Sunday, November 18, 2012

Arrow & Ink at the Winter Craft Fair!

On Saturday, Tori & I attended a craft fair as vendors for the very first time! It was an incredibly awesome experience and we learned SO much from it! I wanted to reflect a little on the fair, post product photos, and share what we learned from it.
We found this craft fair through local flyers and it was being held at a flea market that we frequent, so I called Tori and we decided to reserve a booth space. We had about a month to make everything happen, which wasn't a lot of time, but we brainstormed, delegated, and executed in record time. We knew we wanted a certain esthetic and color palette to our line, so we made mood boards on Pinterest to stay on the same track design-wise. There was a lot of texting pictures of prototypes and lengthy emails involved.
The craft fair finally arrived on Saturday and we had a great time setting up our booth and just letting the day ride out from there.
There were some very specific things that we learned from this experience. Also some very obvious positives and negatives. (Not all of them were our fault, but still.)

*The big one was that it was NOT the right type of craft fair for us. Completely wrong demographic & venue. The fair attracted the wrong type of clientele for our particular products. We needed ladies younger than 60 to be blunt. There weren't really any other booths of our same.... craft genre? If that makes sense. If we were around other younger indie artists I think it would have made a difference.

*The flea market holding the craft show wasn't prepared. They didn't do a good job of advertising and using their resources. The vendors were the ones advertising mainly. It got to the point where vendors were literally going through their contact lists and texting people to help spread the word the day of the show. There was very little traffic and most booths packed up and left 2 hours early!

*The venue wasn't prepped properly. It was FREEZING in there. All they had was 2 industrial propane heaters to heat a gymnasium. We had to wear our coats all day and our toes were frozen. People were deterred from looking around very long because it was so cold in there and it was warmer OUTSIDE!

*We had to buy a lot of stuff to prepare the booth since it was our first time. We had a lot of expenses like buying our 6 ft. table, purchasing items for packaging, etc. If it weren't our first fair, we would have already had those items and our expenses would have been significantly less.

*We found out that we are quite good at coming up with ideas for products on short notice and executing them successfully. We work well together and share a common vision about what we want our merchandise to be like.

*We now have our start-up merchandise for the Arrow & Ink etsy shop that will be opening very soon!

*We have the experience of our first show under our belts. This is huge because you never know how smooth something will go until you try it and turns out we were able to set up our booth with aplomb.

*We had a great time! Overall, even though not everything went exactly according to plan, we had fun. And that's very important when you're doing work that you're passionate about. We also made a few crafter friends at the show and it was fun "talking shop" with a few select gals we met at the show. :)

On a different token, Tori & I were SO pleased with the way our projects turned out! Everything looked so fantastic hanging out on our show table and so inviting. Everything looked professional and cohesive, but also very inspiring which was the goal!

Truth be told, as much fun as I had doing the show and having a new experience with my best friend, I'm a little relieved that it's over! haha It was a tad stressful getting all the merchandise made in time and I'll be happy to get back to some photo editing, Project Life, and reading this week, not to mention enjoying some much-needed time with my family for Thanksgiving!
Here's to new experiences!



susan opel said...

Let me know when you open that Etsy shop! I will share with my *ahem* under sixty pals. ;) Mwuah!

Alexandra Rae said...

I NEED to buy about half of your stock when you open your shop, there are so many GORGEOUS things on those tables!!