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How a craft market could help your social media presence

Every months, All Saints Hall in Hastings Old Town plays host to The Pop Up Emporium, a monthly makers market set up in 2018 by Rachel Mammone of Rachel Mammone Paints to give creative movers and shakers from the local area a space to showcase their unique artisanal talents. Guest blogger Lexie Mayhew heads down to investigate:

Hastings and St Leonards are hot beds of creative talent. Actually, East Sussex as a whole seems to be jam packed with gifted craftspeople and folk with a flair for beauty and detail. I run the popular Facebook Group, St Leonards by the Sea, and am self-proclaimed Cheer-Captain of local small businesses and ventures- in that capacity I follow as many independent shops, makers and creators as I can find and then proceed to tell everyone about them. Cheer-Captain guys, it’s what I do.

One of those wonderful creative types is Rachel Mammone, a super talented artist who is the brains behind the Pop Up Emporium. She also has the most gorgeous business card I’ve ever seen. The whole ethos of her market is to support local talent and promote shopping from independent businesses- which is the definition of community spirit in my book. I asked Rachel a few questions about how she got started and why she set up the markets in the first place.

Hi Rachel, so, what do The Pop Up Emporium markets mean to you?

The markets mean so much to me. As an artist, I paint by myself in my studio and really wanted to create theses monthly markets for somewhere to sell my work alongside others, but also create a community.

I could feel the community spirit as soon as I stepped through the door, do you have an online community too?

We have a Facebook group for anyone who sells with the Pop Ups or is interested in selling with us and that has created a brilliant community between like minded creatives. We also have an Instagram page. I really believe in life that community is key and that’s what makes these markets stand out compared to others! I love organising them, meeting new makers and people from Hastings and St Leonards and am really looking forward to 2020 and how this can grow!

Can anyone have a stall, or is there a process to join?

I do limit the number of stalls which are similar- so there aren’t too many competing jewellery stalls, candle stalls etc. It's important to note that the Pop Ups are primarily for makers and creatives- the focus being on supporting handmade and local.

10 ideas for growing your social media presence during a makers market:

Your goals for your social media page during a makers market should be focused around achieving visibility with a new audience, creating new connections on your page, and generating new, exciting content for your social media profiles.

  1. Make sure you're using the market hashtags in all your posts so new followers who are interested in the event can find your profile.

  2. Take advantage of the build-up period! Share sneak peeks, videos, and pictures as your stall begins to take shape. People love this kind of content as they feel like they are sharing in the experience with you, even if they are not attending the event.

  3. Try sharing a post to thank the event organisers - they will likely have a big following themselves and may re-share your content to their own audience if it's bigging them up.

  4. Following the other makers that you meet at the event will help you to build more connections on your social media profile. Engage and comment on their content during the market and they're likely to respond in kind on your own page.

  5. Make sure your social media handles are clearly displayed on your stall for people to follow you.

  6. Consider teaming up with your fellow stall holders to run one big, impressive social media giveaway. By joining forces with your pals, you can cross-promote to each other's audiences.

  7. Take the opportunity to photograph and film your products in a new setting - no doubt you'll have arranged your stall to look attractive and appealing so it;s a good backdrop to showcase your products grouped together.

  8. Look out for opportunities to host live videos from the market - for example, an interview with the organiser, a tour of your stall, a walk around the other stalls pr a shout out to your customers. Share any performances or special moments in real-time. Live videos and tweeting can help to engage your attendees and make them feel like an important part of the event. Other exhibitors may want to share your content to their own pages, especially if they feature in the video.

  9. Speak to other vendors about what they are doing on social media during the event - swap ideas, share what works and support each other. Who knows what kind of great tips you might pick up!

  10. Ask your audience questions! The people visiting the market are likely to be your target audience - they have money to spend and are interested in supporting smaller, independent businesses. Use this time as an opportunity to see what questions they might have, get a feel for what they like, and see which of your products are most popular. Ask them questions as to why they are purchasing your products, or what improvements they might like to see. This information is the equivalent of pure gold in terms of social media value - use what you discover to make your future social media content more compelling to your target audience.

Creative brands we love from The Pop Up Emporium:

Trust me when I say you’ll find so many beautiful, handcrafted items and expertly curated stalls at any of Rachel’s markets- you’ll always find a broad range of businesses offering a vast selection of things. Here are but a few of the wonderful small businesses that regularly appear at The Pop Up Emporium.

Karina makes beautiful jewellery out of… you guessed it… COPPER! Her love of wirework began when she bought some earrings that irritated her sensitive ears and so she decided to have a go at making her own… YouTube, Pinterest tutorials and a college course later Copper Sea was born. You can find Copper Sea on Instagram here.

Nicola is the lady behind Sea Whistle, making stunning vintage inspired children’s clothes using the most gorgeous Liberty fabrics and super soft linens. I want everything in her collection in my size… think pinafore dresses and smock tops. I’m sold. You can find Sea Whistle on Instagram here.

The tagline for Jules’ beautiful creations is ‘Nature coated in pure silver’ and that’s exactly what this super talented lady does… she coats real, organic items such as shells, acorns, leaves and… erm… fish (ask her about the time she coated some fish in silver… it’s fascinating) in pure silver and voila, a unique keepsake to treasure forever. You can find The Silvery on Instagram here.

Charlie specialises in illustrating ceramics, greetings cards, hand-painting slices of wood and much more. Her Etsy page is filled with beautiful decorations which make perfect gifts… her little wooden tree decs are the cutest. You can find Cherry Pie Lane on Instagram here.

This little shop is all about sustainability, which I love. Katie is a beautiful soul (she has the most peaches and cream skin I’ve ever seen too) and her little shop is packed full of vegan, cruelty and plastic free brands. Katie runs the Norman Goes Green markets from the forecourt of Tommy’s Pizzeria on the last Sunday of each month- our Emily wrote about the very first one a while ago which you can find here. You can find One Small Shop in Instagram here.

Here are some of the lovely people I met last Friday.

Sally, who is new to the craft market game, sells ethically sourced crystals, crystal infused bath salts, palo santo incense sticks and crystal pendants- we had an interesting conversation about migraine and the healing power of crystals… ten minutes later I left with a piece of Amethyst and another of Tibetan Quartz in my pocket as well as a ‘prescription’ for some peppermint essential oil to put on my temples.

Now this stall was really something different. Charlotte makes totally unique jewellery and kitchenware from recycled skateboards. Yes, SKATEBOARDS. Really, she is incredible. Her dad, Martin, was also there putting his years of set design and creativity to good use by re-purposing old Christmas decorations into beautiful wreaths.

I loved this stall- Amy was whittling as we chatted and I could see the workmanship that goes into each of her pieces. She makes star garlands, traditional combs, wooden bowls and spoons and lovely little birds…one of which is now on my mantelpiece. You can find The Wood Mungler on Instagram here.


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