Sunday, October 16, 2011


It seems like I am always on standby.   I always pack my items as if I am unpacking, if that makes sense to you.  It makes sense to me.  I like to have a fresh look when I attend a new show(I have three coming up very soon). Here is a list of what I go through before I pack up for the day from doing a show.

1. I wipe down mirrors,( I keep wipes in my travel bag)
2. My travel bag consist of wipes. cards, fliers, scissors, bags, stamps, ink pad, pens, note pad and any other marketing or advertising items I might need.
3. I straighten out my bags, counting to see if I need to replenish my supply, as well as my order books, business cards, fliers, boxes, tissue papers, etc.......
4. Any repairs(customers/or mine) go into a special bag which I will take out with me into the house(I always like to wind down first before unpacking my inventory.  My winding down might take a couple of days, depending on the next show date). 
5.I will usually set up the inventory the way I want to unpack for the next show.
6. I check my notes(I have a sign up sheet for customers so that I can get in touch with them at a later date).
7. Tuck away my cash box(I do this a varies stages of my cleanup, depending on where I am)
8. Clean up my operating area. 
9. Check with the coordinator to see if there are any question, surveys that I need to fill out.  I will usually offer the coordinator a gift.  The package will include the gift,  my card and any additional contact information.

Once everything is settled,  I depart for bigger and brighter days.   Preparing this way, helps me with the next show and so on and so on.   If I make additional items, then I can easily incorporate those pieces into the mix without disturbing the my original setup.

During the course of the show, I will continually work on the jewelry, cards, ideas in between taking care of customers.   Because of my tight schedule,  I find it easier to leave some things to work on while I am at the show.  Here is something I worked on while at my last show.  Here are some of the fliers that I passed out.   A friend of mine had sent me one my fliers(I teach a basic computer class).  She had made the fliers on what I call a 4 square.  4 fliers(copies) on one page.  All I had to do was replace the information with my business information, print out one.

I made on copy and took the original to Staples.   I picked 24lb paper and choose 4 different colors, pink, blue, lavender and coral.  Next time I will choose a heavier paper say 65lbs.

I used decorative scissors to make the edges 

Here is the results.  I requested 20 copies which yielded 80 fliers.  The copies were only 11 for the 24 lb paper.   The price goes up with the selection of heavier paper.  I think they turned out pretty nice.   

Most of the time I will leave some items to fix or transform at the show.   It keep me busy( I also will make adjustments on the spot.  I keep my tools with me at all times) and most of the time people will come over to see what you are doing and they take a look at your table. 

Preparations can mean different things to different people.   Having organization and preparation is the key, at least for me, it spells a successful show, before and after.   

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I love doing shows

I finished my two shows for September I love doing shows.   It gives me chance to meet and greet. I have a ball.   I  come alive when I do shows.   I get to look into the customers eyes and make that connection.  It is a rush.  Crafting and creating is a two part process. You make the piece is the first part. The customer buying the piece is the second part. The gravy is in between. This is the part where you can make a customer, a repeat customer.  You also get free advice about your pieces, what colors are out there and what is not selling.   Some vendors do not like to have their work criticized.   How would you know what pieces to make if you do not get some feedback.   Step up to plate, take the hit, if any, and move on.  Use it as a tool for your next show.   Even if they have not brought anything, their eye might be the eyes you need to see your collection in a whole new light.

My first show was at the local college.   For a small fee you can set up a table in the student union and sell your wares.   I see college students, teachers, staff.   They all stop by and this is not my first time being there. Some new and old faces.    Though my table is small, I make the most of it.    I love talking to the young women and sometimes men as they discuss their views.  They are on their way to new and exciting life after graduating  . They give me insight into what our future will look like.  They know what they want, how to get and have no fear to change the world.  Ah to be young again.   These young women tend to like my earrings and bracelets.   I have been making a lot of wire wrapped bracelets. They are quicker and easier to make.    I tend to get more mileage out of them.  They fit all sizes.   I did not sell as many necklaces as I have in the past. Maybe next time.  I will be at the college again on October 21 from 8:00 - 3:00. I like to the college scene. Nice people, nice crowd.  Below is how I set my table up for this venue.

As you can see, I took the pics from the wrong side of the table(just too tire to get up).  Despite my banner day,  the setup just would not act right. I kept losing beads and the stands would not stand right.  I put the racks away.  Shame, they usually give me more table space to work my magic.   It was a mess.  But  I have to fail to succeed.  Despite my mishaps I sold some pieces.   Go figure.

My second show was at the African American Women's Conference.   I had a bigger table(as a matter of fact, I was able to spread out and due to another vendor  not coming).   At this event I met wonderful women of all walks of life, interest.   It was a pleasure for me to meet and greet.  I was given an opportunity to view not only stylish women, but a gathering of smart successful, independent women, strong and fierce.  And boy did they put on a fashion show..   I saw purses, shoes, clothes, hair styles and yes jewelry pieces.   Almost put my stuff to same.  You noticed I said almost.   I use to be more critical of my own pieces.  Now I let the matter be.  I have my own style and hope that the women will find my style to suit their taste.  By the continuous stream of women and sales during the breaks, I think I suited them just fine.   Though I was able to spread out , I still did not use nay of my stands or display any of my cards.  Alas, maybe next time.    What I was able to do was to set my earrings on a new card system, which make it easier for display and easier to pack up.  I wish I was able to get some pics of these wonderful women.   They only had so little time between each  seminar.  I glad that they decided to spend that time with me at my table.  Thank you ladies.  Here is how my table looked at the event.

 This was before I had the extra table.   I also had other pieces waiting in wings for replacement when one piece would sell.    Now that I look at the table with fresh eyes, I did very well.   Very well.