This is a days-late post about the Brent Bazaar held last November 22. It was so far the most successful one I’ve experienced. All those hardwork and puyat paid off. Thank God.
Last October, I was scheduled to come up here in Baguio and would be staying for at least a month. And I was hoping there would be a bazaar around to maximize my stay. Luckily, Cathy, a HS batchmate informed me that Brent would be holding one and it coincided with my schedule. The moment I got the information from the school admin, I applied and settled payment immediately while I was in still in Quezon City. I had a month to prepare and I knew I had enough time. I wanted to avoid what I did with my previous bazaar experiences, preparing just days before the event. I think it left my booth looking half-baked. I didn’t want that to happen this time.
This Brent Bazaar was a challenge because one, I only had to choose items I could bring up here in Baguio since I was commuting alone. I had to fit them in my luggage and can’t carry everything. Two, I had to think of ways to minimize expenses because this bazaar was last minute and wasn’t part of my budget. Third, I only had limited booth space. And lastly, I had to do the preparation all alone (well what’s new with that, I’ve always been doing the preps alone).
Days before coming up here, I rushed and made several jewelry pieces that I can sell at the bazaar. Nothing fancy since I know majority of the buyers here would be opting for the simple and affordable ones.
It was when I was here in Baguio that I just started listing down what I needed for the bazaar. Then I started to move my ass 14 days before the event instead of the projected one month before (so much for that). I have this bad habit of rushing things and starting to work at the last minute (I know a lot of you are guilty of this) and this time I had to force myself not to do that.
It was also during that 14 days before-period when I realized I had no choice but to do DIY calling cards. I didn’t want the ordinary types where you just print out from your printer and cut them into rectangular shape.I felt that people would just ignore them. I had to make it little interesting, enough to make people get one but not time consuming to make. So I decided to make a round bookmark type of calling card. I had to order punchers from two online shops though. It was a quite tough decision because I didn’t want to spend, plus I was bit worried of shipment delays. What if the packages reach me three-five days before the bazaar? But I realized , I had to take the risk. After all, I could use them in the future. I’ve been in the same predicament before where I needed them.
Aside from the calling cards, I also did the hang tags and earrings cards. I wanted to make paper bags and necklace holders but I knew time won’t allow me.
Because I didn’t pay for electricity at the bazaar, we bought LED candles c/o my mom (yey!). She said she’ll be using it to decorate the house for Christmas after. I wanted lights in my booth to add life. This was the thing I never did in my previous bazaars. Also I made few pompoms for decoration. I wanted to add Christmas balls also but wasn’t able to add them during the bazaar proper.
As mentioned, one concern I had was the space. Since Brent only indicated that we’re provided with 3ft x 7ft table and even when I asked for the floor dimension, they weren’t able to address that concern. It was a good thing they allowed sellers to set-up the day before the bazaar. That way i was able to set-up my racks and knew how much space I had. Although I was bit disappointed that nobody seemed to have monitored the set-up because the seller behind me ate up my space. So I just extended mine in the pathway (little rebel me). They should reprimand them, not me.
I still ended up having only a 3-hour sleep the night before the bazaar. I was hoping I would be able to avoid that but I had no choice. I’m concerned that my presence of mind would doze off or I might make wrong computations. One has to be alert and full of energy when in a bazaar. You have to deal with your buyers and I didn’t want to face them looking all groggy and sad. But…best effort na lang. I wasn’t able to finish everything in my list and barely accomplished my booth concept.I just had to make do with what’s available. As long as the basics are there and my booth is presentable enough, I’m okay with that. Like what my fiance reminded me, it’s just a bazaar in Baguio, it’s not as if it’s a pop up shop or the opening of a physical store.
I prayed na lang, Lord Kayo na po bahala.
IT’S BAZAAR TIME!
Gates opened and I was still adding the finishing touches. I was worried because I think an hour passed already and nobody was still buying. I noticed that most of the shoppers were seniors and my stuff were for the younger market. Uh-oh…. But, don’t be too assuming and impatient Joy.
My buenamano was an elderly woman. She bought two corset tops and she said it’s a gift. A little chit chat convinced her to get them. Kitam?
Then the rest went smoothly. As hours went by, the crowd had more younger peeps. By noontime, I was surprised with my sales. I was generous with the tawads but I didn’t expect I’ll be reaching those figures. Those numbers were usually one day worth in my past bazaars. Actually during and days before this bazaar, I kept imagining reaching the amount of P**,000. Was practicing Law of Attraction haha. So when the numbers by noon were half of that amount, I was starting to be optimistic that I’ll be able to reach it.
I was amused with how people and kids stopped to check the LED candles displayed. Some even asked for the price as they thought it was for sale haha. It was a good idea to use them because it also made some people look at the accessories and clothes. Another thing that made shoppers stop was the the wire wrap rings and midi rings I made. I was surprised they were a hit among the kids too. I thought people would ignore it.I guess the photos helped in calling their attention. The calling cards were also a head turner. One shopper even asked me how I did it and asked permission if she can steal the idea and use it. Kids even got few for themselves and I don’t know what are they going to do with it. As if they mind what’s written hehe.
It was during that bazaar that I first experienced multi-tasking with the customers. One time I was computing and then making chit chat with a buyer (it would be rude to ignore them when they talk to you right?). I was having a hard time concentrating especially when the items purchased are of large quantities. It was fortunate that I was able to remember the prices of each item, I didn’t need to look at my kodigo. It was crazy!
Crazier when you’re computing, talking to a buyer and then another buyer asks you about the price or something about the product. I didn’t want to ignore them since as a buyer, I get pissed when the SAs don’t pay attention. There were instances also when you’re attending to a buyer and several buyers decide to pay at the same time. C’mon! I almost got the payments mixed up. Yikes! Good thing that the buyers were friendly and i haven’t encountered any rude ones. I’m grateful that my mom was there because she was the one packing the purchases and she was making chika with the older crowd haha. I cannot leave her at times though when I wanted to have a quick bite, because she’s not familiar with my prices even if it’s indicated already. She might not be able to keep up also when buyers purchase or inquire all at the same time.
I was sleepy and hungry the whole afternoon until the Bazaar ended. Huhu.
By around 7PM I was nearing my goal for my sales. I only needed to sell less than P500 to reach the figures. Just when I was resigning from my goal, there were two to three last-minute-buyers and by 8PM, when gates closed, I achieved my goal! Whew! In fact, I exceeded the figures. Yey!
It was such a great experience. I don’t know why or how I managed to break my record in this one day bazaar, when in my previous ones, the people traffic was heavier and venues were pretty much accessible. Maybe it was my booth location? Or the crowd this time were serious buyers? Nevertheless, I am very grateful. Those sleepless nights were worth it.
After the bazaar I treated myself to… a 12 hour sleep. Haha. Hindi naman ako pagod.