First off, hello! I know, I know. I haven’t been very good at keeping up with this blog, like at all. I spent most of my summer moving and wasn’t putting a whole lot of time into RooSpot, until now. Over the past month, I was preparing for my first show of the year and it was just what I needed to get my mojo back. I’m excited to put some more attention into the shop and get ready for the last months of the year, which are always a busy time!
Anyways, this past weekend, I had the honor of being a vendor at Made Festival held at Westport Plaza in St. Louis. I was a little nervous beforehand because the show got a bit of a revamp this year. I was a vendor in this show the past 2 years, but it was held in June and was called Vintage Bliss. Back then the show had a mix of vintage and handmade. This year, there was handmade and small local businesses, but also fewer vendors. So, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.
However, I was really excited to put my new rolling racks to use. My very talented boyfriend built two rolling racks with shelves for me last year, and I had only had one opportunity to use them, crammed in a 6x6 space. This time I had plenty of room with a 10x10 spot. Whenever I set up my space at a craft show, I always like to create the feeling of a store. I want my customers to be able to walk in and have plenty of room to look around. At some shows this isn’t always possible, but I never want to just sit behind a table with my merchandise in front of me. I know that setup works well for some people, and it depends on what you’re selling, but for me I want the customer to come in and browse around awhile.
The racks worked out really well. I hung up samples of every shirt I had, and then put the rest of the stock on the shelves. That way the racks didn’t feel too overwhelming, and the customers didn’t have to shuffle through tons of stuff.
I always like to put my towel rack out in front so people can easily circle around it. And it draws people in!
I decided to try a sale table for the first time. I actually sold some stuff that had been around for years that never sold! I also ended up selling some non-sale rack towels that I’ve had for years and wasn’t even going to put out. You just never know what people are going to buy!
Overall, I thought that this show went really well. Not only did we luck out with the weather, but it seemed like there was a good crowd. There were so many other festivals going on around the city at the same time, so I felt lucky to have so many customers! I felt like I sold more shirts than towels this time, when usually it’s the other way around. But that's motivating because I'm really enjoying making shirts and would like to keep expanding that side of my business.
So, what would I do differently? I definitely need to invest in something to roll my storage bins around in. I always pack my merchandise in giant storage tubs, and the more I expand my product line, the heavier the bins get. When I was selling pillows it was no big deal, but now they are getting pretty hefty and not fun to lug around. I also want to get sides for my popup tent. This was a two day show, so I was pretty jealous of all the other vendors who just zipped up their tent and went home Friday night while I was stuck hauling all my stuff to the storage area.
There is a big non booth related thing I need to work on. I think I need to get better at talking about my product. I can't assume that everyone knows that I create all my designs and do the screen printing myself. Some people do ask, which then I am happy to talk about what I do. But it’s always kind of awkward to just blurt out “I make all my own stuff!!” to people who are browsing my booth. At the same time, I don’t want people thinking someone else is doing all the work, so I’m going to have to figure out a non-awkward way of going about this. Maybe I need a bigger, more descriptive sign!
Hopefully I'll write again soon, before another 5 months goes by!