The Lewisia pictured above is available in a series called Sunset. I get mine from Skagit Gardens, choose the grower/broker tab, they come in a 72 cell flat.Talk to your favorite broker.
Back to the market.One thing that I find myself doing is trying to make my stall bright and appealing. I want it to stick out. I like to put my taller patio containers that are blooming on the ground out at the end of my tables. People can see the pot at ground level. That’s where it’s going to be when they get it home. I put the most colorful ones where the customer almost trips over it. If you bunch a few of them together folks will admire the grouping. If you have one here and one there I think that’s distracting and it looks like you have fewer pots. I hang my baskets from the canopy on the two sides and the back,right behind your head. If I have trailing Begonia baskets I will put them on the front corners of my tables. They are best seen from above but can still be seen spilling over the edge of the table. If I have something that smells (good) I will put it close to the front of the table and close enough to me so that I can rub it once in a while. This causes the customer to want to rub it and get the scent. If you can get them rubbing and smelling your plants it’s almost a guaranty of a sale.
When you have some oddball stuff show it off.Almost everyone likes to think they are different/eclectic and like to try the unusual new cool and unusual stuff. If I have 5 really unique plants I will put them in the middle of my main table,you will have to decide which is going to be your main table, I will put one of each up close to the front of the table closest to the customer, with the rest in the background. If you can get the customer interested in any one of them then they are going to be willing to hear your pitch on the other ones sitting next to the one they asked about. This is your chance to shine. Tell them all the good stuff about each plant, tell them how it looks in a planter or where it would look good in their garden. Give them as much information as they can take. Once you start to see their eyes glaze over from information overload stop. Don’t say anything else about that particular plant.The next move is up to them. If they picked up your vibe/aura on the plant they will buy one. I almost always am able to make them feel the same passion for that plant that I do. When they have a shared passion it’s really easy for them to buy it. I always do this in an honest way. Nothing will lose you a true customer faster than you’re not mentioning that the plant will burn up if put in the sun.
Honesty is a huge part of your reputation at market. If other vendors think you are dishonest it will get back to your customers. If the other vendors see that you have a true passion for what you do and what you are selling, that will get back to the customers too. So tell the customer the bad as well as the good about a plant. If there is a downside to say a basket, let them know. If you don’t you can be sure that as soon as they get that basket home something will start going wrong with it. If they know it doesn’t like to stay soaking wet let them know.
I am a fair weather farmer/marketer. I really don’t like setting up in the rain. If it’s sprinkling I will go. If it’s raining and looks like it’s not going to quit I will stay home.That’s part of my reputation for better or worse. But when I am there at market I am all about making the best of the day. I come with enough product to sell and I only bring what I see as my best stuff. If it’s in short supply like say Bacopa and mine is a little lanky I will take some and offer them at a slightly reduced price and show or tell the customer how to cut it back and make it bushier. At the end of the day you want to be honest to a fault when it comes to reporting your income to the market manager. That market pays it’s rent advertising and sometimes insurance to cover the whole market out of what you declare and what you pay them. No one is going to be watching over your shoulder but can you live with yourself knowing you are ripping off the people that make this market available so you can make money and enjoy your passion. If you can please stay away from my markets.
Still looking for questions to answer. I don’t know how long I will be able to keep up this one sided conversation. Happy planting.