5 Things I Learned from Selling at my Local Farmers Market

Nothing beats the vibe of a great farmers market — fresh flowers, locally grown fruits, vegetable and herbs, fresh baked breads, pastries and cheeses. Our local farmers market in Olney turned out to be the best test lab for our products and the evolution of our brand.

We started making products in our kitchen for our eczema prone kids. We blended shea butter with other healing oils and it worked wonders on their skin. We realized that we had found a natural solution to dry skin and we couldn’t wait to share it with the world.

Being out in the sunshine surrounded by the beautiful abundance of nature was a source of inspiration that influenced how we developed products. We became really comfortable with the concept that skincare products should look good enough to eat.

Olney Farmers Market, like most farmers markets, attracts customers who embrace the Farm to Table, Buy Local and Holistic lifestyle. I knew these would be my people and I was right!

Here are 5 things I learned from my years at the Farmers Customer

  1. Samples — Always have samples laid out for customers without them having to ask you. There is a reason Costco has all those in store demos going on

2. Observe how your customers interact with your product — I noticed that customers would smell the product before they apply anything to their skin. That told me that scent or the lack of it was important. I also observed that some customers didn’t care for the hard texture of pure shea butter even though they knew of all its great benefits.

3. Ask Lots of Questions — When you talk to your customers you find out what they are looking for in a product. I used to have my products organized by scent and over time I realized that customers were more concerned about a products function and that scent was secondary.

4. Product Development based on customer feedback was invaluable. Think about what happens to your product in the store when you are not there to guide the customer. Customer feedback helped us manage expectations and provide clearer descriptions on our product packaging. Customer feedback helped us create a line of soft and easy to apply pure shea butter products that are now top sellers in the natural grocery stores

5. Finally, I learned that our customers really care about why we do what we do. They loved it when I shared pictures and stories of my trips to Ghana and Nigeria. They love the fact that our business has a positive economic impact on the lives of our shea producing partners in West Africa and that their purchases are a key part of making that possible.

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