My 2nd stall for Handmade soaps by sanjana

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Hi guys πŸ˜€

I got an opportunity to put up a stall at an event by Atta Galatta at the Courtyard House in Bangalore, India. It was a fundraising event and there were a variety of stalls. Some were selling paintings, crochet work, soaps, jewellery, arts and crafts, buntings and of course, FOOD. There were also many workshops being held for both parents and their children. This experience was very different compared to my experience with my first stall. So here I’m going to talk about how it was different from my first stall and what I liked/disliked. Keep on reading πŸ™‚Β 

First of all, the venue was very beautiful and unique. The event was held at The Courtyard House in Bangalore. Though it was a relatively small place it had a very homely feeling to it. This could be because there were actual bedrooms and a kitchen in the vicinity. Once you enter the building you first see the courtyard. There were so many varieties of plants and trees all around the place. In fact, there were so many plants in the courtyard where we put up stalls. It was truly a beautiful place πŸ™‚

I feel that the only problem with the venue was that the place was quite far from the city. It was very different from the venue where I put up my first stall. This is the place –

Looks very green, doesn’t it? πŸ˜€ Β My sister and I did take a picture in one of the rooms which I believe was the master bedroom? I’m not really sure but here is the picture!

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So when I first arrived at the venue I was told that nothing was set up. It was 8 in the morning and it was definitely freezing. Luckily I wasn’t the only one present at the venue that early. There were a few organisers present and 2 other ladies who were putting up stalls that day. We were told that the tables, the stage and all the other stuff they required for the event were delayed by 2 hours. Now the only thing we could do is wait for the tables to arrive so we could set up my stall. While my mother took care of my soaps, my sister and I had some fun looking around the place and swinging on that swing you see in the picture above πŸ˜€ Β More people started coming in and claiming their place to put up their stall. I was a little flustered and didn’t know what to do except to wait some more.

Sometime around 10-10:30 the truck with the tables and other stuff arrived and things started to get busy. It suddenly became really hot by this time and some of us were getting quite grumpy because nothing was organised properly and we were all just waiting. I had to wait for a long time to get a table for my stall. Once I was allotted my place and given a table I started unpacking and setting up my table. I soon realised my soaps were going to start melting because they were directly under the sunlight. I requested for some sort of shade and the organisers were very sweet and worked for about 40 minutes just to help us. Once this was done I felt very relaxed and I was ready to sell my soaps πŸ˜€

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But of course, life is full of surprises. The stall on my right side was being shared by 2 people – one person was selling crochet work and the other person was selling SOAPS. Yes, she was also selling soaps. I don’t know what kind of bad luck I had that day but that’s when things started to get worse for me. Let me tell you WHY this was going to affect me. My stall was surrounded by two stalls – one on either side. There was a pond with a tree in the middle, RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. This was going to block customers from coming to my stall. Customers who were coming in from the right side would see the other lady who was selling soaps first and buy soaps from her. Customers coming in from the left side were getting stuck there because that stall was selling jewellery and all the women were crowded around that stall. This was preventing customers from entering through that side. I was literally stuck in the middle. I felt really bad because nobody was coming to my stall and it wasn’t because they weren’t interested. It was because they didn’t have a path to reach my stall. Both ways were blocked. If you think this was the worst that could happen that day, then you are mistaken xD

There were not 2 soap makers present at the venue. No no noooooo. There were 4 of us and all four of us were suffering. It was really unfair for us because 3 out of 4 of us paid the full amount for the stall. Only one lady was sharing a stall so she didn’t undergo much of a loss. The 3 of us on the other hand, we were not doing well because so many people were selling the same product. I believe this would not have happened if only the organisers had stopped so many soap makers from entering the event. It should have only been 1 or 2 of us. I was so upset you guys. I was willing to pack up and leave once I made the amount I paid for the stall. It was so heartbreaking because at my first stall I sold almost all my soaps which gave me confidence and made me proud of myself. I felt like I had accomplished something big. But at my 2nd stall, I learnt so much. First of all – you make sure you fight for a good spot to put up your stall especially after you have paid for it. I feel you need to be selfish and think more about your own stall before you try to help someone else. Next time I will make sure I don’t enter an event if there are more than two soap makers. I realised that the organisers would not have stopped anyone from entering the event because it was a fundraiser and they would have wanted to collect the money to help out others. I understand and I have nothing to say about that. But I will still never again pay for a stall well in advance and I will make sure I ask if there are more soap makers setting up stall at the event. This would help me as well as them. I won’t lose out on customers and more importantly, I won’t lose my self-confidence. That is more important to me.

By 3pm more people started coming to the event and that’s when things got better for me. People finally started coming to my stall and buying my handmade soaps. I was slowly gaining my self-confidence again. The organisers were kind enough to come to my stall and talk to me. They also bought a number of my soaps and I was very happy πŸ™‚

I can’t say anything bad about the organisers because they really did try to help me. They announced that I was selling handmade soaps and they tried to bring in customers to stall. Which did help me. I am still very grateful that they come up to me and talked to me whenever they could. You have to understand that these people were busy managing the event. By the end of the day, I had sold quite a lot of my soaps and many people had taken down my number so they could contact me later if they wanted more soaps or for a custom order πŸ™‚

All in all it was a very different experience from the first time. I wouldn’t say I liked it more than the first time I put up a stall at EGL but it was fun and a learning experience for me πŸ™‚

I learnt that there will always be good days and bad days. You just need to know how to get over the bad days πŸ™‚

So that was my experience with my 2nd stall, you guys πŸ™‚

Tell me about your experience in the comment section down below!

Until next time πŸ˜€

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