Working on my booth

After I posted some photos on Instagram of my booth at CraftBoston in December, I had a request to show more booth details so here it is!

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I have moved from doing Indie Craft Shows to Fine Craft Shows. There are lots of differences including the price of doing the show, the price of the items at the show, and the type of people who decide to walk through the door. The Fine Craft Shows need a different kind of booth than the Indie Shows: more of a gallery look is the aim. I don’t do very many shows per year so it might be a while before I get it perfected.

Doing CraftBoston was a good way to test since it is local and if I had a real disaster, I was close to home for emergency supplies. Since I knew that I’m doing 2 more shows that are not close to home in 2018, the December show was my trial run. I wanted a booth that I could conceivably set up myself (I hope I don’t have to!) and could be set up relatively quickly. I bought a booth set-up from ProPanels. That includes walls and lights. Most everything else in the booth is from Ikea.

Here are my 2 helpers, helping me set up. It took about 2 1/2 hours to get from unloading (I have one of these carts and it was invaluable) the car to this-

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This is my Ikea table top with removable legs. I will be replacing it though because it is very heavy and got damaged during the last haul around. My little tiered stands are nesting boxes from Ikea.

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My extra inventory is kept in 2 open fabric bins-

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And 3 zip-closed bins that store under the table. They are easy to pull out if a customer wants to see what else is available. The fish are in an Ikea basket.

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By the last day, the zip-bags were mostly empty and I was rearranging the open storage- mixing things up a bit.

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The dolls that are hanging on the panels are displayed on pieces of white art paper, pinned to the panels. If you have any questions, ask! I got a lot of help from friends to design this so I feel like I can pass the help along.

As an aside, I will be raising the prices of all my work as I list new pieces into my shop. Added expenses and increased demand are making that necessary. Tomorrow I start posting new dolls for 2018!

Report from San Francisco

I’m back and have been since mid-week. It takes a few days to recover and get back into the swing of things. It felt like a whirlwind trip- mostly work and a little fun times with wonderful creative people I have met though my online life. So good to see Sonya, Kathryn and Alice!

Here are some booth photos- they are taken with my phone, so sorry about the quality.

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These are the all-around on first day.

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I always rearrange the 2nd day, hoping it actually makes a difference.

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Lots of things found new homes and lots came home too. I’ve listed the pieces that came home in the suitcases into my etsy shop. The shipped pieces (dogs and I don’t know what else!) should arrive by the middle of next week and then I’ll list them too.

It was so much fun to meet and talk to past and new customers, see how people interact with my work, see what catches the eye, what gets the comments. It is always worth getting away from the studio for a few days even if it is not my natural inclination.

Chicago trip

Setting up on Saturday morning.

View from the front.

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And view from inside.

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It was a fantastic weekend- Thank You so Much to all the people that came out and said hello! Unfortunately I am usually completely distracted and afterwards wish I’d asked for a business card or something. Just know I appreciate everyone who visits!

I got home on Tuesday evening and went straight to the studio to get back to work. I am in flat-out work mode, getting ready for Crafty Bastards in less than 2 weeks- Yikes!

the weekend

The SOWA Holiday Market is usually 2 days but was only one day (Saturday) this year. People really wanted to come!

Apparently the line was like that for much of the day.

Here is my booth. (Sorry about the bad photo. My camera seems to be developing focus issues. Is a 3 year old digital camera geriatric?)

This is just one side but at least it is in focus-

The show was fun, busy, exhausting!

On Sunday I went to the Art Institute of Boston to see an amazing show- the work of Chris Sickels of the Red Nose Studio.

Sorry- more terrible photos. Go to his website to get a good idea of how incredible his work is. He makes these figures and then photographs them for his illustration work. I love seeing pieces like this close up and in person- the details of the stitches and fabric choices are what interest me most. The show is only up for a few more days but if you are in the Boston area, I would highly recommend it. And it is free!

I am planning on going to NYC at the end of the week so I can see the Luvable and Hugable Show. Is there any other shows I should go see while I am there? Any other general recommendations?

 

 

Renegade report

Brooklyn was amazing!

I’ve collected some links to other Renegade reports- the ones that mention me… yeah, because that is why I found them!

The baby stuff at coos and ahhs, a great post including a link to the fantastic marching band, here at 13th Street Studio, and my wonderful booth neighbors- Skylark Studio, Melanie Linder Design, and chez sucre chez who has also posted an excellent report. Thanks for making it such a fun neighborhood!

