On the weekend of May 28 and 29, my first market of the year arrived: my participation as an illustrator in Flowers in the Market, a market related to botany, ecology and healthy and planet-friendly lifestyles.
I was able, despite being completely absorbed in my own experience, to meet many other participants and their proposals, all of them diverse and generally very interesting.
Local and sustainable crafts
In this third edition (it has been held since 2019 except for 2020 due to the pandemic) there were more than 150 participants, divided into various categories: gastronomy, florist and floral art and craftsmanship. I personally was in the latter group, along with other illustrators, potters and local creators. On the other hand, several free workshops for all audiences, such as the exchange of cuttings, plants and seeds. All this well accompanied by music and festive atmosphere.
I leave you some brands that I met that weekend thanks to being there:
🌿Valeria's soap: solid natural cosmetics, they have their store in Santa Coloma de Gramenet.
🌿I can: florist-Concept store of indoor plants and terrariums in the neighborhood of Poble Sec, Barcelona.
🌿La-a: florist with own creations of wood, iron and ceramics where you can put your plants in the neighborhood of Gracia, Barcelona.
🌿Roast Club Café: specialty coffee and roaster, they have two locations in Barcelona.
🌿Masala-Chy: Ready-to-drink tea Chai concentrate. I tried their Chai Latte with pea milk and ice, and I really liked it.
Organization and preparations
To get to a fair-market-convention it is key to start preparing everything you need with well in advance. It was a few weeks before doing many, many sheets, cutting cardboard, signing, sealing, packaging, counting and numbering, fine-tuning payment methods, buying materials, checking stand measurements and specifications, carrying out preliminary assembly tests, organizing transport and many other details that in itself they are mundane, but when they all come together they make a huge ball and the general feeling is one of overwhelm. Por ello, lo que me ayudó esta vez fue anticipar y empezar a preparar con mucho margen de tiempo. (parece mentira pues yo era de las que estudiaban un o dos días antes máximo).
let's start with the bad: Being physically on the street selling any product is hard. Do it a few weeks before the start of summer and in the midst of a heat wave, even more so.
Both the previous phase of organization and the market days themselves entail a very high stress and work load, added to the many hours you spend standing up and interacting with a thousand inputs at the same time. For this reason, it is necessary for me to emphasize that as a participant you end up broken, and beware that the next day you have to work again, at least in my case. A hug to the paradistas and merchants who work on this regularly, I understand and admire you!
All this effort is compensated by the good moments and memories that you take with you: the satisfaction of having started and finished the whole process, the support you receive both from your loved ones and from unknown people who come and praise your work.
Obviously the people who decide to buy for the first time and those who repeat and make your day just with that detail. I was especially pleased with a client who found out about the event thanks to my publication on Instagram, and came expressly to buy more illustrations, since she already had a print at home. Thank you very much Chleo!
The event ended on Sunday at 8:00 p.m. with a beer in hand, ending the day with a few remaining participants, since most of them packed up quickly to go to rest. It is there, in those small talks, where you realize that it's not you alone, there are more people who go through the same thing as you, even if you dedicate yourself to something different or have more or less years of experience.
And almost without realizing it, the weekend passed, because most of the time you spend 100% dedicated to selling and serving, away from screens and the clock.
Ratings: beyond the numbers
Being accepted as a participant is very rewarding and challenging at the same timeWith. I only had the experience of my colleagues from Mustard as a reference and I was a little nervous because I still have little experience in markets and I try to improve every time I get one. But the weekend was over and the taste was good, both financially and emotionally. Still I have to say that it wasn't like that for everyone, this is just based on my point of view as an illustrator.
A little reflection: The solvency of such an event may be the main objective, but if it doesn't happen and you end up making losses, there is another positive aspect of participating in these types of events that can help to ward off the negative bias: it is the famous 'networking' or what I call meeting professionals in your sector or related to it.
Example: I had some kids as neighbors who create their own ecosystems in the form of terrariums, in addition to selling all kinds of indoor plants: they are the owners of Fedra and Terraneo, two parallel projects that can be seen and purchased at their store in the Poble neighborhood sec. I was able to chat with them and they proposed a collaboration in their store, which I hope to show shortly.
PS: If you are subscribed to the newsletters, I will send you one telling a little about this collaboration with Fedra. If you are not, you can do it through my main page.
Something that also made me feel bad was that I couldn't get to know all the participants well, or stop by to watch or talk carefully. In the end you end up interacting more with those around you, and suddenly boom! It's already time to dismount and you haven't had time to see more.
But I certainly have good memories. I hope that more and better editions such as the fAM and similar alternatives continue to be made, as they have a good place and welcome, and personally I find the support of all small businesses or creators who try to give their best version, who are committed to sustainability and cares about its impact on the planet.🤍