Thursday, March 17, 2011

Countdown and Practice - Rookie Craftshow Preparation

Before I start, just a quick note that if you would like to help the victims of the Japan earthquake and tsunami, you can make a donation to various charity organizations such as the Red Cross, or if you happen to need to purchase gifts(or for yourself!), many Etsy sellers will donate the proceeds for you. I have two of these fundraising listings in my Etsy shop.

Remember my last post about Flowertown Festival? It's now only two weeks away, and I am nervous! Last night I had a dream about making tons of sales at Flowertown, and when I woke up, I realized I hadn't even made that much jewelry for sale.Ha! Guess that's what I will be devoting my spare time to from now until the Show.

About two weeks ago I decided to ask April to help me with Flowertown Festival. Not only has she been giving me ideas for the booth setup, and she also built me two wooden shelves, which were absolutely my dream display. She brought the shelves last weekend so we could practice the setup with them.This was actually our second practice session.The first time was two weeks ago, when we decided the general layout of the booth and the need for the shelves. I don't want to spoil the fun, so there will be no closeup pictures until after the show. :) But as you can see in the following picture, this is how the tables will be laid out. I will be using a 4'x2' at the front to draw attention to the crowd. The other table of the L shape is a 5'x 2.5' that (hopefully) will lead the crowd into the booth. I will be sitting behind this "counter". In the back corner of the tent is another 5'x2.5' table. This layout is designed to ensure smooth traffic flow if two people want to come in or leave the tent at the same .

On the right sidewall of the tent is a pegboard(it was painted black after this photo was taken) that was attached to the the frame of the tent using bungee cords. Most of the earrings will be displayed on this pegboard.

I'll give you a photo that shows some of the displays and the wooden shelf April built. It measures about 4'x1', which will put the displays at eye level so that customers don't have to bent down to look at the jewelry.

Now, I'd like to mention something that I was so terrified about prior to this experience - setting up the canopy by myself. Don't ask me why, but no matter how many people told me that it would be ok, I simply wouldn't believe myself until I actually tried it. After much consideration and research, I eventually went with a Caravan canopy instead of an E-Z Up (these two are probably the most popular brands for professional crafters). Caravan is known to be durable and, therefore, bulky. It has a steel frame and is pretty darn heavy, but I am glad to know that I can (to my surprise) pick it up and walk a few feet without problem. It also comes with a wheeled carrying bag, which should make it easier for me to move it for a longer distance. When I set it up by myself, I have to keep walking in circles and work from one corner to the next for a few times until the whole Canopy is pushed up. It takes me about 20 minutes to set up the tent, and then another 20 minutes for the sidewalls. Although I haven't tried, I can imagine with two people it would probably be much faster than that. 

Now, you may much does it cost to do a big craft show like this? Well, this is something I was not prepared for. Originally I thought the cost would only be slightly more than the booth fee, since I don't have to travel (it's only 2 miles away from my house), but I was totally wrong! Let me give you a quick breakdown on the costs...

booth fee - $350 (for a three-day show)

canopy - $200 and up (My Caravan cost close to $270 including the sidewalls)

folding tables - $150~200 (depending on how many tables and what size you need)

display - $100 and up depending on how fancy you want your booth to be.

banner(s) - $50 and up

business cards and misc. supplies - this would easily cost more than $100. I had to buy a dolly($30), bungee cords ($15), business cards($50) and a few other items, and there still seems to be more things to buy.

I believe that was over $1000 there already. Thankfully, other than the booth fees, the rest are re-usable for future shows, so I suppose I will be doing Flowertown Festival every year from now on.

It's time to get back to work, so I'll talk to you again after the show - please come by and say hi if you are around the area between 4/1 and 4/3. My booth is G49, inside the Azalea Park. 


::::Lula Boutique:::: said...

You did a fabulous job!! Looks fantastic and I really like the wooden shelves! :)

Jono and I will stop by and see you as long as I don't go into labor before then. ;) Any day now!

Good luck at the festival if we can't make it!


mu-yin jewelry said...

aw..thx Karen! I look forward to seeing you. But please be careful because there's probably gonna be too many people!

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