June Jaunt and the Farmers Market June 08 2013, 0 Comments

Artisan Soaps at the Great Bend Farmers MarketIn the last week, I've had a chance to try my hand at my first two public soap stands. It's been a good experience! Last week, I shared some booth space with Heartland Farm (run by the Dominican Sisters of Peace) as part of the K-96 June Jaunt festival in central Kansas. This morning, I put out my own table at the Great Bend Farmers Market. A few things have impressed me from these two experiences.

First, I love the spirit of helping one another that I have found among vendors. At the June Jaunt Festival and at the Great Bend Farmers Market, vendors have jumped to offer to help one another with putting up tents, sharing space, showing the ropes, and so on. That's nice!

Second, it seems to be pretty important to make your stand/booth wind-friendly. At the June Jaunt, even with sides on our tent, a good gust of wind knocked over a full shelf of items (fortunately not my soap!). This morning at the farmers market, stories were told about tents blowing away; it's common practice, I understand, to weigh down the tent AND tie it to the vehicle! Today was no exception as a gusty wind accompanies a cold front that is trying to push its way through.

Soapmakers often give advice about setting up a colorful, attractive stand with products presented at various levels, and particularly at eye level. My collapsible shelves are wonderful for that! But today, I finally took my shelves down and put my soap buckets directly on the table. Presentation IS important, but not at the risk of losing several bars of soap if the entire stand blows over!

Third, I have really enjoyed sharing my soap with others and I love it when they enjoy the soaps and scents as much as I do. My own soapmaking journey started with a simple appreciation of handcrafted soap, and that was before I knew anything about how much better it is for your skin than some of the commercial soap alternatives. Since then, I enjoy making it, and I am finding that it is easy and fun to share and talk about it with others.

Fourth, I'm going to need a bigger vehicle if I do anything much bigger than my small farmer market stand. I CAN fit an impressive number of tables, shelves, and soap in my little car! But I think the tent is out of the question. Hauling the soap between house and vehicle, and between vehicle and booth is another issue that needs to be worked out! There just has to be an easier way!

All in all, I am very pleased with these first two ventures into craft fairs and farmers markets! I'll continue to set up at the Great Bend Saturday morning market throughout the summer, unless it rains . . . though, my vendor neighbors tell me that would be the perfect time to come and pass out soap so everyone could take a shower in the rain! At any rate, if you're in the area, stop by and pick up some soap!