Monday, February 21, 2011

Gearing up for Flowertown Festival

photo courtesy of Anniehowes 

Happy Presidents' Day! Hope everyone is enjoying a relaxing long weekend. Yesterday we invited our friends April and Josh over for a nice dinner. Knowing April was a fan of handmade goods, I started chatting with her about the big local show Flowertown Festival that was coming up in a month. She told me she had been going every year and asked if I was going this year (I had just learned about Flowertown Festival not long ago and haven't had a chance to go since). I told her that actually I would be having a booth there. She started talking about her experience with Flowertown, and now got me all nervous about it! 

To give you a little background about Flowertown Festival, it's a three day show hosted at the beginning of April each year, when all the flowers are blooming. It is the biggest annual event in Summerville, SC and attracts 200,000 people each year. An actual photo from Flowertown Festival depicts the crowd...
Flowertown Festival
photo courtesy of bobkinney45

When I applied for the festival, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into.I thought I would worry about it after I got accepted. After I was accepted, I told myself that I would worry about it after I paid the booth fee. After I paid the booth fee, I finally spent some time checking out the details about the festival, and when I saw the stats and pictures of the event, I literally panicked.
My first formal show was 8 months ago. It was a one day indoor show with a small table, so there was not too much to worry about. And yes, even though I had told myself multiple times that I would not do any outdoor shows, I eventually gave in to Flowertown Festival because it was 2 miles away from my house! 
In the past few weeks I did some research on canopies and finally bought one today. Now it's time to do some research on booth displays. Again my Etsy buddies have been of immense help.
IMG_3948 
photo courtesy of glasscat

I spent the whole night doing research on booth displays. There are many things I need to worry about with an outdoor booth. I have never set up a canopy so that definitely makes me nervous. I have also never handled a full 10x10 booth, so I have to to purchase quite a bit of extra displays including tables, tablecloths, banners...etc. There are also quite a few major mistakes which I learned from my last show that need to corrected at this show.The more I think about it, the more it overwhelms me, and having an online business suddenly feels so much simpler!
I browsed a lot of photos on Flickr and asked myself how far I want to go with my displays. I can have a very basic basic set up, or a super professional high end looking booth, and, of course, the costs are completely different! As I was pondering this, it suddenly came to me that even until four years ago I still had no idea that one day I would become a jewelry artist with a booth at a big craft fair.Even though I have been selling jewelry full time online for almost three years, every once a while I still have a difficult time defining myself as a "business woman" or "professional jewelry artist". I remember years ago, when I was just a student, I used to love to go to craft fairs and admire those artists beautiful booths and works and their professional presentation in general. I never thought that one day I would be panicking for my first big show and spending hours and hours doing research on booth display! Oh well, I suppose not everything in life is as glamorous and easy as it seems.
When I get my canopy, I will practice the full booth set up once before the show, just to get a general idea how long it takes and if there are some details I want to improve.
If you are around the area from 4/1~4/3, come by and say hi!

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