December 9, 2009

Adelaide Xmas Craft & Gift Fair

If you are a fellow market stallholder of any sort, have you ever come home from a market or exhibition with your costs being more than the money you took? If you have, you could probably share in my disappointment this week.

Last Thursday I headed off to Adelaide for the Xmas Craft & Gift Fair just a little excited about the days to come....if only I'd known what lay ahead! We were prepared, thought our stand had come up well, had prepared plenty of stock in preparation, but....

... it didn't seem to matter. Yeah there was quite a few people around, and yeah there was some quality product around, but there was also lots of cheap imported goods, rather than australian quality goods as i had been led to believe. By lunch the first day I was ready to burst into tears as I was sure that I was the only stallholder in the whole building who hadn't sold a thing. In fact, Nicole sold in one hour back in Melbourne, what we did in two full days!

I was having all those negative thoughts that you do, such as:
- am I kidding myself?
- is our product crap?
- am I the only one who thinks our product is 'nice'?
- should I just get a 'real' job?
- are they laughing at me?

But you know what? After taking less money than it cost us to attend the event, I decided the following things:
- It's about more than cash sales, it's about exposure and getting your product out there
- It's about having a go and not giving up on your dream
- There is good in every experience if you look for it
- It was a learning experience
- I had an opportunity to spend some quality time with my extended family in Adelaide
- Or ultimately, it just wasn't the right event for Mookah
The best thing that I found at the fair was my one and only purchase, my first ever pair of Fisherman's Pants, but hey that's a whole other post.
Special thanks to Mum for sharing my road trip, and keeping me company during those long tiring days, and also to those lovely customers and stallholders that I met. It's nice to be home.
You can mark my words though Adelaide, "I'll be back!"


  1. Sorry to hear all that effort was not rewarded financially Leisa. No wonder you are disappointed. But it sounds like you are looking at it from lots of perspectives and it's great to hear that your spirit has only been bruised and not broken.

  2. How disappointing. Your products are beautiful and I'm glad you can take the glass half full option... I think we all have those days where it costs a lot more than we sell.

  3. Well Ruby loves "Nidcha" the echidna and has been trying to climb into the baby's basinet to retrieve Mrs Percy! Your products are brilliant and you do have a real job - this one! Besides you have done the whole employee thing and look how much fun you are having now.
    It was lovely spending time with you and cant wait for you to come back to a "better" fair next time.

  4. Leisa, you did such a great job with your stall - it looked AMAZING! I wished it could have been better for you... You know, l do think Mookah designs are gorgeous!!

  5. Looks great - I am an Adelaide person who probably would have shopped with you rather than the cheap imports but was at home with babes instead - do come back do! Love your logo as well!

  6. How cruddy. I think you're right, it's all about the fact that the event was not the right one for Mookah. If you were at a purely handmade market, then people would not have been lured by the cheap crap (why always makes handmade stuff seem far too expensive).

    Oh well, good on you for taking the right perspective. Don't let it kill your enthusiasm... xx

  7. Well, I feel your disappointment. But, as a fellow stallholder from the Adelaide market, I am SO glad that you were there. I loved the look of your stall...people definitely weren't laughing at you...and well we just can't control whether the public choose to buy crap imports or quality Australian handmade products can we?
    I am so impressed by your workmanship, and as for the customer service...having ordered my custom made bean bag on Sunday at the fair, I have received it today (Thursday) in regional South Australia in the post. WOW!
    Don't have quality and that is what lasts.
    Thank you for giving Adelaide a go!

  8. Sorry to hear that the Market (for you and your quality) was a flop. As Gina said before me, when there is cheap imported crap around, it makes quality, handmade stuff look expensive. All I can say is better luck next time...and Happy Birthday for tomorrow!! *HEEHEE*

  9. Keep up the beautiful work you girls do - you are amazing creative peeps & I love your stuff!!! Good luck over the next few busy market weeks XO

  10. Ahh that's such a crap feeling... but it's so good you can see the positive side of things too. There's so much more to take away from a market trip than just the sales (that's what I have to keep reminding myself too). And if it's any consolation we've had some disappointing markets recently too - I thought pre-xmas would be busy but alas...