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Patchwork Santa Ana – Spring 2018

Back in May, I vended at my third Patchwork show. The first one was sort of a disaster. The weather was terrible, the attendance was terrible, and I was horribly sunburned due to a faulty sun-umbrella. The second one was a lot better. I broke even and learned a lot.

This third one was great. I was actually in a new location, so a fairly low traffic area, but still managed to walk away ahead. Which is sort of a first for my shows. Plus, I sold a few items I wasn’t expecting to, so that was pretty amazing. I also sold out completely of my ice cream cones, so they are next on the list of things I should work on before the fall/winter show after Thanksgiving.

The festival was really expanded this year, it even included a fashion show put on by student designers at the local college.

I am still trying to figure out the perfect booth layout, as I sell such a huge variety of products that I have no idea how best to display a little of everything! Ideas and suggestions are totally desired. 🙂

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Retro Bettie

This last October, I took part vending during the annual Retro Bettie Bazaar hosted by Cherry Dollface. This is an event that I attend as a shopper each year, and I have always really enjoyed.

Now, I walked into this event not intending to do well. It isn’t really my crowd, being that most items being sold are vintage or pinup oriented in some fashion, and my stuff is not. But, I figured, lots of pinup moms, and I would go and hang out anyway, so let’s give it a try!

Attendance was not what I had come to expect, it was pretty down. So, from the start it was a slow day. However, everyone there was fun and excited to be out and about. The ladies and gents (and kiddos) that came around were trick or treating, laughing, smiling, and just generally enjoying their day.

As far as sales go, for me, it was pretty much zilch. Like I said, I don’t quite fit the motif, and I think I am just more expensive than what people are used to at these sort of events. And the one thing I have learned after all of these years is that the sale isn’t worth selling my work short. The expense of yarn and the time it takes to make this stuff is worth a decent price, so it is all about finding those willing to pay it.

The day wasn’t a total bust, as I got to see some of my favorite ladies from the SoCal pinup community, and the wonderful Jessica of Bomber Betty Cosmetics, which is pretty much the only makeup I wear.

We are still trying to figure out a good pricing display for events…as I hate individually tagging things, because there is just SO much, plus whether sales tax is included changes based on the event. But, at the same time, because there is so much, it is hard to have a sign for the individual items.

What do you guys think? What is the easiest pricing situation when you have hundreds of different types, and differently priced, items?

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Piecemakers Festival

I am sorely, sorely disappointed with this festival. I try not to badmouth the festivals I don’t enjoy, but this one was so ridiculous, that I feel the need to warn people about it. I will not be returning. I have walked this one, I have seen amazing photos, I have followed it…and my experience as a vendor was frustrating. Speaking with other vendors, it seemed that was the general consensus. This year, it was poorly planned, poorly spaced, and had no real oversight. People were tearing down early, bringing cars in early and block booths, they tried to add more booths, so some of the booths actually ran into other ones and blocked them, and the vendor parking was 2miles away with a single shuttle running…that we waited 30min for to get the truck to pack up after we had totally broken down. It was ridiculous.

As far as sales and customers, people were not out to shop. People were absolutely out to get ideas and spend a Saturday hanging out. It was frustrating, but I can deal with that. What really bothered me, was how unbelievably rude so many people were. I was easily one of the most expensive vendors in the area (which is saying a lot, considering my prices); so after I realized this, I realized it was not going to be a good sales day. What I did not expect was the obscene amount of people making rude comments about how worthless my product was, how ridiculously overpriced I am, and straight up trying to take pictures so they can just have a friend do it (or another vendor!!) for “half that price at the most.” I had many women come in just to tell me that they crochet as well, and are more skilled and my prices are outrageous.

It was not a good day…at all. My self esteem, my art, my finances, my anything.

I will most definitely not be back at that festival.

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Patchwork Festival – Santa Ana

I did the Patchwork Festival in Long Beach over the summer, and I decided to do a different one for the winter. And man, oh man am I glad! When the Long Beach one happened, it was HOT! So hot! Like, over 100F…in November. It was really bad for business. So, the Santa Ana festival happened the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and the first couple of hours were rough. It was pouring rain, off and on, and I had to set up a tarp over my booth. It is the only festival that I do that I don’t get a full 10x10ft space for, so I didn’t have my canopy. I just had a little patio umbrella (that sucks…a lot). So, we covered the booth table and gridwalls with a thick painters tarp, then my husband and I hid under a canopy that was set up behind us, along with a few other vendors of glorious paper products that couldn’t be set up in the rain either.

