Soka University International Festival

So, I finished this festival feeling great. Cutie Pie the Giant Elephant was a huge hit. I am pretty sure that 90% of the people who walked by, stopped to hug her, take a selfie with her, or just stare with their mouth wide open. She was a fantastic conversation starter and she drew people in. 

A lot of crafters set up booths so that no one has to enter, so people can just shop from the walkway. I hate that. I want to draw them in, I want them to walk around. I want to have the opportunity to display more and have them come touch and feel everything. Cutie Pie did just that. People would come in to look at her backside, or to talk to me about how long she took and how on earth I designed her, and then they saw the baby stuffed elephants…

So, the day started by this lovely vendor next to us pitching a hissy fit because she was “on the wrong side of the circle!!” And “no one ever walks over here or buys anything on this side!!” Obviously that wasn’t true. (We were along the path to get to and from the performances and the bathrooms….lots and lots of foot traffic! And I was next to the bouncy house and sky jumper!) so she went and cried and complained and freaked out until they moved her to the other side, which left the booth space next to me empty. So, myself and the other vendors two down all spread out a little more, and we did quite well. She, however, sold dress up clothes and really cheap jewelry…she ended up being next to the university sponsored free dress up station….and she whined and cried and was awful all day…and sold nothing. It is amazing how a smile can make so much of a difference.
While I didn’t sell a ton, I did make my booth fee back and then a little more. So, that already makes it better than the last show I did. And while I could easily look at it and say, I” still lost money because of all the gas we used to get there!” I am refusing to look at it that way. I got a couple new subscribers to my monthly newsletter. I had a lot of people take a card without even being offered one (totally different than funky finds). I had some heartbroken kids and moms when I nearly sold out of my little elephants and those moms took cards. I got some exposure on social media. I had several people inquire about custom items for Halloween (after seeing my daughters costume). And, I definitely learned what area of the festival to try and a get booth in for next year. šŸ™‚ So, it was a good day. It was worth the trip. It was fun. And people were impressed.

I was a little surprised that my tutus got almost no attention. I did almost sell one at the end of the festival, but the good person in me couldn’t do it. The little girl was screaming that she hates skirts, the mom kept saying to the dad who wanted to buy it, “I don’t think she will wear it, she’s just not girly”. The dad kept saying “she will learn to like skirts.” So, when he offered me his card, I suggested she try it on to ensure it would fit…she threw a huge fit, kicked her dad in the face (she was like 2 and he kept picking her up and trying to force her into the skirt). So, the mom told him they shouldn’t get it and walked away, and the dad told me that I had just ruined a sale for myself. I am okay with it though. I couldn’t sell them an item they would never get to use, or would make their kid that upset. I hate when people insist their kid needs a certain color or style because they are a boy or girl. Not all girls want to be fairy princesses. So, while that last sale  would have been nice, I couldn’t really dump my morals for $35. 

Well, here is my set up, and all that jazz. šŸ™‚ I had a very minimalist setup, and I really liked it. It wasn’t overwhelming, there was room to walk, and I think it looked clean and well organized.
   

  

  

  

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2 thoughts on “Soka University International Festival

  1. Oh wow! There’s the huuuge cuddly elephant I saw a few months ago! Great display. Loved your day’s narrative story and, yes, it all begins with baby steps, made by sweet Desi. By the way, I was no where’s near being a tutu girly either, unless maybe the tutu was on a pony
    ! Good luck, kid, always.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Soka University International Festival 2016 | SweetBabyDesi

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