Wicked Wicks Candle First Market Day (Local Vendors)

My First Outdoor Market Experience: What I Learned as a New Vendor

My first market day experience with Wicked Wicks Candle was an unforgettable learning opportunity. I quickly realized that this was a valuable experience for any company looking to improve their customer relations and product advertisement. It was great to see the enthusiasm customers had for our candles, and to receive their honest feedback.

Through this experience, we gained insights into what our customers really value and what they are looking for in a candle product. Additionally, we learned how to interact with potential customers in a friendly and engaging manner. Overall, this foundational education has given us a deeper understanding of our market and how to move forward with our business. It was truly a super wicked experience, and one that we will use to inform and improve our approach to selling candles in the future.

Market Days Checklist

First-Time Vendor Advice: The Crucial Step You Can't Skip Before Your First Market Day

As a first-time vendor at a craft fair or local market, I had no idea what to expect. I had many ideas to make my booth stand out, but some of them had to be put on the back burner because I wouldn’t have access to power. For example, I had thought about bringing a TV to show customers our website and the transaction process, as well as demonstrating how we make our candles inside the tent. These ideas would have made for a more engaging experience for customers. However, without power, it was impossible to make them a reality. Despite this setback, I learned that there are still plenty of ways to make my booth stand out and attract customers, even without all the bells and whistles.

The Perks of Participating in Local Markets: What Vendors Can Expect

On Saturday morning, I went through my usual routine of showering, making coffee, and double-checking my checklist to make sure I had everything I needed for the day. Getting the kids ready was a challenge, and I found myself shedding a few tears as I prepared mentally for what was to come. On the drive there, I was so nervous that I couldn’t bring myself to eat and ended up starving myself. To top it off, I even found myself speeding for no reason at all.

Upon arrival, the first thing I see, a power outlet.  Wicked :/

Initially, I was filled with regret after realizing my mistake at the outdoor market. It was a costly oversight that left me wishing I had read the pamphlet beforehand. As the day went on, I realized the impact this oversight had on my customers, and the mistake became more apparent.

However, this experience taught me a valuable lesson. I learned that some markets provide vendors with essential items, such as tents, tables, and chairs. It’s important to research the event beforehand to find out what amenities are provided. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of items that vendors may receive from the market, so you can be better prepared for your next event.

  1. Tents
  2. Tables
  3. Chairs
  4. Electricity
  5. Wi-fi
  6. Trash cans and bags
  7. Booth Signs
  8. Water Stations
  9. Restrooms
  10. Parking Spaces

From nerves to excitement: My journey of arriving and setting up at the market

"Organized Chaos"

Organized chaos was the theme of my tent setup at the market. While I thought I had a plan, it turned out to be nonexistent. I frantically set up my tent, followed by the table, and then displays.

My beautiful 5-foot-tall shelf was meant to showcase my candles, but it ended up in the back of the tent. With my cash register and Square card reader confirmed to be working, I finally set up the candles on the shelf.  Then the realization came, hours into the event, I had made a crucial mistake.

As customers walked by, I noticed they were having trouble seeing the display, and I realized my mistake. I needed to move the shelf to the front, which meant shifting 60 candles in glass jars. With better planning, this headache could have been avoided.

First Sale Excitement Turns to Regret: How Not Capturing Customer Information Cost Me A Wicked Price

Making my first sale at the market was an exhilarating experience. I was so caught up in the excitement that I forgot to ask the customer for their contact information. It was a costly mistake because I missed the opportunity to follow up with them and potentially make more sales in the future.

I realized that I needed a better system in place to capture customer information. Originally the plan with power and a TV would have been suitable, while not the best option for everyone, I had gone to my first market without any plan to capture their infomation! 

Capturing customer information is essential for any business, and my experience at the market has taught me the importance of having multiple ways to do so. In the future, I plan to have a variety of methods available, such as a sign-up sheet, a digital form, or even a QR code that customers can scan to provide their information.

I also plan to write blog posts about my experience with these different methods and which one is working best for me. This way, I can continue to improve my customer relations and keep in touch with potential customers, ultimately driving more sales and growth for my business.

Cash app not loading

Accepting Cash App Payments at Markets: My Second Customer Wants to Pay, But My Phone Will Not Load

Got a second customer!  How exciting!  She asks “Do you accept cash app?”  

Well of course!  Everyone is using cash app these days, let me just open up my cash app, wait for it to load…………………and it won’t open my qr code.  She is standing there waiting to walk away with her candles, and I am just hoping my phone will hurry up and load!

I made a crucial mistake here.  Missed sale opportunities is something every business wants to avoid, and if my phone wouldn’t have loaded this could have been my first one of the day.  I should have at the very least had a screen shot of all my QR codes for accepting payments.  I thought I was doing myself a great service by printing out advertisements of my logo with QR codes of my website and socials, but not payments?  Ugh what a mistake.

