Have you considered applying for a fair or market but are unsure as to whether you would be able to make a profit or even break even from the investment? Or maybe you are not sure what it takes to have a profitable market stall? We have asked the Founder of Boutique Fairs, Charlotte Cain, and our very own members Rakhee Shah from Maisha Concept and Yan Ng from Lily & Lou to share with us how to ace a stand at a fair or market. This is a panel Masterclass where you can ask questions and get the low down on what makes some market vendors’ products sell like hotcakes.
About the speakers
Founder & Director, Boutique Fairs
Charlotte Cain started the lifestyle retail pop-up Boutique Fairs in 2002 as a modest event at Fort Canning Park with 17 vendors including herself. The avid potter first arrived in Singapore in 1989 and the idea for Boutique Fairs came about because Charlotte wanted to create a fair where she and others with creative passions could sell their creations and interact with customers in a meaningful manner.
Twenty years on, Boutique Fairs has evolved into a biannual, three-day event that occupies two floors spanning more than 8,000m2 at the F1 Pit Building. Today, the pop-up’s highly curated list of vendors comprises mostly Singaporean and Singapore-based brands specialising in fields ranging from fashion to homeware.
Although the pandemic posed tremendous challenges and resulted in a two-year hiatus, it also gave Charlotte the chance to reset and rejuvenate the event. Her magic formula involves her support of local talents and her ability to spot creatives with that X-factor.
Founder, Maisha Concept
Maisha Concept is a globally inspired fashion and lifestyle brand aimed at the globally conscious consumer. The label is the brainchild of designer, entrepreneur and former banker Rakhee Shah. Maisha means “giving life” in Swahili, and through Maisha’s contemporary designs Rakhee aims to resurrect the culture, heritage and skill of local artisans and textile manufacturers from Africa and India.
The inspiration behind the brand is Rakhee’s heritage. Rakhee is third generation Kenyan by birth and of Indian origin, and her interest in fabrics started at a very young age. Born and raised in Nairobi, Rakhee was particularly close to her father, who manufactured and distributed a variety of local Kenyan textiles. Being constantly surrounded by the rich colours, prints and fabrics, from an early age Rakhee was designing and stitching pieces for self-use. Seeing the world this way through curious eyes sparked her desire to link her African and Indian heritage and contemporary design credentials to create something truly unique.
Maisha is best known for their signature vibrant fabrics, which have been designed and created ethically and sustainably. Rakhee works with small, independent artisans and textile mills in a bid to support the traditions of local communities and preserve ancestral knowledge. Every collection is handcrafted by local artisans using traditional methods to create contemporary pieces. By supporting local talents, new jobs are created, partnerships are made and opportunities are turned into reality and quality of life is improved. Each piece from the collection is one-of-a-kind, with its own story and symbolism, created with care, devotion and an eye for detail.
Founder, Lily & Lou
Yan is a fashion rebel who wants to transform the way we consume and produce fashion. She’s the founder and CEO of Lily & Lou, a digital-first clothing brand that specialises in customisation, as well as Studio by Lily & Lou, a growth accelerator for budding fashion designers and existing brands. At Lily & Lou, she has successfully created a system that embraces sustainability, circularity and collaboration, while delivering great value to its customers. Moving forward, Yan hopes to assist other fashion brands transition towards digital and flexible workflows to encourage better practices.
1. Learn tips and tricks to run a profitable stall
2. How to avoid pop-ups that may not be the right fit for your brand
3. How to ensure customers engage with your brand and don’t just walk by