Back in the summer, in the season of craft fairs, I received an e mail about the Carmarthen Christmas Market during the month of December.

Should I? Shouldn’t I? Would it be an appropriate venue for my art? Would I cover the costs? Could I afford it? Would it be a productive and positive use of 10 days? Well there was only one way to find out wasn’t there? Try it.

So, for the period of 8th until the 16th December, I took up residence in a little wooden hut with my dear friend Jill Davies of Dzines by Jill (, and prepared to welcome the spirit of Christmas in to our temporary abode.

Well what an experience: we met so many interesting people; laughed; shivered; sang; drank chai lattes; shivered; ate bacon butties; and shivered some more, and we sold stuff too! And boy, did I learn a LOT!

The learning curve.

  • Thermals are a prerequisite of the market hut-holder: preferably three layers of merino wool under all other clothing;
  • Walking boots and two pairs of socks prevent frostbite;
  • A carpet was a stroke of genius on the part of my compadre Jill: it cut down the drafts and cold air coming up through the floor;
  • Sharing a hut with a buddy not only cuts costs but provides: company; someone to laugh with; to cuddle up to to keep warm; to sing with; a partner to develop sales banter with; someone to man the hut while you go for a pee, fetch a coffee or food!
  • Being next door to a coffee shop is a real life-saver;
  • Have a heater: make sure it has a huge sticker on it so when the electricity blows, people don’t think you are using too many Watts!
  • Have a sign explaining that all your lamps are lit with low energy bulbs, so when the electricity blows, people don’t think you’re using too many Watts!
  • Sharing a hut with someone whose product is totally different to yours creates greater interest in the customers and is less likely to overwhelm with choices;

  • Customers can be fearful of coming in to the huts- friendly welcoming banter is a must; being able to say that your hut is marginally warmer than outside is useful!
  • People can be so kind: bringing hot cups of coffee and mince pies to keep you going;
  • Playing music makes the hut welcoming;
  • Christmas trees adorned with your beautiful Powertex baubles can actually take flight on windy days, despite being tied down! Solution? Pin the baubles to the door of the hut!
  • The things you think are going to sell well probably won’t, and the things you only have a few of are going to go like ‘hot cakes’ and you’re going to have a late night to make more when you get home!
  • There will be days when you sell nothing;
  • There will be days when you will sell loads;
  • Some people are going to disregard you and your work, which can be disheartening… which is where your ‘hut-buddy’ comes in;
  • Most people are positive, complimentary and supportive of your endeavours, and are genuinely interested in what you do. Even if they don’t buy anything;
  • You can’t be bashful in promoting your work and what you do: it’s important to blow your trumpet;
  • When you sell your work to people and see the real delight they get by having something unique and original in their possession, it is a REAL buzz;
  • The fliers and business cards you give out, and the conversations you have with passers-by, do create new customers. Two of my New Year workshops are the direct result of meeting people in the hut;
  • Commissions are generated by a venture as humble as a Christmas Hut: two lampshades and four journals kept me busy the week up to Christmas, and it was a delight to see how pleased people were with them;

Was it worth it?

So: was it worth it? Was it an appropriate venue for my art? Was it a productive and positive use of my time?

Hell yes.

Would I do it again?

Absolutely- especially if my buddy Jill will share a hut with me again.

Pin It on Pinterest