12 December 2011

backtracking... getting ready for Auburn

Coming home from my Thanksgiving travels I went directly into making last-chance preparations for my first (what I thought would be a) craft bazaar as a vendor. My friend Saskia, who makes handmade soaps and lip balms under the name Base Natural, has been doing craft fairs and farmers markets for a few years now, but recently moved up to the Pacific Northwest from the Bay Area, so the possibility of attending one together is a newfound treat! Thanks to her diligent searches, we found a holiday bazaar at a HS in Auburn, WA where she works, scheduled for December 3rd.

I took at least 3 different place mat sets with me to St. Louis and Ft. Lauderdale to finish off bindings over the nearly 2 weeks away. So, the last additions to my inventory made it in just under the wire.

I also made sure to print up cards and labels for everything, of course:

and had heard that it is very important to test your table set-up before actually getting there. Not entirely sure of the table size I would have to work with, I did the best I could at my studio.

Now, I really should have taken a good look at these photos (and more I have not included) to realise that my set up was maybe a mite too busy. But these are lessons we learn one way or another. Too bad I had to travel 150 miles for one day of work to figure it out.

So I packed all these goodies in a suitcase and a couple of large totes and loaded my car for the ride up to Tacoma. The bazaar was not quite what I had expected, but still worthwhile for a first time experience. And great to do it with a good friend at the next table. Too bad I was mucho forgetful that weekend - first I left my camera in my overnight bag at Saskia's house, so couldn't take pictures of the table. I did eventually get to take a couple of photos later in the day using her boyfriends' camera, and I'll try to upload those when I get them. My sales were a little less than impressive - only a set of coasters to a walk-by customer (though Saskia's mom did purchase one of the place mat sets, and Saskia bought a couple pairs of pot holders)... I think less going on on the table will be better in the future - pick and choose which types of inventory I'll be showing at any one time. I'll play around.

SO, a first try is always a good step, and one I'm glad I've taken. By the time spring rolls around and more markets are looking for vendors, hopefully I'll have ironed out some of the newby issues and be ready to present myself the best I know I can.

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