Yikes! Our Harvestcare brand has just been invited to participate in the next Handmade Markets in Canberra at the end of June. For people not familiar with this quarterly event, it’s one of the largest locally-made live markets in the southern hemisphere. I’ve wanted to trial our brand there since we began, but Covid has prevented these live markets until now.
While I just accepted the invitation, I admit I hesitated at first because of a number of challenges.
- Insurance – Finding insurance for a soap and beauty brand was harder than I anticipated. None of the available market stall insurance policies would cover us. Luckily the Handmade Stallholder group on Facebook was able to point me towards the few insurance companies that would.
- Inventory – I have to make a lot of inventory in the next 30 days, but I have no idea how much. Will the pandemic and the lack of markets bring more or less people? How much can I possibly sell in 3 days?
- Schedule – I’m scheduled to be out of town for both work (consulting business) and pleasure for a good part of June. So, making this volume of products is going to be a schedule challenge.
- Cashflow – Ingredient costs have already cost me thousands of dollars in the last few days while I have some stockists that are late on paying their invoices. This has forced me to personally lend even more money to the company to pay for this new stock.
- Injury – Ugh! I’ve managed to hurt the L4 in my back over the weekend. This has already put my product making behind schedule.
- Pandemic – In Australia, we sometimes forget that we are still in a worldwide pandemic until there’s another outbreak. Melbourne just reported 4 new community transmissions last night. How will this impact me if 1) the markets are again cancelled; and/or 2) I get stuck in isolation as I’m supposed to be in Melbourne for work quite a bit in June?
Despite all the uncertainty and challenges, my gut is telling me to go hard anyway and prepare to sell as much product at the Handmade Markets as I can possibly make anyway. So, here goes nothing!