Monday, June 7, 2010

Lowcountry Artist Market Update

[all photos by lulaboutique]

Hi all! I just got back from my first craft show Lowcountry Artist Market and am totally exhausted. It went pretty well, although maybe not so smoothly.I will explain it in a bit.

As always, I put off everything until the last minute -- well, basically, I "thought" I had enough time, so I kept making more and more jewelry until Friday night, and then I started packing and making earring cards...and still didn't finish everything by 4am on Saturday. I slept for four hours, got up at 8, and then arrived the Music Farm at about 9:30am. The show started at 10:30, and I "thought" by arriving an hour early I was doing a good job.I was totally wrong! People started coming in about 10am, and I was still setting up and doing the last price tags at 11.00!! Argh!!

I think part of the reason I was really slow at set up was because of inexperience.I brought tons of displays but had no general idea how I was going to arrange them. Originally I was going to put all of the earring cards on two wire CD racks, but it turned out they wouldn't stay put on the racks.When one of the first few shoppers took a earring card off the rack, the rest of the earring cards all fell off the rack, so after that I decided to leave all earring cards on the table instead.

Other than the little set up chaos, I was pretty poud of myself for remembering a few things.

1. I asked to have a booth next to a power outlet when I knew there was going to be electricity available. I brought the extension cord, a surge protector and two small desktop daylight lamps with me. This was a little trick I read somewhere online a long time ago about jewelry displays.When having an indoor show, shine extra light at jewelry will make it look more sparkly and give it a more "expensive look".

As soon as I arrived the Music Farm, I was really glad I brought extra lights.The Music Farm was a pub and the lighting was pretty poor. My booth was actually at a prime location.It was right in front of the main door and received the best lighting, but it was still pretty dark. Quite a few customers told me " you are smart to bring your own lights". I believe these lights also helped me with sales.

2. I am glad I practiced using my credit card imprinter at home.

I just got a merchant account a few weeks ago, and also bought an imprinter for shows.I actually had no idea how to use it, and the instruction included wasn't quite clear. Luckily there I had an imprinter receipt in my wallet from another event I attended, so I used it as a reference and practiced using the imprinter with my own credit card. It turned out about 75% (!) of my customers paid with credit card. I was a little nervous when I received the first credit card payment, and almost forgot how to use the imprinter, so my little practice really helped me to remember the steps. 

3. I brought tons of pens and two notebooks for newsletter sign up.

I'm not sure why I remembered to do this, but I brought at least 5 pens and two notebooks.There were times when I actually had two customers signing up for the newsletter on both sides of the table, and whenever a pen was misplaced I could always pull out another one for the customer.

I didn't get a chance to look around during the show, but there is one booth I have to mention.When I arrived in the morning, I was surprised to see the booth across me was already completely set up!

This is Karen(lulaboutique, left) and her sister(right). Karen sells vintage style jewelry, and I just love her creative displays. I had been thinking about how to do a "vertical display" that is aesthetically pleasing, and  Karen's booth was such an inspiration for me. She used two large gift boxes to lift up the earring display.The boxes are so pretty that they serve as a decoration as well.The cork board on the left is another simple and gorgeous necklace display that I may have to try next time.I have been hanging my necklaces on standard white necklace displays.They look ok, but because all the chains overlap, it is not convenient to remove necklaces from displays for customers to try on. And if customers can't try them on, they are also less likely to purchase them.

Karen also uses frames to display her shop name and credit card sign.

From this angle you can see how Karen displays her jewelry at different height.

 

I went to check out Karen't booth during the slow hours.We started chatting, and she ended up taking photos for my booth for me -- Even tho I brought my camera, I forgot to charge it and the battery died just after a few crappy shots. So, all of the photos in this post were taken by Karen.Thanks, girlfriend! :D

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Mu-Yin Jewelry at Lowcountry Artist Market

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I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend! I enjoyed sleeping in and working on jewelry while watching TV. Since my jewelry is made to order, I have been trying to build a small inventory for a local show "Lowcountry Artist Market" this coming Saturday(6/5) at Music Farm, downtown Charleston. I am pretty excited about it, because this will be my first real craft fair.The last time I had to set up a booth was at a farmer's market , and people were really surprised to see artists there. Since then, I have been selling my jewelry exclusively online, and after much consideration have decided to refrain from craft show commitments.That is why I still don't own a canopy.

Two months ago, when a past customer Kristin contacted me about this new craft show she was organizing, I was intrigued. She said she fell in love with buying handmade on Etsy when she was planning her wedding (she bought my pussy willow jewelry for bridesmaids) and decided to organize a craft show featuring local Etsy artists. Since it will be held indoors, I don't need to worry about not owning a canopy, and I am also excited to join other local Etsy artists in the same show.

Stop by and say hi if you get a chance!

mollie xo

In case you couldn't open the link for the event, here are the details(from the official flyer)....


Saturday, June 5th

Lowcountry Artist Market

Music Farm

32 Ann St

Charleston SC 29403


Etsy.com inspired Event featuring anything and everything Handmade, Vintage, and Local.

On Saturday, June 5th, the bands, lights, and music generally filling the Music Farm will be replaced by handmade jewelry, vintage clothing, customized home goods, and a variety of talents from all over Charleston.

The Market will be open from 10:30 am until 5:00 pm. Featuring upwards of 40 vendors, the Market will provide a variety of local jewelry artists, vintage clothing dealers, custom children’s clothing, home and fashion accessories, as well as artwork – all from the Charleston community.

The Music Farm will have the bar open, so patrons can enjoy beverages while they shop.

For more information, email Kristen@musicfarm.com or call (843) 577-6969.

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