Market Report

Doesn’t that title sound like I know stuff about something important? NAH I don’t.

Yesterday was the Christmas in July market (see previous post). It began at 8:30am and, at 10:00am, when I went to eat chocolate cake with the ever delightful Kirsty I was feeling quite despondent. We had sold NO quilts. So many people had stopped to give us really positve feedback. They loved our quilts, they were beautiful quilts, how clever and talented we were, how reasonable our prices were….yet not one sale. We also had many comments to the effect of  ‘I wish that I had a baby in my life so I could buy one of your quilts’.

This quilt in particular brought many ooohs and aaaahs – it was adored by many, many people.


By the end of the day we had sold five of our quilts. I had handed out MANY business cards and had many people telling me that I would hear from them soon. Some people asked us if we would return to the next market in November because they would look for us then.  All things considered this was a good result – we just took a while to get warmed up.

An experience like this leaves lots of room for reflection. What did this market show us?

1. We have a good product – people like the quilts we are making. We were called ‘new and refreshing’ etc The quilting itself drew many comments.

2. We have a product aimed at a very specific group of people – babies and those who buy for babies. People do like to spend money on babies, but are those people the same ones who visit a craft market. Where can we best reach those people?

3 How do we price for quality rather than for sales? We think that we should try to cultivate a ’boutique’ image. Our full range of quilts shown all together looked spectacular! Really colourful and bright, very stimulating. Can you maintain that image at a market when the lady beside you is selling crochet topped fridge towels?

If you have any advice or input on these topics please share.

The money that we made from this market should allow us to take our quilts in a slightly new direction. Flo and I are in busy discussions right now. Watch this space!

by the way the beautiful cupcake quilt did not sell, even though it drew the most adoration.

PS I’m so pretty! Look what my immensely talented photoshopping genius of a sister made for me…a new header. So fancy.


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23 responses to “Market Report

  1. soozadoo

    That is IMJIN’s quilt! Lucky you didn’t sell it. She would get berryberry cross.

  2. twolimeleaves

    FIVE!! That is so cool! All those thoughts are interesting and valid ones. Hard to know what to do and where to go… Baby boutiques seem an obvious choice (thinking Sydney/Melbourne). I agree with you about the problem of the lady next door selling crochet teatowels!
    One thing you can be confident of – the standard of your product is exquisite!

  3. twolimeleaves

    Oh, and I seriously think you need to increase your prices. A lot.

  4. You probably need a bit of media exposure. Which given the way newspapers are finding stuff through blog-reading shouldn’t be out of the question. You want potential buyers to see it in a mag or newspaper and dwell ion it as a must-have…

    5 quilts is very good going for your first day.

    I like your new blog-header Tracey Petersen Quilting Artist!

  5. I love your new header! Looks great.

    I so seriously want that cupcake quilt!!! (Anything with cupcakes on it always has me diving into my purse!) If I get pregnant in the weeks/months/years to come can I buy that one off you???!!

    Five quilts is a great start!! Well done.

  6. I think five is a good start.. but I confess, I had hoped you would sell more, as they really are so special. I think of Sydney when I see them!
    And I love your new header design! Wonderful!

  7. Nice header 🙂

    Perhaps one idea is to expand the types of quilts you make?? Um, lap quilts for granny to watch the tv and snuggle under? Cheaper but still cute pet themed quilts for the dog/cat’s bed? That way you could have a range of pricing with the baby type quilts at the higher end??

    Eh, it’s just a thought.

    Well done on selling 5 quilts btw.

  8. what about going to the baby boutiques such as la petite boudior in Hermit park as they are quite exclusive and people are prepared to pay the money for them, also The bluebell shop in the mall has baby items. When I was pregnant with Matt I bought special things for him from both shops as he is as special little man. Maybe some unisex quilts as often people don’t tell others what sex the baby is. There is also an exclusive childrens shop in Toowoomba owned by Jenny Tomlinson if you ring her at Lanes Interiors. All the Drs shop there and your quilts would be right up her alley. Cheers, hope this helps Mel

  9. Love the new header (and adore those butterflies). You’re right – the crocheted face washers just didn’t compare to your quilts and didn’t belong next to them.

    I’ve spent a while thinking about what you could do to get your names out there. I think it may come down to what you want to invest in getting known. Maybe taking your quilts to quilt shows and markets all around the region would work. And places with a different demographic – the Kuranda markets and the Yungaburra Folk Festival, or up to places like Port Douglas and Cairns (am thinking of places where there are more tourists and therefore, more people with money to burn).

    Or even sending some off to boutique towns (I’m thinking of the little towns where rich folk live where they do devonshire teas and such and are always crowded with tourists on weekends) and just seeing how well they sell (negotiate the commission).

    I also think that putting a tag on the quilts (not sure if you already do – I don’t remember noticing any) would be an advantage.

    Whatever you do, I’m sure in time you’ll do spectacularly well. Let me know when and where the next ‘event’ is.

  10. Holy hell, that was a huge ramble…

    …sorry ’bout that.

