Markets for me are daunting, like really really daunting.
The reason for this is I'm the double whammy, a shy introvert. So meeting and making small talk with total strangers is the equivalent of putting me on the scariest roller coaster at the theme park!
My first really big market was Finders Keepers, proper deep end! I had no idea what to expect so to quiet my anxious mind leading up to it, I busied myself making probably way too much pottery.
Then the day arrived, so 5am wake up, coffee in hand, because who can do anything without coffee? Like seriously how?
I've got butterflies in the tummy but I can at least half distract myself with the setting up of my stall, thankfully my personal assistant (my under paid partner) is there to help! Markets are hard work, especially when you're working with heavy fiddly, breakable things like ceramics! I always come armed with a lot of plates, basically every size you can think of, I've brought trinket dishes to platters big enough to serve a family sized pizza!
After a few hours I'm ready to go, (it probably shouldn't take me this long but I'm a bit of a perfectionist and the colours have to flow, and I never ever stick to one colour palette!).
A few minutes in and I've met my first customer, and she's lovely. Ok so far so good, an hour rushes by and I'm still alive! Who knew?
All of a sudden I've arrived at day two, pretty worn out but nothing that a large soy flat white extra shot can't fix! Plus I may even feel pretty elated/excited with how day one went.
I'm now very familiar with my next door neighbours (fellow stall holders) and pretty soon you realise you're all in this together. Quick pee stop? No problem, your fellow stall neighbour is always keeping an eye out. When it's a bit quieter you can bond over how much money you've spent over at the food stalls (which is probably all your profits because have you seen the quality of food stalls at markets these days?!).
But honestly, what I've found by the time day three rolls around is how my customers, and I need to find a better descriptor than this because a lot of the time they feel like much more than just customers, are really forthcoming in letting you know they like what you're doing, that they think your work is really quite neat, and how did you make this cup!?
And sometimes with markets like Finders Keepers which is a multi day market, some really special humans make the huge effort of coming back a second day (and brought friends!) because they've thought on it and they really want that matching (or not matching) espresso cup. Total legends.
In conclusion markets are still and will always be just that little bit terrifying to me, but it's 100 percent worth it to meet some really lovely (seriously!) people.
So if I ever look a little uncomfortable, I'm sorry, it's because I probably am! But I love meeting you and I never ever get bored with answering your questions on the process of hand made ceramics!
You're all total legends!
See! look how happy I am!