I love markets because they provide you with face to face feedback. It amazes me how open people can be at markets, if they like something they will tell you, but if they think something could be better, then they will also tell you. And what a great way to learn how to make a better product.
"Have you thought about making the handle longer, or could you make this trowel narrower for planting bulbs?" There are plenty of passionate gardeners out there - novices too. At a recent market, a customer asked if we could make a hose holder using one of our decorative plant stakes. So that week we made three different designs. At the next market we sold them all in the first hour. With summer coming I think our new Hose Holders will do well - so thankyou to that customer for a great idea!
Markets are also about community. The staff are volunteers, the stall holders are an eclectic mix of artists, budding entrepreneurs and dreamers, while the customers come from all walks of life. If someone walks onto our stand, then they are usually a gardener, but not always. "What is that?" is often a response to our round hoes, or "I thought that was a gumboot holder" in reference to our bullrush sculptures. After three similar comments, I thought it was time to make a gumboot holder. Sure enough, it sold at the next market.