Turn your stall into Fall (ok, it’s American but it rhymes, right?)

We wouldn’t dream of leaving the fairy lights off a Christmas market stall – because we know it enhances the customer’s warm, fuzzy feeling about gift buying. So why not decorate your stall at other times too, especially if you regularly sell the same products in the same place – it can help returning customers feel you have something fresh to offer and new customers will be attracted over to browse. We’ve put together a Pinterest gallery to inspire you. For more click here

Our first outdoor market in central Bath!

We’ve bought the gazebos, tried out the walkie talkies and invested in some hi-vis jackets. Yes, after 4 years we’ve finally managed to get some proper grown-up market paraphernalia. We’ve even got some new promo flags.

Why all this now? Because we’re holding our first ever outdoor event on Sunday 28th August and it’s in a BANES council location (Queen Square, Bath), so we want to be loud and very proud of our brand and traders and to give visitors a taste of what they can experience twice a month at Green Park Station. Only there you are undercover. Still, we are praying for dry weather and if the worst comes to the worst…well this is England, we’re all used to a bit of a soggy Summer Sunday…

So if you’re a lover of handmade and locally designed crafts, gifts, art, textiles and clothes or you’re partial to some hot cooked street food, coffee and ice-cream, cut flowers and more come and stroll around Queen Square this Sunday and why not pop down to Green Park Station’s vintage market afterwards? See you there!

Our first ever outdoor market in Central Bath!
Our first ever outdoor market in Central Bath!

 

August Artisan Markets & Queen Square Special

We’re happy to have hit August – blue skies, sun, school holidays – and three artisan markets in Bath!

On Sunday August 14th we are hosting free folk sessions by the Bath Folk Festival who will be winding down their week of musical celebrations with us at Green Park Station. We’ll also have our amazing array of independent artisan food and craft traders to delight and inspire you.

BAM ONLINE Advert 14th August

The following Sunday August 21st we are putting on a Family DJ at Green Park Station and providing a free craft table for kids. There will also be a selection of artisan stalls and food.

BAM ONLINE Advert 21st August

We finish the month at a slightly different location, however – at Bath’s beautiful Queen Square, where we are holding a one-off outdoor special, inviting artisan and independent food and artisan traders to join us. Any traders wanting to apply or visitors wishing to know more,  please email us here.

Our first ever outdoor market in Central Bath!
Our first ever outdoor market in Central Bath!

For more information about all our individual events, please subscribe to our Facebook event listing here.

Retro Gaming Day – Sunday 12th June!

We’re very excited that Swindon’s Museum of Computing are joining us on Sunday June 12th, bringing with them a whole host of old-school tech to either take you back in time, or intrigue you as to how anyone could ever fit any of it in their pocket (they couldn’t).

What's on June 12th!
What’s on June 12th!

You’ll be able to play on one of the very first games consoles- like TV-tennis on a groovy 1970’s Binatone – try your hand on a prehistoric mechanical calculator, relive the 80’s playing Jet Set Willy (not a medical condition…) on an original Sinclair Spectrum and have a go on the original (very large) Game Boy. You’ll also be able to program a LEGO robot, try and work out exactly what a Slide Rule does, play Space Invaders, PAC-MAN and make your own Minecraft Papercraft models to take home with you.

Gameboy
Gameboy

Fancy Dress competition!

Best of all, anyone (of any age) who visits the Museum’s exhibit in dressed as a games character between 10am-3.30pm on the 12th June will receive a free admission ticket to the museum. But the best dressed will also win a super-cool, walking, talking I-Que robot that knows millions of things! Find out more details on the day.

Win this i-Que robot on June 12th!
Win this i-Que robot on June 12th!

The Museum will be hosting their pop-up show at Green Park Station as part of the Bath Artisan Market from 10am-4pm and absolutely everyone is welcome.

For more information about the volunteer-run museum and its work please visit us on June 12th or go to http://www.museumofcomputing.org.uk/

museum of computing logo large with web

To find Green Park Station, go to BA1 1JB

NEW DATE ADDED FOR JUNE’S MARKETS – AND BEYOND

From June 2016 we will be running two markets per month, with as many special events as we can. Come join us!

Our June 2016 markets
Our June 2016 markets

FREE COLOURING CLINIC – MARCH 20TH!

Our March 20th Market!
Our March 20th Market!

Happy New Year!

 Happy new year!

2016 is The Year of the Monkey….. but there’s no monkey business here, just local independent businesses driven by passion, creativity and innovation. So come down to Green Park Station Bath on the second Sunday of every month and see what we’re all about! For all our dates, please click here.

