Thanks to a fortunate turn of events, I got to take Fairy Tree Studios to one last market this year, this time in downtown Champaign. I think I mentioned before that one of my work colleagues is also one of the market’s organizers; she offered to share her booth with me if I manned the table (which I was more than happy to do) and my manager gave me the day off even though it was my weekend to work, since I needed to take an extra day off in the pay period anyway.
We worked it all out about five days ahead of the actual market day, so I spent what time I did have making Moon Journals and wood ornaments, since they did so well at the first MM. Sharing the table worked out well for both of us, since neither of us had enough to fill the whole thing ourselves, haha.
It was the first year that the market was held in this venue (which is a lovely newly-renovated event space called “The Venue”) and people showed up for it. Most of the day, the market was pretty full; at first it seemed like people weren’t buying as much as at Urbana’s MM, but according to my sales receipts it ended up about the same. There were of course lots of people buying gifts last-minute, and several people told me they were walking around to see everything and then coming back to buy (and several of them did come back). Besides ornaments and journals, I sold most of my paint-it-yourself kits, some stickers, and a couple note card sets. I’m going to be busy in January building all my inventory back up, but what a great problem to have!
I spent the last few busy days before Christmas finishing up a commissioned watercolor painting as well as my own holiday shopping (which I was pretty behind on). We then spent the holiday weekend in Michigan with our families.
I think the trend of supporting small businesses and buying local is still going strong, at least here in CU, and I’m really excited to be part of it. Do you see this trend in your area? Do you feel like your community supports artists and/or small businesses? I’ve been seeing a lot more of both in our downtown area and it makes the area so much more inviting. In fact, we have a candle shop downtown that routinely runs out of stock because demand is so high! One of these days I’ll beat the rush, but not this year.