19 January 2012
As I recently posted to (my complete addiction, I admit it) Instagram, my long winter's nap is now officially over: I just re-opened my shop with a fresh lineup. Whee!
(umm, where did a month off go?)
OK, I wasn't exactly lounging the entire month. But there was a bit of extra toddler-snuggling and studio/office purging. Ahhh, I love a full-car trip to the Goodwill. But, after prepping frantically for my first-ever show at Renegade Holiday (recap to follow), I needed to catch my breath. And, then, I took a moment to take stock of what sold well last year (people (still) have chevron fever), what did great at Renegade (hello triangles and southwestern-y stuff) and what I want to try to do next. Oh, people... I have plans. My plans scare me in terms of scope--I am but one measly person, plans--but whatever I'm able to attack, I'm excited for it.
So, the new, refreshed, polished up shop is, as always, HERE.
Oh, one other update: all my listed wares are now ready to ship. (i.e., no more of this made-to-order business. It was fine for start-up, tough to manage forever.)
So, Renegade. I loved it. Before the application due date, I wasn't sure if it was "too soon" to jump into a show, because of all the work involved and being really very new. Toby and I talked it over and weighed the pros (selling stuff, brand exposure, obvious) and the cons (total disruption of our home leading up to already-disrupting holidays), and we took a chance and went for it.
I love taking a chance (though you should've seen the bags under my eyes!). And, I'm super glad I/we did it. A month off afterward didn't hurt either.
I didn't get the opportunity to walk the show much (unless you count baño breaks), and bought almost nothing (dang), but my experience as a seller was fun and worth all the work and late nights.
1. As always, everyone is just so nice at Renegade. The sellers, the buyers, even the tagging-along boyfriends and husbands (did I mention they sell beer at this craft fair?), and especially the crew running the show. Niceness and genuine enthusiasm goes a long way in my book.
2. Next time, I need to prep and stockpile merch all year long. Being in complete start-up mode, there was a late night, every night for the final month pre-show.
3. Having a handy husband who can listen to my ideas and interpret my waving hands was a real luxury... he crafted all the beautiful reclaimed-wood booth components, and they were so warm and inviting. All I can say is thank you, Toby. And sorry about that screwed-up back! :/
4. Having friends and family come and visit/populate my booth in the early hours of the show was especially great. Loved that.
5. It makes sense in hindsight, but Renegade Holiday was 50% about selling people a nice handmade holiday gift, and 50% about meeting shop owners looking to carry wholesale. Wowzers, that was wonderful and unexpected. It would be uber-tacky to mention names at this point, but I hope to reveal some exciting stuff later in the year.
6. Making crafty friends (like Lynn, Shay and Samantha-yay!) in advance and at the show was worth just showing up for that. There wasn't much chance to talk shop, but I'll take what I can get ;) --Oh! I also was able to meet a couple of Etsy shop customers. Fun.
7. Re: Merch... more variety, larger range of price points. My new evil plans will address this one. But, I can't tell you how paranoid I was that I wasn't bringing enough of a given item. Which sounds all pompous, like I was figurin' on selling out of everything... I just mean, I didn't know what to expect, AND when you pay a not insignificant fee to be there, you don't want to run out of stuff on the first day and just be sitting there. Thankfully (I think), I didn't have that "problem." Only a few items were cleaned out. (Yay, triangles!)
8. Processing plastic through the Square app rocked.
9. Having a ruggedly handsome and/or pretty, stylish "booth babe" was so great. I would've been a wee bit shy sitting there, at my first show, all by my lonesome. Thank you, Toby and Robin (my ex-boss! how's that for supportive?) for the company, the wares-promotin', the coffee and the bathroom breaks. Yay team.
10. Next time, make some cute cushions for the chairs. Ouch.
Have any of you done a craft fair or the like? Any tips or wise lessons learned? I plan to repeat the experience.