My Artwork on display at the WYF Upmarket in Trinidad May 2019
Hi everyone, this weekend I was at an Upmarket, better known as a Fleamarket, but here we pay for a table and you’re able to sell your products, whatever they may be. I set up my table to sell my artwork. I had done quite a few landscapes, in a challenge I gave myself. They were painted quickly to ensure the easy flow of the watercolor.
I did fairly well in that I sold 3 pieces. This post though is about the people I was surrounded by. At this market, we greet each other with hugs and glee especially if we haven’t seen each other in a whole or if you haven’t been to the upmarket in months. I realized that I really liked most of the vendors at this market, some more than others. We are people of like objectives.
We all create something we love, enjoy or are passionate about. Some of us do this on the side, for some this is our only means of making a living and for some this our second business. We talk shop, we share information, we share goods, and we help each other. I got help to sell one of my pieces. A woman showed interest in one of my pieces, she asked if I had a credit card machine but I didn’t so she left. I asked one of the other vendors if there was anyone who had a machine that I could use and they indicated Johan.
I know Johan and I liked him, he was really cool and very hip. So I asked him if he would let me use his machine to sell my art and he said no problem, so I looked for the woman, went up to her and told her that if she was still interested, then i had a credit card machine.
She was still interested, so we went to Johan to do the transaction. While he did the transaction I conversed with the woman, she was very nice and we talked about the daughter she planned to surprise with the art piece.
After the sale, Johan gave me the cash and I had to go to home for my second sale, and again he was most accommodating. You have to understand that these transactions cost, then you have to get the money to the person. Johan takes 5% but he is right to do this as he has to pay a fee for every transaction. This is just one example of the connection between everyone we are a family in this upmarket and although we don’t know each other intimately, we are still close.
We are all in this to get our products to the customer, to make money to live or to make money to give us the acknowledgment that what we have created is worth something. There are vendors who create their own soaps, creams, artwork, gluten-free food, clothes, woodwork, jewelry, and more. It’s an amazing thing to see, all these creatives in one place all in one accord. I love it, it’s very inspiring and fun.
There is one downsize sometimes. You get a little jealous when you see others making sales and you aren’t, yet on the other side, you are very glad that they’re getting some sales as we all want the other to do well. What you learn from this short burst of jealousy and even a level of demotivation is that you have to build a high level of faith. In yourself, your work, your determination and your persistence in getting your work/product out there.
Faith in your product and hope that customers will get to know you, love your work and then buy from you. I grew to realise that although I don’t make a sale that day, I will make a sale at another time. During one period I wasn’t making sales for quite a while and it was tough to stay positive and I almost stopped painting, then God stepped in and I was invited to an event at my old school and there I made enough to make up for the 3 other Upmarkets where I didn’t make any money, not even my table cost. You have to be strong, determined and love what you do so that despite the down times you keep going because you’re determined to share your product/artwork with those who love it (when they realise that they do) , that’s why I keep doing this.
So who are the people around me?…Family who encourages me to keep painting, my husband who is my biggest fan, my friends who buy my work and support me, my fellow artisans who encourage, motivate, are your fans and also buy your work…yes we tend to buy from each other not just for support, or because we want to encourage buying local but because we truly love each others’ products. I buy my herbal tea from a friend, perfumed oils from another who makes it herself, gluten free food and deserts from one and jewellry from another. I get everything I want and really like that is of quality at these markets. That is why they are valuable and I surround myself with these people. I hope you surround yourself with people who build you up, support you, encourages you and is your biggest fan. Check youlater,
Luv you all