1 Dec 13
As some of you might know, I’ll be selling my goods at the Christmas Pop Up Store this year. After freaking out about my decision, I freaked out further because I had to start planning but had no idea what to prepare or take note of. I knew I could use some advice so I stepped out of my comfort zone and asked for some. I tapped on Sarah & Siew – shopkeepers of Small and Able for tips. I’ve always appreciated their openness on their blog and what they stand for. Thus I’m so happy they obliged and came up with a comprehensive list of what to do.
I’m sharing it here with the hope that this list will be helpful to many more people. Other than me.
First, think about your shop front.
• Something eye-catching in the display to have people want to come over in the first place
• A signboard of sorts – so that people can remember your name/shop
• People like a busy display, we think
• Try to have variations in the height of the display – a flat display requires people to come close and look down
• Think about how you would like to display your prices. Try to commit your price list to memory so you won’t be caught off guard!
• Namecards! Let people know where/how to find you.
Next, some things to consider and prepare for the upcoming event.
• Decide how to pack purchases. Paper bags? Plastic bags? Envelopes? Do you have irregular-sized items that may require special packing? Remember bubble wrap for fragile items!
• How to store your goods? We don’t really like suitcases because we have so many little things. Hence, we settled for plastic boxes from IKEA and lots of bubble wrap. After setting up our display, we try to consolidate the rest of our stocks in one/two boxes for easy access.
• How are you getting there? We carried our boxes to and fro the car for a few markets before we decided that we needed to preserve our ageing backs. We got ourselves a trolley, which helped heaps. Stairs are always/still a challenge though.
• Collect S$1 coins and a good assortment of other coins. Collect as many S$10 and S$2 notes as possible too.
• Do not underestimate the energy required to man a stall for hours – best to get help. You will be standing for hours. Busy is good!
• Stock up on water and snacks beforehand
• A market is one of the best places to interact with your customers, (regular or otherwise) and to gain exposure. Consider having a mailing list for potential customers to sign up for so you can provide them with updates and news.
It’s D-Day, time to execute.
• Give yourself enough time to set up your display – we do mock-ups and still take a fair bit of time to set up
• Have your ‘sales pitch’ ready – people will ask you about you, your stuff, and pretty much anything
• Be prepared for people asking for discounts
• Leave some space on your table as your “office” – a place for your cash box, scissors, tape etc
• Bring a notebook to note purchases. A calculator will come in handy for doing calculations.
• Bring blu-tack, tape, twine and scissors, just in case
• Lastly, you’ve to be prepared to stand. And stand. And smile.
Here are the deets to the Christmas Pop Up Store:
14 Dec 2013, 1-9PM
at The 3rd Space
18 Cross Street (China Square)
Thank you, Small and Able for shedding light on gearing up for a flea market! Readers, do come by to shop for Christmas gifts (or for yourself). Small and Able will be participating too, together with a whole bunch of favourites like the little dröm store, Green Banana (for terrariums) and nong jia nu (gift wrapping class!). Check the Facebook page for updates and more sneak peeks of vendors.
I haven’t written a post this lengthy in a long time. Imma need to lie down after this. Actually no. It’s already December, there’s no time for that. Carpe Diem-cember?
21 Nov 13
Today I wished I was here, in Gülhane Park, taking a walk through it all. When you’re a tourist, sometimes you tend to glance past wide open spaces and rush toward the ‘must-sees’. Guilty!
Tip: Do visit the Istanbul Archaeology Museums which is next to this park and the famous Topkapi Palace. There are some pretty cool things to see, like sarcophaguses and ‘Istanbul through the Ages’. And also an entire museum dedicated to tiles and ceramics! (This was where Ben couldn’t wait to get out) :>
14 Nov 13
I overworked my hands today – making poms – so I’m taking the rest of the night off. Freed up some time to do a post so how about that A quick word that the shop is updated with new stuff. AND I’m very excited that I’ll be having a stall at this year’s Christmas Pop Up Store! More news when the date draws nearer.
On to the photos, these were all taken while en route to somewhere.
Walked past these colourful facades while heading to the Grand Bazaar
Here’s a peaceful demonstration right outside Shake Shack. Also where we were going to eat.
The magnificent view on our walks back to our Airbnb apartment
This Karaköy tram stop is the closest one to us so we start out from here on most days
We took the tram to Tophane to check out Istanbul Modern. Ended up getting distracted by the Biennale Festival next to it instead. I liked these two pieces! After this, we reached the limit to how much modern art we could take and moved on.
A nice place for breakfast/brunch in the area is Van Kahvalti Evi. It is in the Cihangir neighbourhood, walkable from the Tophane tram stop. There is a massive hill to hike up to get to this place though, like crazy steep. Taking a cab here would be wise.
We stopped for coffee at this cute neighbourhood in Tophane. Also kitten-watched the whole time.
Enjoyed the sea breeze and the sights of men fishing at the Karaköy pier before dinner
The best place to buy baklava is a stone’s throw from the pier. It’s called Karaköy Güllüoğlu and you can’t miss it because there’s always a crowd.
6 Nov 13
I rarely get to commute by ferry, simply because it doesn’t exist where I live. I find it such a romantic way to travel home after work or a day out. Lucky people who get to do this daily!
In these photos, we took the ferry from Karaköy to Kadıköy (the Asian side of Istanbul).
The New Mosque is on the left and on the right, is the Galata Bridge
The Galata Tower standing tall
The Topkapi Palace surrounded by lush greenery and next to it is Aya Sofya
Aya Sofya on the right and the Blue Mosque on the left
Ferries or sea buses as some websites call it, are cheap and depart every 20 to 30 minutes. We mainly took the ones by the company, Sehir Hatlari, as they were at every pier. Also, make sure to get an Istanbulkart.
2 Nov 13
How about we start off with the touristy places? All of which also happen to be religious places of worship (except Aya Sofya which is now a museum). The first two are synonymous with Istanbul. And also crawling with tourists. If you dislike crowds too, a tip is to arrive at opening time – usually 9am in these parts. Ben & I concurred that it is less painful to wake up early than get caught behind throngs of tour groups.
First up is Aya Sofya – a Greek orthodox basilica turned mosque turned museum
Below is the Blue Mosque, opposite Aya Sofya, kind of. Two massive structures with a park in the middle of them.
Food tip: After visiting the two mosques, you’d have worked up an appetite so head to Tahiri Sultanahmet Köftecisi Selim Usta for meatballs. Order a side of pilaf to go with it, please. They open at 11am, don’t be shy to be first in line, we were. You won’t be sorry.
Next is the New Mosque, it is next to the Spice Market in Eminönü so you can’t really miss it. Can’t really miss the PIGEONS!
The last is the Church of St. Anthony of Padua. It’s along Istiklal Caddesi which is like THE main road in Beyoğlu.
I swear we didn’t just go into mosques and churches in Istanbul! Heh. By the way, can you believe it’s already November?!