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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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1

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. 🙂

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Winter Wonderland Scam

 

I’ve been waiting to post about this “event” for a little while now. I have just been waiting for the PayPal claim to be completed. But, the PayPal claim went through and I have my money back, so I am more comfortable publicly discussing the mistake I made.

 

I fell for this pretty intricate scam on Facebook. I believe to a couple of groups that try to hook vendors and venues up. Well, over the year, I had seen one lady, Lizzy Cline, posting several events up. So, when she posted in July about a Christmas show that had 7 spots left, I contacted her. After all, she had posted about 2 dozen other events over the last 7 months, so why not. She sent me info about the venue, the show, a contract, everything seemed pretty standard. I googled the show and found records going back 5 years! All of it was via facebook, or a vendor blog, but it seemed legit. There was even another Etsy shop signed up! There were some photos, dates, different venues, all in the same city, all with the same coordinator. Cool beans. So, I sent off my money (luckily through paypal and not a check!), signed my contract, and turned down two other shows because I was booked.

 

Two weeks before the show, I get a follow up email from the coordinator. She verified the location, the time, and we discussed the contract a little.

The week before the event, I emailed her to clarify set up time. I didn’t hear back…okay, probably busy. The day of the event, we arrive two hours before the event opens, and no one is there…doors are locked. Okay, well, the contract did say we would have at least an hour…so maybe the venue isn’t opening early (opens at 10am normally). Then, another person shows up…a DJ…he was told to be there at 10am as well…well, 10am comes and goes…10:30am comes and goes…I have now emailed and facebooked the coordinator…the venue is still not open. The DJ is angry and on the phone with his boss. No other vendors have shown up.

Well, there had recently been a tragedy in San Bernardino / Redlands…so I thought, maybe it got cancelled and somehow I didn’t get put on the email. So, the venue opens and we go inside to ask about it being cancelled…they inform us they have never heard of this Lizzy Cline or the festival…so yea…I immediately get on PayPal and file a claim, then get back onto my Facebook group and post a warning about her events, especially since she had recently posted a few more!

Best part? After I made my post, several people came forward to say she had scammed them too, and they didn’t think it was okay to publicly share the information in the group, so they just contacted people who they saw comment on her posts privately! Ugh!

 

So…lesson learned, stop trusting people on Facebook…oh, and if someone does something bad, feel free to rat them out and have them tossed out of your group / site / circle / whatever! Watch each other’s backs!

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North Tustin Boutique

Last Saturday, Nov 7th, I participated in the a small boutique / craft fair in North Tustin, California. It was definitely a different experience from any I had been involved in before. This was done in the coordinators home. There were only a few vendors, and we were all involved in running the show. Some of the ladies did set up, some did tear down. I was a part of the security team (because I am big and scary…grrr!). Some of the ladies ran a central check out, some others were greeters, we even had a lady doing manicures! It was really a neat set up. The entire thing was set up by a fantastic lady who sells vintage and also happens to be a kick ass realtor in Orange County, CA.

Some of the killer items included:

Awesome bows, Christmas ornaments, Santa sacks, and so much more from MiAmor Couture

Great oils, deodorants, and beard oils from Naturally Salvaje

Candles from The Wick Box

Really awesome vintage stuff, from ornaments to furniture, from Bellas Vintage Chic

Quilts, skirts, dresses, aprons, coasters, embroidery and so much more from GiGi

Bows and tutus by Gina

Amazingly delicious cakes and cookies by D’s Old Fashioned Treats

Mickey Ears by Ditzy Ears

Scentsy products by consultant Cathy

OPI products (and manicures!) by consultant Alice of Polish Connect

Gorgeous light up blocks by Vicki Plum. (I don’t have a link for her, but her blocks are in the photo below, so leave a note if you want her contact info!)

Organic soaps and home grown spices by IPashmak

Beautiful wooden signs by Salvaged Sparrow.

I did well at the event, considering it was a first year home boutique. We are hoping next year will turn out even more amazing! And more importantly, I met some absolutely amazing women! (And I apologize if I missed anyone on the list of products!)