But, we did get lucky, once the show was really open and swinging, the rain stopped. It was still cold and windy, but that didn’t stop anyone! The streets were busy, people were out buying, and sales were quite steady. I did get several new email subscribers, and even gained a few new blog followers out of the day. It was definitely a good festival. I can’t wait to see how it goes next summer and winter, when hopefully the rains and winds aren’t against us!

 

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Patchwork Long Beach Spring 2016

This last Sunday, I took part in the annual Patchwork Makers Festival in Long Beach, CA. Since I was new to the event, we opted to go with the less expensive, smaller booth size. Which, unfortunately, meant no tent and no Cutie Pie. But we stilled  managed a pretty cool looking booth (we did end up using a box to prop up the top part of the owl blanket), and drew in a fair share of customers. My newly released ice cream amigurumi did quite well, and my fat cats were once again a huge hit.

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The baby doll ended up being the highlight of the show! We had multiple people come over who thought it was a real baby that I had balanced on the table for display. A little ridiculous, but funny and got people talking to us.

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I learned a handful of lessons at this show. Like, apparently I need to make adult sized bearded hats and octopus hats. And I am also looking into turning some of my products into rattles as well as just plush toys. Everyone thought the ice cream cones and weights were rattles, and seemed interested in that.

 

I also found out that you shouldn’t buy things off of Amazon when you are tired. I purchased the green umbrella while I was on vacation in Hawaii. Sunnydaze Steel 5 Foot Sage Green Beach Umbrella with Tilt Function. I had read the reviews, or so I thought, and notice a coupel bad ones, but they mostly talked about the colors, and the rest were positive. Now, looking back, I do see 3 bad reviews (one is ours) since I purchased, but I am only seeing 6 reviews in total…and I could have sworn I had read 15 or 20 when I purchased. Either way, the umbrella is a piece of crap. It is nearly sheer, and it provides exactly zero protection from the sun. I got a horrible, awful, painful, terrible sunburn. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I will go back to only getting spaces where I can set up my whole canopy.

 

 

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Back to Reality

 

Home from vacation and back to reality. Time to do all of the glorious running around and craziness that is associated with an upcoming show! I am super excited to be at Patchwork Long Beach this year! It is tomorrow, Sunday!! There are some pretty detailed maps below, and doors open at 11am! So, if you are SoCal local, you should come and check it out! I am debuting a few new products…including…

2 new blankets

1 new piece of headwear

5 new amigurumi

 

So come on by and say hi!

 

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Soka University International Festival 2016

Last Saturday, May 7th, I had the privilege of vending at the 2016 Soka University International Festival. I also vended at this event last year, and am excited to compare the two years.

In 2015, I had a booth near the children’s area. Which, we figured would be a great idea, I sell children’s products! Yay! Well, with the bouncy house, face painting, and dress up station, there was not a lot of focus on buying things. I did alright though, made 5 sales for 8 items. I made my booth fee back and a little on top, but not enough to cover the gas to get the to event. But mostly, I learned a very valuable lesson for craft fairs and etiquette.

This year, I chose a spot more central to the main event. My booth was right on the walkway from the parking lot, so no missing me and my Cutie Pie! Now, I actually discovered an even better area to be than this, though I certainly wasn’t hurting for traffic. The festival went really well for me. I managed 8 sales for 11 items, so not fantastic, but the best I have done at a festival yet. I managed to make back my booth fee, cover gas to get there and back, and still made a very small profit. So, yay! Progress! I also had a wholesale inquiry and several custom item inquiries.

I sold out of my newest product line that I hadn’t even photographed yet, the fat cat. Plus I sold several elephants a few owls. I also found a few projects that I need to work on before my next festival in June. I had several inquiries about larger bearded hats, larger candy corn hats, and headbands. So, hopefully I can whip some up and do even better come Patchwork in June!

 

So, here was my booth set up! Cutie Pie got to lead her own elephant army! The gridwall is all new and did wonders for organizing everything.

 

 

AND! Pretty much the coolest thing EVER happened to me! Sarah, from RepeatCrafterMe came by to check out the festival, and she loved my stuff! Especially Cutie Pie! I just about died! She is so sweet, and her kids are so adorable! It was amazing to get to meet her and I feel so accomplished that she actually liked my stuff! She’s the super celebrity of the crochet world. She also laughed and loved that I had several things she had designed. 🙂