Make sure you have these readily available for your customers whether it be a picture on your phone, a print out, a sticker, business card, whatever!  Just have it ready!

Hunger Sets in, So We Get Food To Eat At The Tent

As I mentioned before, at this point I am starving.  The organized chaos morning has started to settle down, I’m making some sales, and feeling more comfortable with customer interaction.  As I began to become more comfortable, my body was able to inform me that I need some food for energy to make some more Wicked sales.

So my husband runs to a local donut shop to grab some Kolaches for us to eat.  When he arrives back with the Kolaches, we set them on the table and begin to eat.  As I’m stuffing my face with these delicious Kolaches, here comes a customer that is interested in my Soy Candles.  They want to know more about how I got started, how they are created, where I get materials, how long have I been doing this, etc, and my mouth is full of Kolaches.

I quickly swallow down the Kolache and begin to engage with the customer.  After talking for several minutes the customer tells me what candles they like the fragrance of and makes a purchase.  WOOHOO, another wicked sale!  As they began to walk off and I take a look down at my table, the realization settles in.  This looks super unprofessional!  There is food all over the table I am trying to sell my custom soy wax candles!  NOOOO!  Not wicked!

Presentation is everything at the Locals Vendor Market

Once the realization of the presentation of the food on the table was completely unprofessional, I began to think even more about my presentation, and started to look around at the other vendors around me.  So once again, I am frantically panicking and trying to figure out how to spruce up my presentation.

How to Make Your Presentation Stand Out: Key Tips for Success

  1. Create an engaging atmosphere from the moment your tent is walked by.
    1. Bring games that promote sales (Spin the wheel for a certain discount, or free product).
    2. Hand out samples of your product at the front of your tent
    3. Give something that customers will use throughout the day with your logo on it.  Example:  Fan, Cooling Towel, Water Bottle, Pens.  

  2. Set up your sales tent to be inviting.

    1. Set the check-out table towards the back of the tent so customers have to walk in and engage.
    2. Bring fans or heat for customers to utilize while they shop your products
    3. Have water or drinks available for your customers.
    4. Provide snacks to customers’ children (Gushers, fruit roll-ups, fruit snacks, goldfish, etc.)  Something the kids can’t deny when they walk by.

  3. Use visuals to enhance your message.

    1. Visual aids such as charts, graphs, images, and slideshows are engaging and customers are bound to stop and analyze the information.
    2. Add depth to your product displays (This is an art)
    3. Make your visuals clear, and concise, but informational to the customer.

  4. Take shifts of eating discreetly.

    1. Bringing food is necessary but don’t eat in front of the customers.

  5. Put your phone away!

    1. An absolute must, customers do not like to see the Vendors on their phones, as it promotes a snobby atmosphere.

  6. Before ever going to the market PRACTICE!

    1. Set up your tent at home and visualize how you’re setup will look to customers
    2. Organize the locations of your payment methods, product descriptions, cash register, etc.  Make the entire process of buying as seamless as possible.

  7. If it doesn’t need to be there HIDE IT!

Wicked Wicks Candle First Market Day Success

Despite acknowledging the mistakes made during our first event, it has also presented a wealth of opportunities for improvement. Our debut was a triumph! We exceeded sales expectations and drew an impressive turnout.

In the upcoming weeks, I will focus on enhancing our digital readiness, presentation, and interpersonal skills to ensure we’re fully prepared for the market. Stay tuned to witness the strategies we’re adopting to enhance Wicked Wicks Candle!

Thank you for reading, and we hope you have a Wicked Week!

Wicked Wicks Candle of the Month Program

We are excited to announce our new Soy Candle of the Month program! Starting next month, we will be featuring a new Soy Candle each month at a discounted price. Our Soy Candle of the Month will be a specially selected scent that we think you’ll love, and we’ll be offering it at a lower price than our regular candles.

We’re committed to bringing you high-quality Soy Candles at affordable prices, and we think our Soy Candle of the Month program is a great way to do that. It’s also a chance for you to try out new scents that you may not have considered before.

To take advantage of our Soy Candle of the Month program, simply visit our shopping page or stop by our store each month to see which scent is being featured. The discounted price will be automatically applied, so you don’t need to worry about entering a promo code or anything like that.

Thank you for choosing our candles to light up your home. We’re excited to share our Candle of the Month program with you and hope you’ll enjoy the Wicked Scents we have in store.

We plan to offer more products in the future once we have researched, and tested some of these products ourselves.  But for now we are only providing custom soy candles with cotton and wooden wicks.

Be on the lookout for future blog posts that go more in depth about our research and testing with some of the other candles on the market!!  Thank you for reading and have a Wicked Day.


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