What I learned from selling in the rain

On Saturday, I sold at my very first farmers' market in Playa Vista (a very affluent area right on the ocean in Los Angeles). All week, I was checking the weather and I knew it was going to rain pretty much the entire time. So far, I have been lucky with my outdoor markets and fairs, which meant this was a first for me. 

Luckily when we got there, it was just barely misting for our set up. Farmer Mark, the director of the market was very friendly and helpful, and our booth neighbor was super nice, too. I sadly don't remember her booth's name, but hopefully I'll see her again.

The market started at 9:00, and by 10:30 it was raining. Again, we lucked out that the wind didn't really start up until after the rain calmed down. We barely made a profit, but it was quite a learning experience.

Here's a few things we learned while trying to sell in the rain:

1. Even if it's just a little drizzle without any wind, move your items a good 6 inches in (at least) from the edges of your tent. Remember, there's a possibility of splashing, so don't put any of your items lower than a foot off the ground. Our booth neighbor gave us this suggestion, and it definitely helped!

2. Make sure to check your tent for leaks! Also, as the rain keeps coming down, it will pool on top of your tent, and then randomly fall off. When no one was in my booth, I tried to push the water off of my tent, so it wouldn't drench customers.

3. Yes, traffic will definitely be compromised by the rain, but you'd be surprised how many people brave the elements to shop! Since the forecast said rain would be heavy around 10, the first hour had way more customers, and we even sold a few dolls.

4. You will get soaked. It's just a fact. Since your first priority will be to keep your items dry, you'll probably be systematically checking everything. I'd rather get rained on than have my dinosaurs get soggy! Dress warmly!

5. I wish I had brought an extra jacket or sweatshirt. Not to wear during the market, but to change into after the market was over. We had about a 45 minute drive home, and we had to sit in the car in cold, wet clothing. Luckily we didn't get sick.

6. Be sure to shop at the other booths. They're struggling to make a sale as much as you are, and you guys are pretty much the only ones braving the elements. Since traffic is going to be slow, why not get some snacks (my husband got some seriously fantastic "kitchen sink" hummus) and help out your neighbors!

7. Try to stay positive. It's not the organizer's fault that the weather's less than ideal. A lot of times you won't be allowed to pack up and leave early, and even if it's allowed it doesn't look good. By the end of the market, it was definitely hard to stay cheerful while cold, wet, and not making much money. But if you're frustrated and annoyed, not only could you rub potential customers the wrong way but also the event organizers!

Overall, I'll be back in Playa Vista on April 28, so keep your fingers crossed for a sunny warm Saturday!