Sunday January 10th 2016

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Our first market of the year is on Sunday January 10th, designed to “Beat the Blues”, with a mini-market of quality traders filling the market square and walkway, many of whom will be offering discounts. What’s more we have free live blues market from local band The Curfew Crew from 12pm too, freshly made hot pizza from Natural Flames and hot coffee from Ray & Barb. Seeing as it’s our first ever January market (and first day back in 2016) we’re easing ourselves in and finishing at 3pm. So set your alarm clocks and come and join in – and remember our glass roof means that you can shop whatever the weather.

20% Discounts on Jan 10th!

20% off selected Bohobo Aromatherapies products

20% off selected Bohobo Therapies products on Jan 10th 2016
20% off selected Bohobo Aromatherapies products on Jan 10th 2016
Bohobo Therapies have a selection of feel-good products to soothe you through the wintery season
Bohobo Aromatherapies have a selection of feel-good products to soothe you through the wintery season

 

20% off selected HejGro preserves, pickles and sauces 

Hej Gro sell organic, handmade sauces, preserves and pickles and have 20% off on Sunday January 10th
Hej Gro sell organic, handmade sauces, preserves and pickles and have 20% off on Sunday January 10th
Look for HejGro's unique vintage pram
Look for HejGro’s unique vintage pram

And 20% off selected images from Colin Rayner Photography

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Colin Rayner Photography

Here are some of the other traders joining us on January 10th, many of whom will also have various discounts!

Sow’s Ear Eco Couture 

Beautifully designed and handmade women’s clothing

Original womenswear from Sow's Ear
Original womenswear from Sow’s Ear. Image courtesy of Ciara Nolan Photography

 

Flab Design

Cards and 3D wall art celebrating iconic imagery

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Simon Webb

Handcrafted pens

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Simon Webb Artisan

Pulp Paper Heaven

Upcycled and scrapbooked notebooks and stationery with a vintage twist

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Pulp Paper Heaven

Embellishirt

Original men’s tailoring and accessories from a Bristol-based designer

embellishirt

 

and many more! So make sure you come down and see us – details here 

What you’ll find at our Christmas Markets!

Everyone loves the festive season, but artisan makers and producers are particular fans as they really get to show off their skills. Our Christmas markets are on Sunday November 22nd and Sunday December 13th this year, both at Green Park Station in Bath and both with brass band tunes to serenade you while you shop.

Here’s a taste of what’s on offer….

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For Traders: Quick tips to attract customers to your stall

It’s the eternal question that rattles through your mind when you’re standing behind your stall and customers just seem to be walking past: How do I make them buy?

A lot of the time, it’s the coming together of several strands that results in a sale: A product people want, a great display, an effective sales technique and of course a bit of luck.

There’s no failsafe solution but there are certainly some common denominating factors that successful traders all seem to share, so we thought we would let you know what they are.

  1. Make it easy for the customers to know what you’re selling

When customers are browsing at a market, spending money might not be the first thing on their mind. They’re most likely thinking about food/what happened last night/what they might buy for future birthday gifts. Shopping at a Sunday market is quite a laid-back experience for customers who are usually there as much to soak up the atmosphere  as they are to make a purchase. The trick is to pull them into the present and persuade them to buy that gift or treat now – and to help them feel good about it.

One way to draw them over visually is to ensure that it’s clear from a distance what you are selling. Focusing on a product that has a coherent theme but that is available in different shapes, sizes and colours really helps to create an impact and re-enforces to the eye what’s for sale. Take Canvas Butterfly (pictured below). It’s pretty clear that the artist Colette sells illustrations of butterflies and insects which have a wide appeal, so all you have to do is to walk on over and choose your favourite colour, size and format. No thinking required.

Try this: Imagine you were a customer and you had never seen your stall before. Would you know what you were selling? What could you do to make it clearer?

Canvas Butterfly uses lots of different heights to display many designs that are similar yet different, making an impact and giving the customer lots of choice. Colette (the seller) looks professional and friendly too
Canvas Butterfly uses lots of different heights to display many designs that are similar yet different, making an impact and giving the customer lots of choice. Colette (the seller) looks professional and friendly too

2. Use clear signage

Another reason to make it clear to customers what you are selling is that with so much competition for their attention, they might not feel they have the time or inclination to go up to your stall and find out what it’s all about. Also, some customers will fear that awkward moment when they’re browsing and you’re looking at them, so they just avoid going over, but if you have a banner, sign or labels explaining what you sell, it makes it that much the easier for them to know why they should stop and browse. The same goes for pricing – you should advertise at least one attractive but realistic price point for customers to be able to judge if they want to spend with you or not.

