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Friday 27 April 2012


Loretta Farrell who organises events in and around Godalming.


How often have you taken a punt on a new area, a new market only to stand around most of the day and sell more to the other stallholders then anyone visiting the market?  Or worse, you walk around to check out the other stall-holders only to find there is nothing you like or would buy.  Yes, I know that feeling and so Godalming Independent Market was born.  It was not to start another business it was simply to try and bring back the original idea of a general market.  Free entry, with space to explore fine and interesting items and discover new art, gifts and items I want to take home and no one else would have.

The vision: hand-picked, good quality, well-priced stalls that would fit the area, don’t charge entry, promote it well and build a name for the Market.  Basic, simple and what all good markets should be.  But that is not what shoppers are finding, with more of the same and mass markets popping up in every village; shoppers are not finding little treasures or prices they want to pay.  The older crowd still see markets as a place to find a bargain while the younger have not really been bitten by the ‘find’ of the market with quality handmade items.

My job is to sell the stall-holders and make a place where both stall-holder and shopper are happy to be and hopefully supply the right shopping experience that the people coming find new, exciting, well-made products they want to take home.  To help me do that I have application forms as not all stalls will work in my area after, all I live in the village, have children at the schools and hopefully have a good understanding of what type of people would come to the market.

Applications are a necessity so I can see the quality of work, I also ask for websites so I can promote the business beyond the Market via social media.  I have deadlines so people can plan their working life and ensure I get a good mix of stalls.  I can say for every five applications two will be jewellery and one homeware textiles designs. With so many it really is hard to choose.  It comes down to basic professionalism.

Two stallholders at the same market can have two very different experiences so it is not just your items on sale but you.  If you are sitting reading a book I would walk past your stall, if you are not interested in being there why would I check out your stall.  To my surprise I have had a number of stallholders say people have called and placed orders after the event, and in a few case months after.

Loretta’s next event is 19 May 2012  at the Clock Barn Hall in Hambledon near Godalming.  It is a Fundraising Health, Beauty & Fitness Fair.  On the day there will be free health and fitness talks and fitness classes including Zumba, Fitness Boot Camp and Kids Fitness class. There will be a relaxation room with space to sit, read a book and just relax with aromatherapy candles.

For more details


  1. Well done, Jill. Another great guest blogger!

    Loretta does work very hard to make the markets a success - and that's from the shopper's point of view :-)

    Lesley x.

  2. An interesting read this morning! I always sit or stand and knit at my stall and it will often spark a conversation off! I also wanted to say thank-you for my blog award and I have started to post about it today.
    Have a good week-end.
    jo x

  3. What a great concept in a market!

  4. Great guest post again - interesting job she does :)


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