ZOE FAIR­BROTHER-STRAW

Your Family - - Create A Second Income - Ff­mar­ket.co.za

is the mar­ket­ing man­ager for the Four­ways Farm­ers’ Mar­ket. She tells us how, to­gether with her hus­band Greg and their team, they grew a small coun­try mar­ket and nurs­ery into one of the most suc­cess­ful mar­kets in Joburg.

‘When we pur­chased the old nurs­ery, we never planned on it catch­ing the at­ten­tion of so many peo­ple. We just wanted a small ad­di­tional coun­try mar­ket to ac­com­pany the nurs­ery and give it a more ar­ti­sanal feel. The orig­i­nal land was lit­er­ally a field of long grass, filled with bro­ken nurs­ery equip­ment, which Greg trans­formed into the ex­quis­ite gar­den it is to­day. The mar­ket grew through word of mouth be­cause of its beau­ti­ful gar­den and amaz­ing ven­dors, and even­tu­ally it was so busy we de­cided to close the nurs­ery and fo­cus only on the mar­ket.

‘We started with very lit­tle bud­get and no one knew who we were in the be­gin­ning, so we were very grate­ful to the ven­dors who stuck with us in those early quiet days, and are still with us to­day. Although we weren’t an overnight suc­cess, word of mouth has def­i­nitely con­trib­uted to our growth and pop­u­lar­ity. So­cial net­work­ing has been an in­cred­i­ble way for us to com­mu­ni­cate with our pa­trons and draw at­ten­tion to our ven­dors and small busi­ness own­ers, who have all be­come our lit­tle mar­ket fam­ily. We’re al­ways look­ing for en­trepreneurs who are com­mit­ted to their brand and are in­no­va­tive, con­sis­tently pri­ori­tis­ing their prod­ucts. And most of all, we want peo­ple who come with con­cepts that are orig­i­nal and lo­cal, in line with the Four­ways Farm­ers’ Mar­ket (FFM) brand. That’s an im­por­tant fac­tor for en­trepreneurs who want to ex­plore mar­kets: they have to iden­tify one that will com­ple­ment the vi­sion for their brands and have the right au­di­ence for their prod­ucts.

‘Ini­tia­tive and ef­fort also go a long way, be­cause as a busi­ness per­son, you have a strong in­flu­ence over how well your prod­uct does. A mar­ket is not a shop­ping cen­tre where your prod­uct will just mag­i­cally fall off the shelves into the con­sumers’ hands. You have to be pas­sion­ate about it and ac­tively sell it.

‘Brand­ing is vi­tal, which goes hand in hand with the look and feel of your stall. You want to at­tract peo­ple to a com­plete sen­sory ex­pe­ri­ence. This takes time and you may not do well in the first month, that’s why com­mit­ment and per­se­ver­ance are es­sen­tial, as well as lis­ten­ing to and iden­ti­fy­ing your tar­get mar­ket.

‘I like to look at mar­kets as a new econ­omy and way of life. Cus­tomers want to meet the cre­ators of the prod­ucts they’re pur­chas­ing and con­sum­ing, and are de­mand­ing a more per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence. They also want to know where the prod­uct comes from, and are lean­ing to­wards lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing that is good for the en­vi­ron­ment, the com­mu­nity, and for them­selves. The term ar­ti­sanal seems to be syn­ony­mous with qual­ity, love and care, in the same way that some­thing ‘home­made’ is.

‘There is an alchemy that hap­pens when you com­bine the per­fect set­ting with the ideal ven­dors.

‘Be­ing a land­scape ar­chi­tect, Greg has this amaz­ing abil­ity to iden­tify spa­ces with the po­ten­tial to be turned into some­thing won­der­ful, which we then fuse to­gether with my mar­ket­ing and ad­ver­tis­ing skills.

‘The pos­i­tive re­views and men­tions we get on on­line plat­forms and else­where are a good con­fir­ma­tion we’re on the right track and also en­cour­age new peo­ple to visit the mar­ket. Our key to suc­cess has def­i­nitely been our abil­ity to con­stantly rein­vent our­selves. We’ve re­cently opened Mar­ket on the Square at the Nel­son Man­dela Square and we’re build­ing an­other ex­cit­ing mar­ket and farm in Wa­ter­fall Park.’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.