Monday, October 19, 2009

7 Things I Leaned From My Biggest Show Yet

The Urban Street Bazaar was held 2 weekends ago in the Bishop Arts District. It took me a week to recover from it, and another day to finally write about it. It was a good show, and I'm happy that I was there, but it also gave me doubts about doing future outdoor shows because there's so much more to contend with. Then again, I love all the new friends I made and interacting with my customers in person.

I shared my booth with Patricia of KarmaCrochet. It was freezing on Saturday and the weatherman was wrong about it warming up, so I modeled a KarmaCrochet scarf to keep warm for awhile.

She makes these amazing neckwarmers that everyone was going crazy for! I don't know if it was because they were featured prominently on the USB website or if it was because a lady that bought one was proudly flaunting it around the bazaar. Either way she sold all but one!

So the Bazaar was 12-8 on Saturday and 12-4 on Sunday. As I was driving there on Sunday, it started raining really hard! I was skeptical and didn't want to subject my handmade books to this weather, and even debated going home! I told myself I was committed to doing this, and it was important to see it through. Even if it was just for the experience. I'm so glad I did!

Things I learned:
  1. EZ-up tents are far from being easy to put up. I used mine once and it broke! Same thing happened to the fellow crafter next to me. If you plan to do a lot of outdoor shows, check out this awesome tent review post by the Kessler Craftsman.
  2. Be extra prepared for outdoors shows. So many more things can go wrong it seems. Things I wish I had: extra clothes, small screwdriver, tarp to put my stuff on instead of the wet ground (and cover it if it started to rain before I set up the tent). My checklist was essential for all the things I would have forgotten.
  3. Make friends with your neighbors. Help each other set up those hard to put up tents, watch booths for bathroom and coffee breaks, check out their display, talk to them and learn from them. I'm always improving my set up.
  4. You can learn a lot from your customers. Guys were more interested in my journals than the ladies. I will be creating a few more masculine journals in the future.
  5. Sales on the short Sunday were much better than the long Saturday. I never would have guessed that.
  6. You never know. Treat every customer as a potential buyer. Say hello and don't be shy to tell them about your work. Patricia and I were both surprised at who dropped money in our booths that we wouldn't have expected.
  7. Sharing is awesome. I can't imagine doing this by myself, at least at this point.
Shout-outs to my lovely, talented neighbors:
Pigsey Art: Unique Upcycled Journals, and someone I love for using every scrap she can
Bolsa Bonita: Sexy bags for foxy ladies, and I just love her Tom Selick purse!
Ornamental Things: handcrafted jewelry from vintage components

Thanks to Larry aka Kessler Craftsman for helping me with that horrible tent, and also to Stephanie of Tefi Designs for writing a sweet feature and coming out to support us!

1 comment:

Bling Girl said...

YAY! for you doing an out door show. they are tons of work as youve seen but if you find the right ones they are well worth it. :) If you looking for a tent i recommend the "undercover" brand. Every one buys an ez up because everyone knows that brand. But i think undercover are nicer and so easy to put up that i can do it myself if i need to. i ordered mine at costco. ive been using this brand for 5 years.