We caught up with Andy Greenacre, the creator of the Instagram sensation ‘Makers Market From Home’. Based from his home in Suffolk, Andy has been encouraging makers to continue to show their wares online by setting up their stalls in the comfort of their gardens or houses. Andy then goes live on Instagram to showcase stalls from across the world and interviews makers about their creations.
Tell us about your idea for Makers Market from Home.
The idea came in reaction to all the local makers markets being cancelled or postponed. Obviously completely correctly! But many makers and creatives lost their only or main income source. I used to run physical makers markets and thought it may be funny if we carried on setting up our stalls, but in our homes, showing resistance, having fun and showcasing our creations.
The idea was twofold. Firstly, to spread a little bit of happiness into the lives of our regular customers while they are stuck at home, and secondly, for makers to get a boost from people liking, sharing and commenting on their products.
What made you choose Instagram to host the live market rather than another social media platform?
I chose Instagram because of my own experience and knowledge of this platform. With the help of the other makers we could make the algorithm see us and push us to others. Instagram is a very positive and friendly platform that nurtures and supports makers and creatives. Our regular market visitors are generally the audience that use Instagram.
How did the first market go on Saturday?
The market was a bonkers success! The measure of success is sometimes hard to quantify for such an event…but makers have given me feedback and this has helped gauge it’s impact more precisely. We grew our audience by 1500 in a week, had 90k views and 5.5k interactions on our own profile. People seemed to enjoy being able to jump from maker to maker. The bonus that we hoped for but didn’t expect was that 60% of our makers made a sale of some sort, which was very heartening. Thanks so much to our wonderful shoppers and browsers! 100% of makers who responded said they would love to take part again.
What was your favourite thing about running the event?
I loved seeing inside the studios and homes of our makers. Either by the photos and videos that they uploaded, or by our live chats with makers. These had over 1600 viewers over the day. Myself and Lydia jumped from live chats with a maker in Cornwall to a pair in the USA. The love and friendship that the event created and ignited was amazing and humbling.
Will you be running another one? If so, when and how can more makers get involved?
I was asked if we were running another event before we even started the first one. Makers were desperate to take part and shoppers and browsers said they wanted to see more of their favourite creatives. We plan to run one on Saturday 2nd May. If people would like to know more please head over to over the Instagram bio and their is a sign-up form for makers & creatives, and shoppers & browsers.
Can you share one top tip for how makers can stay motivated during this difficult time?
At this time of uncertainty it is important that creatives are reactive. The customers are still there, they still want to support you, they still need happy things in their lives. We just need to get our creations into their lives in a new way. This means we need to keep showing with the world what we are making, on social media, websites, selling platforms etc.
We should always be following the government guidelines, they want online businesses to keep trading and using the postal system, use this to your advantage. I use a door to door service which costs more, but allows me to maintain sales and at the same time, stay at home! Most importantly you need to put yourself and family first, the world is going to need your lovely creations when we come out of the other side.
Such an inspirational idea from Andy – just what we all need at this time! Head over to the Makers Market From Home Instagram account to find out more and get involved.