Posh Bird Designs made a sign to tell customers a little bit about the provenance of her work (below)

Posh Bird designs has designed a sign to tell customers about her products
Posh Bird designs has designed a sign to tell customers about her products

Try This: Take a picture of your stall and show it to someone who has never seen it before and knows little about it. Can they tell you what you make/sell and what your price range is? Did they learn anything interesting?

3. Display products  in clever ways

Let your creativity run wild and design a stall where you can show off your products at different heights and use interesting objects to draw the eye and therefore the customer. If you’re selling pictures for example, bring an easel or a metal hanging rack to clip cards onto as well as having a box for them to leaf through. It’s good practise to protect foodstuffs from dust and dirt in the air  but you can still display products in baskets at different heights behind a perspex shield or in interesting jars like Eat Roar has in the picture below.

Try this: Start noticing interesting window displays in shops and at markets and work out what you think works. Try applying some of those thoughts to your own stall display.

Eat Roar display their Superfood delights in clear plastic sweet container - simple but effective as they are protected as well as displayed in an interesting way
Eat Roar display their Superfood delights in clear plastic sweet containers – simple but effective as they are protected as well as displayed in an interesting way

4. Talk to your customer

This has got to be one of the most essential messages. Stand up, be engaged and look happy and approachable and ready to chat with customers about your product and how its made. Customers who buy local and handmade want to know the provenance of items so they can tell their friends and it adds to the experience of buying. Putting on a friendly exterior also lifts your day says Francesca Kay, who sells letterpress cards and knitted finger puppets, “I say ‘hallo’ and smile at everyone who passes my stall, and even if they walk past, I get a smile in return!”

Try this: Become a smile addict. Say hello to five strangers in the street one day to  realise that it’s not the end of the world if you smile at someone and they don’t respond. For everyone that ignores you there will be someone who smiles back which always makes you feel good. You’ll soon be hooked!

Our award-winning resident Chai producers, Henny and Joe's, have a professional looking aprons embroidered with their brand and a smile for all their customers
Our award-winning resident Chai producers, Henny and Joe’s, have  professional looking aprons embroidered with their brand name and a smile for all their customers

5. Learn from others and share what you know too

One of the most valuable sources of information is other traders! Be friendly and ask pick their brains (in a quiet moment!). Or read one of the many great blogs out there and share what you learn in return. Here are just a few that might help.

Try this: Read some of the following blogs about designing and selling at markets/craft shows.

How to design your craft stall by Chrissie Freeth

Craft Fair Secrets

How to greet your customers at Craft Shows

Finally, follow our Pinterest boards for tips and tricks for Stall Inspiration

If you have any other tips please leave a comment whether you are a customer or trader.

 

Free Lego Party September 13th and October 11th!

We’re never happier than when we find a new entertainment we can offer kids, so we were really excited to meet Mike Sawyer of Brick Party, whose son Damien regularly trades with us as graphic illustration company, Flab Design.

Brick party logo

Mike had been collecting Lego for years but decided to share his passion with today’s youngsters earlier this year, when he launched Brick Party.  We are delighted that he is running FREE parties at our markets on September 13th and October 11th 2015 when he’ll be bringing along A LOT of Lego and letting imaginations run wild and will even hand out prizes for those he is particularly impressed with. Come and find him (and his Lego) on the main floor between 11am-3pm.

[Update: Our September 13th party was so successful that Mike was busy building Lego with kids all day – see below for the evidence!]

Our successful September Lego party!
Our successful September Lego party!

 

HOW TO BOOK A PRIVATE LEGO PARTY WITH BRICK PARTY

If you enjoy the party at the market and want to book your own, ring or email Mike to check availability. Once the party is confirmed with us you should then proceed to book the venue, usually a school or church hall or he can come to you if you have enough space. He’ll arrive 30 minutes before the party starts and then lead the event for an hour, leaving plenty of time for food and of course the all important birthday cake.

Prizes for Lego creations
Prizes for Lego creations

The most popular parties are:

  1. Racing Cars – After starting with a few games to get the fingers warmed up we get to build our race cars and race them down the ramp to find the champion.
  2. Spaceships -Who can build the best spaceship? Use your imagination to make magical creations to take the astronauts out to the depths of space.

Parties cost £145.00 for up to 10 children, maximum 20 children

For more information come to the Bath Artisan Market on September 13th and October 11th between 11am-3pm or visit the Brick Party website.