Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My First Show!

A couple weekends ago, I really ventured out of my comfort zone.  I think going full-steam ahead in to this etsy business is easy for me because I'm giving it my all behind closed doors.  If I fail, the only person that will know is me (well and Evan but he's so supportive that only I'd feel like a failure).  Taking this business to the public?  That's an entirely different ball park and I finally took the plunge on it.

I wouldn't say it was a failure in the slightest.  The circumstances simply weren't right.  I signed up to sell my prints at the Little Rock Food Truck Festival.  Last year Evan and I went to this glorious idea of a party and didn't get to eat ONE DAMN THING.  It was so freaking packed and annoyed and hungry, we left empty handed.  This year when I saw that I could sell my prints, I thought "this is it!  I have to take my prints to the public!"

Things started going sour a few days before when they said "it might rain."  Two days before the festival, we got an email from those organizing and they said "we're moving you inside in case it rains.  Hope people can find you." (might not have been the exact words, but you get the idea)

The day of?  DOWNPOUR.  Not the entire time ... just 5.5 out of 6 hours.  I kid you not.  NOBODY was outside buying food (well except for Evan who bought me some delicious (yet soggy) nachos).  All the thousands of people that had come last year?  They were snuggled up in their beds at HOME. 

That being said, like I said, wasn't a total failure!  I still sold 8 prints and heard that about 40% of the vendors didn't sell a thing so I can't complain.  But I'm not too sure when I'll do another show again.  They're a ton of work, I have to find babysitters, and I have to count on the weather to not mess me up, haha!  It was definitely an experience and a fun one at that.  Evan was SUCH a great sport waking up at 6:30 on his only weekend off. 

I worked really hard at making my set up adorable and googled and pinterested the heck out of "craft show booth."  Here's what I came up with:

It takes a lot more work/ time / preparation than you'd think to prepare for a show.  What should you bring?  How should you price things?  What kind of look are you going for?

The first thing I had to decide was how I was going to display my prints.  A craft show, in my opinion, is 50% what you've got and 50% how you display it.  While I'm fully aware that my set up wasn't outstanding, I also think it wasn't bad for a first time attendee!

Evan built me the stand in all his free time (note: HUGE amount of sarcasm shooting out of my fingers as I type that).  We bought all the pieces at hobby lobby.  Next I went and bought some cheap, but not too cheap (b/c the whole point is for your prints to look cute) frames at Michael's.  Did you know you get 15% off ALWAYS with a Teacher ID there?  So I got them 50% off PLUS another 15%.  LOVE.

Then I made a trip to Hobby Lobby and bought two contrasting Fabrics on sale plus those baskets were on clearance for $1.50 a piece.

I think, as silly as it sounds, that my two favorite things were the flowers and glass bottles on the side (those flowers are STILL ALIVE two weeks later at home) and the little welcome banner I made.  I plan on putting something like this in my etsy shop with kiddos names.  How cute would that look in a maternity picture or hanging above a crib? 

That being said, I have some HUGE places in which to improve.  I thought that bringing about 10 pieces was a better idea than inundating people with tons of different things.  Turns out that is totally wrong.  I got asked about two prints that I DO make but hadn't brought with me.  Sure you can give them their business card, but if you have it in person they are much more likely to buy it. 

I also wish I had put quite a few more prints/ frames on the actual stand.  It looks too bare.  I hadn't had the time to set it all up to see how it would look until I arrived the morning of.  I had planned on doing all of that the night before and did work until about 11:00 pm but by then I was exhausted.

All in all, I think the booth was a "welcoming" haha ... wow ... one and I definitely didn't look TOO out of place!  The creative in me is slowly coming out and it's a BLAST in the process! : )


  1. You can only learn from this and I am glad to see you doing this. The booth looks awesome :).

  2. It looks beautiful to me! I was so proud of you when I saw the picture on facebook! I wish the turnout had been better, but what can ya do? Our church's fall festival this year = major fail. It was so cold and misty. We lost over $1500 at our CYO booth. That HURT. Most years we make at least $3k. So, weather is definitely always going to be a factor with outside events! C'est la vie! Love you! Congrats on the shop!!!!!