Mixed fortunes for the market stall adventure

treehouselogo-copy6.pngI am writing this at 3am because pain is keeping me awake – intense pain in my arthritic knees, dull pain and muscle spasms in my lower back, general ache in my arm muscles…as a result of setting up and dismantling my market stall yesterday, and standing up for much of the day.  I am tempted to go and get a medicinal whisky, but that would involve stairs, and I am not capable of stairs at the moment.  In fact I may be confined to the first floor of my house for some time to come – please send supplies.  Including toilet paper.

This is possibly a deal-breaker for my attempt to set up The Tree House on Kenilworth market on a regular basis.  The practicalities of moving and storing the books make it unfeasible.

This is sad, because it was otherwise a lovely day. I was very disappointed that the banner I ordered, and paid a premium delivery rate for, failed to be delivered by Parcelforce – won’t go into details, will just say that I am unimpressed.

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I had lovely friends who came to help and/or offer moral support, I had a good stream of customers (took just shy of £50, despite selling most books for 50p or £1, hardbacks £2, and a 3 for 2 offer; this left £20 profit once I’d paid the fee for the stall).  The sun shone most of the day, the other market traders were friendly, and I had some excellent conversations with a number of people about The Tree House.  It was also fab to put some faces to names of people who follow this blog and the Facebook page.

I was also interviewed by Radio Warwickshire – you can hear my interview here:

[If you are unable to open that – it requires Flash – you could try this link instead.]

Two lovely friends came to help with setting up the display, and Tamsin brought beautiful logs from a cherry tree that was once in her garden as book stands – entirely appropriate for The Tree House.

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I enjoyed the day, but the setting up and dismantling were horrendous, even with the aid of my new trolley.  I also have nowhere to store the books other than my flat, which is at the top of a decent flight of stairs, prohibitive to someone with cranky knees, and even though my fabulous neighbour Leon carried all the books back upstairs at the end of the day, it nearly killed her too, and I am not expecting her or anyone to do that again.

So what future for the market stall?  I am not sure.  I was intending to run it fortnightly for the next few weeks, owing to a work commitment elsewhere, so I have two weeks to think up a solution.  I have ordered a banner, so it needs a home!

Of course the best solution of all would be to find shop premises…and maybe a low-interest loan to help with that.  I need to keep working on both.

In the meantime, I will try to ignore the pain and focus on what was a happy day for The Tree House in some significant ways.

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6 thoughts on “Mixed fortunes for the market stall adventure

  1. Kate Mier April 26, 2013 / 6:10 am

    Congratulations on pulling it all off yesterday – was a great achievement, and a great thing for the community, and a solid actual start to trading and the treehouse bookshop became a reality. I think your creativity and your amazing friends will find a solution. Hope you can rest aching body today.

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    • Vic April 26, 2013 / 9:12 am

      Thank you Kate! Yes, day at home today, a bit of gentle art history admin and not much else. The banner has arrived…have to find a way to do the market again as it looks great and will tell people who we actually are!

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  2. Sarah Haycock April 26, 2013 / 9:09 am

    Well done, the stall looked terrific and to make a profit is fantastic! I really wish I could help out with moving books, I would really love to get involved. I have a rather active 2 year old at home with me until September (and I’m guessing you’ll be sorted by then!). Will have a rummage through the bookcase and see what I can donate instead. Missed you at the market this week, but will definitely come along next time. I’m sure you’ve already looked into this but I noticed that the old RSPCA charity shop on Warwick Road has recently become vacant. I’m not sure if someone else is moving into it.

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    • Vic April 26, 2013 / 9:14 am

      Thank you Sarah! I am interested in the RSPCA site, it’s small but would be fine for the bookshop. Not ideal, as I would love more space for a writing room, etc, but I can use other venues for most of the other things I hope to do. I do want somewhere that will be a hub, though, but happy just to start somewhere! Thanks again for the reply, really do hope to make it in a couple of weeks, will get to work on finding a solution to the storage issue.

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  3. county_lady April 30, 2013 / 10:40 am

    I hope you are recovering quickly from those aches and pains but hooray for the success of your first trading day. I’m also hoping that one market day I can divert my chauffeur (husband!) to Kenilworth.

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    • Vic April 30, 2013 / 8:49 pm

      Thanks county lady! Knees are always painful, but am much better – it’s an incentive to get fitter! It would be wonderful to see you at the market stall one day.

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