one guy came in the booth and asked who the owner was.  They pointed me out and he came over and told me "You're a really mediocre potter.   But a brilliant marketer ... I suppose."  Turned and walked away before I could even say anything.  Oh well.

What a character. You can tell this guy is a failed artist ... i suppose.  Also failing at life it seems like.

Thanks for the awesome post and information. You have an awesome operation setup. 

 

D.M.Ernst likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a great post. Lots to think about here. And if you are a great potter and a bad marketer (and your work looks lovely, BTW, not talking to you at all with this comment!) you know what you are? Working elsewhere.

There  is a woman who does videos on Branding, renae something, and your marketing of taking the best things in three colors is just what she says. She has other good info on three levels of price as well.  I'm so ADD, i have stuff all over the place, no coherence at all, and it confuses people. 

 You really have it together! I am excited with some solid ideas after reading this! Thank you and Congratulations! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×