  11. Hi Tracey,

    5 quilts is great, but I agree with you and the others that it would have been no surprise if you sold more.

    The markets are hit and miss. They are a miss at the end of the financial year.

    They are a hit at Christmas time and especially in September, October when all those babies conceived last Christmas are being born.

    But especially, you need to approach your local maternity ward in the hospital. Most hospitals have those little old ladies with the tables that sell knitted booties and stuff and will buy some off you, they then sell them at a mark up and give the profits to the hospital. Everyone wins.

    Good luck, you have a wonderful product, you will do well, I am sure!!

  12. love your new look – your header rocks.
    Love love love your cupcake quilt….can you email me privately and let me know how much? I am in love with it.

    I didnt’ get to the craft day as I had wedding on but would have loved to go.

    Can you put photos of these such quilts on notice boards at maternity hospitals….or, as a local photographer i know has done, put a flyer in their maternity pack at the hospital – and agree to donate $10 with every quilt sold to SIDS or some other related charity?

    You are very talented and should not be discouraged by this one craft day – I actually think it was not as well advertised as it could have been – I knew because Lucio goes to the school and it was in the newsletter but apart from that, only saw the article in the bulletin the day of the market.

  13. Selling five was a great start! I agree with some of the previous suggestions of approaching baby boutiques/upmarket giftware.
    I don’t know if you have a similar thing in Qld, but in Melbourne there is an upscale craft fair type thing- – where your quilts would fit right in (no crocheted-topped towels in sight).

    PS – love the new header. (especially the scribbly butterflies)

  14. 1.Go and borrow Kirsty’s copy of Adorn and read up on craft fairs 101.
    (or I have a copy that’s missing some pages but not the ones on craft fairs, yours if you want it, email me and I’ll chuck it in the post tomorrow)
    2.Jenny Tomlinson has moved to flash new shop in flash new medcical centre building (I go past it cos that’s where my respiratory specialist stuff is) and her web site is and yes, your quilts would be PERFECT fit for her shop I reckon… CALL HER!!! And if not her – other exclusive baby boutiques.
    3. Five sold in first day is GREAT! But don’t undersell yourselves. These are HAND CRAFTED, ONE OF A KIND (well, if you quilt differently on each one – cheeky grin!) Price accordingly!
    4.Set up a new blog EXCLUSIVELY for the business. (so much easier than a full on website and just as useful.) Update it frequently. Tell the lists (SCQuilters etc). Send enquiries to H&G magazines, home beautiful… you don’t give away info for free, but that stack of quilts photo should pique any worthwhile editor’s interest! Don’t forget your contacts at DUQ, AP&Q…
    5. Oh yeah, before you do any of this: Sit down and really plan how much of this you want to do. Are just the craft fairs enough? How much work do you want to generate? How often do you want to release new designs? How many of each quilt do you want to make (exclusivity is a big selling point on the competitive Nanas market!)

    I’ll get outta your hair now…

  15. I can’t offer any help analyzing your market but it sounds like it was a really good experience and you are doing all the right things by analyzing the experience honestly. I lvoe yo new header and that cupcake quilt is ADORABLE!

  16. Thank you all. You are amazing. I feel like I’m riding the crest of a wave here and I need to act immediately, but it feels good and right!

  17. I think it’s great you sold five. Can’t add anything to previous comments…

  18. In love with the cupcakes! I agree with Jennifer and Aunty Evil…. maternity ward sounds like a bang-up idea! Also, have you thought of Ebay? My friend Angel buys lots of hand-made items there. One lady sells hand-made hair bows and ribbons.

  19. I agree with the boutiques and the e-bay idea. You just need to connect with where the well-heeled grannies of the world shop! Your quilts are so colourful and cheerful……I wish you lots of luck!

  20. Can I just say I really like your new header. So too your gorgeous quilts. I couldn’t add anything meaningful with regard your business and its plan – you have had some wonderful and thoughtful comments on this already.

    All I can say is keep doing what you love because the happiness it brings you will result in success (in some form or other) in the future – paraphrasing Buddha there!

  21. I think I could be related to one of those people who would like a baby just to have one of your quilts!!

    Your quilts are fabulous – but you should get them into boutique type shops. You need to be charging lots for them and I think people are somehow prepared to pay more (way more!) at a shop than at a market. Or online – try that too. Oh and go with the label too – people are snobs remember!!

  22. h&b

    I’ll buy one !
    Honest. Seriously.

    Not the cupcakes, but I see plenty I like in your folded pile.
    I’ve been told by a palmist i’ll be having a girl, but there’s a 100yr drought on girls in my husband’s family…

    Since I won’t find out the sex, i’m a little way off buying, but I can certainly put down a down-payment in good faith.

    And then I can brag to everyone how I know the ‘artiste’, and take orders for you from VIC 😉

    How’s that for starters ?

    ( P.S. – haven’t read the other comments, but Etsy ?! )

  23. Beautiful quilts! My mom and I are also trying to find the ideal market for our punchneedle patterns. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the matter – gorgeous quilts.

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