I saw BoBo Babushka, but missed so many fantastic people who were also exhibiting. Mostly I stayed very busy in my booth the whole 2 days. My husband ran to the local market for water and iced coffee to keep us hydrated. It was very hot both days and some crazy exciting weather on Sunday, but we survived and had a wonderful time.

I met so many nice people who came to my booth- blog readers (THANK YOU!!!), so many people from Etsy, old friends, friends of friends,and new friends. The lovely Floresita of Feeling Stitchy came by. I was so very happy to meet her. I’ve admired the fantastic job she does, keeping us fed on interesting/unusual/contempory embroidery. Richard Saja introduced himself to me, saying- We have been mentioned in the same articles. Wow- he is way more Art then me- His work is awesome.

A few funny things I remember-

toddler points at tattoo man doll and says- look! Somebody made Daddy!

Lady say- these are too expensive. I say- they are not too expensive. You just don’t want to pay that much.

Man says to me as he is walking out of the booth- Excellent business model! ( I think my mouth probably dropped in surprise)

And, there was a FREE photo booth.

Now, time to get back to the studio!

planning what comes next

Here is a horrible photo of my booth in the midst of setting up-

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The show was wonderful. The South End is always fun- knowledgeable customers, incredibly nice fellow vendors. As always, I met great people and came home exhausted but also inspired. And, I have 9 fewer dolls then on Friday morning when I started packing up (sold at the market and on Etsy).

Today was spent unpacking the car, listing dolls on Etsy, packing and shipping, storing my show supplies, making a small dent in the mess I’d made preparing last week. I need to get to work on my Christmas presents. First I have to clear a path through the mess in the studio though. And bake some cookies. And finish a few more dolls that never quite got done for the show. Tomorrow I will start on all that.

More planning- another Tiny World class. I’ve had several requests. Anyone interested? We could do it the last Saturday of January (1/30) or the last Saturday of February (2/27). If I get at least 4 people interested in one or both, I will write it on my calendar.  Details about the class here.

Lastly, today is my Mom’s birthday. She is 93- amazing. I have been thinking of her all day. There is nothing much I can do to celebrate- she is not local to me and she no longer knows who I am so no phone call.

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I’m way behind- here is the market report.

The market was last Saturday- it was one of those “paying your dues” kind of events.

Can you see where my tent is set up? Right next to the bus stop? Air quality, poor.

And it was windy. I’ve never experienced a windy market day. I think it might be worse then rain. I am going to have to do some booth redesign to address it.

I met some nice people and had some great conversations. Surprisingly, several people who were very enthusiastic about my work- so I assumed were interested in art and/or craft- had never heard of Etsy. My being surprised might say more about me then them.

I won’t be showing (in person) again until October, when I will be at the South End Open Market with Boston Handmade.

I still have room in my next tiny world class on 8/13. Email me, if you are interested. More info here.

weekend report

It went pretty well. People who were there last year said it was down by half and so, taking that into consideration, it was great! As always, it is lots of fun in the South End of Boston. I knew many of the other vendors. I met new people- other vendors and buyers. And loved when friends stopped by. It is a long weekend though and exhausting. I am beginning to feel like myself again.

Here was my booth before we opened on Friday night-

I didn’t bring any tiny worlds because I only had one finished. I had 3 in progress so I finished them yesterday and put them in my shop.

Now it is time to make Christmas happen around here. Of course first I have to get all that laundry done, go food shopping, spend some quality time at the post office, uncover the beds for the kids who will be arriving in the next few days, see if I can find the floor in my studio, uncover surfaces all over the house… things do get neglected when I am preparing for a show!

market report

mine, not all that bad news over on those other kinds of blogs.

The weather was perfect, I met some wonderful people, loads of positive feedback from visitors and other venders, and I sold some stuff.

Here is my booth on Saturday morning when I was at the end of the row and my booth was open on 2 sides-

The second day I tried out a slightly different set-up when I was in mid-row and only open in front-

I guess it doesn’t look that different but little changes and tweaking are part of the fun. I LOVE my banner! I think it made the whole booth look better. Another big excitement- I got it all figured out to take credit cards. WooHoo! The Big Time!

I gave away enough of my Moo cards that I just placed another order. That’s a good sign. I always dread the tizzy I get into when prepping for an event like this, but once I’m there, I am reminded how great it can be. I will be back in the South End on Sunday, October 12.