So many people.
So much fun.
With one day of the Indie Craft Experience down, I'm spent. It was an action packed day in Centennial Olympic Park, so I'm exhausted in a good way.
Compared to last year, we were blessed to have nice weather. Tomorrow promises to be just as great. Come on out to Centennial Olympic Park. We'll be there 11 am until 7 pm. See http://www.ice-atlanta.com for more details.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
So many people.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Here are 4 reasons to check out the Indie Craft Experience this weekend (courtesy of Creative Loafing Atlanta). It's Sat. & Sun. from 11 am until 7 pm at Centennial Olympic Park.
Expect a recap of last weekend's Atlanta Jazz Festival soon.
And, finally, this is classic. This weekend promises to be sunny and if the customers are anything like they were last year, there will definitely be no nightmares.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
On May 14th-16th, my mom sat in for me as a vendor at the 2009 Daughters of Destiny (DOD) Conference. The conference was entitled WOW Women: Soaring to Another Level. It was located at Chateau Elan in Braselton, GA.
You know the drill: Using comments my mom made about the conference, here's the blow-by-blow.
A large part of the reason I insist on recapping shows is that I want other potential vendors to have informed consent. I was disappointed that I couldn't find the experiences of previous vendors at the DOD conference online.
-Every customer was very pleasant. The conference was a part of a church ministry, so attendees were spiritual women on a retreat.
-The conference was held at a beautiful location (Chateau Elan) with a very hospitable staff. My mom's only negative comment about the location was that she couldn't partake in its amenities due to the show's hours.
-Because the conference was located in a hotel, some of the other guests who were not conference attendees came by the vendor market.
-There was ample space between vendors, so everyone could stretch out comfortably.
-"The vendors looked out for each other." My mom said that vendors nearby her offered to help her set up and strategized with her about how to get food and take bathroom breaks.
-A couple of complimentary food goodies were provided to vendors.
-This was a HUGE learning experience. (See below for details.)
-We paid $275 for a table that was less than 6 feet long. (About 2 inches of my 6 foot banner hung over on both sides.) I was also asked to donate an item that was used as a door prize. If vendors wanted an additional table, it cost $150 more. Electricity cost $100 per outlet.
-Some participants stated that they were tapped out financially. In paying for both the conference, the hotel, and some of the meals (all of the meals weren't included) some people simply didn't have money to spend at the vendor market.
-Vendors were located away from conference activities. Therefore, many participants did not even have to pass through the vendor market during the course of the conference.
-The conference was advertised to vendors as a 3 day selling event, with "300 women ready to shop." However, there were long periods of time in which the attendees were in session and unavailable to shop. For example, on the 2nd day (which we assumed would be the longest day for sales) vendors were asked to be set up by 7:30 am. However, attendees were in a session from 6:00 am until 12:30 pm, with no breaks. My mom says, "The vendors were sitting there, twiddling their thumbs."
-Conference organizers advertised a mall in close proximity to the hotel. Sooo, on that 2nd day, when participants were actually free, most of them went to the mall instead of to the vendor market. Of those who stayed, a good percentage went to the spa...which is pretty expensive.
-At the end of the conference, organizers did not route attendees to the vendor market. In fact, they shooed them away from the market and pressured the vendors to breakdown immediately.
-Because of the distance from home, the early morning set up (by 7:30 am) and late night breakdown (at 11:00 pm), and the high cost of staying at Chateau Elan, my mom stayed at a nearby hotel. Had she known that selling opportunities wouldn't start until the afternoon, she wouldn't have gotten a hotel room.
-I was notified that I would be a vendor less than a week before the conference. To put that into context, on April 23rd, I was notified that I'll be in both the Atlanta Jazz Festival and the Indie Craft Experience. April 23rd! That's at least a month before both of those shows. A month! I was definitely quite concerned about how organized the DOD Conference would be based on this late notice.
-Before completing an application to be a vendor, I asked conference organizers for a list of previous vendors. Although the conference has been going on since 2001, the organizer refused to provide me with the name of any vendors. And I couldn't locate the names of any online. This should've been THE red flag that stopped me from completing the application. What tipped the scale for us to participate was a strong recommendation from a friend (who was not a vendor). Given the outcome of the show, the ugliest part of it, really, was that I didn't follow my gut.
There were about 11 or 12 vendors, total. My mom stated that she can confirm that 2, maybe 3, vendors had done the conference before. The rest were newbies, like us.
I'm very doubtful that we will try to participate in the future.
With all of that said, the DOD Conference has the potential to be a good vending opportunity, if some of the issues noted above are addressed. I had the opportunity to show Jamilary in front of an entirely new audience, which is something I'm always appreciative of.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
The Atlanta Jazz Festival vendor market will be next weekend. (Coincidentally, so will my birthday...and my mom's). Admittedly, I'm getting butterflies about this show. This is by far THE biggest show I've done thus far. (And I'll be following it up with the Indie Craft Experience the following weekend in Centennial Olympic Park.)
We'll have the latest Jamilary designs and some reduced prices on older items. Head to to Grant Park on May 23rd and 24th from noon until 11 pm to see them and to wish us a happy birthday.
See http://atlantafestivals.com/ajfpage.html for more details.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Yesterday, I was one of just under 50 vendors who participated in the Queen City Craft Bazaar.
As I've done in the past, I'd like to recap the show.
-It constantly blows my mind how supportive and kind fellow crafters tend to be. (Usually. See "The Ugly" below.) And although, in some ways, it seems that many of the show's attendees were feeling the pinch of the current recession, the vast majority of them were genuinely excited and curious about the crafts present at the show.
-The QCCB really is a simple little show without any pretentiousness. Compared to other shows I've done, it's pretty cheap to vend there, Despite that, Kasey, the organizer, did a great job of spreading the word via advertising and a prime location.
-With what marked the beginning of the spring/summer crafts season, the show took place inside a building. Sure, it sounds simple, but having a roof over my head sure beat Commercial Grade Polyester. My apologies to my outdoorsy readers, but I have my reasons. (See below in "The Bad" section.)
-I had an ample amount of help. My mom came to help out, which is always much appreciated. Additionally, a friend of mine came by as the show was wrapping up to help us pack up and load the car. (Thank you, Mami! Thank you, Christina!) It can take me hours to set up and break down for shows when I'm alone. Not to mention, being alone makes me have to choose between being dehydrated all day, holding "it," or trusting that people won't steal my stuff during my bathroom breaks. I know that I currently live in Burlington, VT, but when it comes to theft, I'm not very trusting. Sue me.
-When the snow stops falling and melts away, it's easy to forget that Burlington, VT gets a lot of precipitation. There was torrential rain during yesterday's show, and it came on a day that the meteorologists were predicting decent weather. Liars. We still had a number of shoppers, though, in spite of the weather.
-The set up was quite aesthetically pleasing; however, anytime I needed to get up to help customers, it was a bit difficult to squeeze between my table and the ones next to me. In the future, I'd recommend that the organizers either space booths a tad bit farther apart and/or offer vendors corner or end spaces for a little bit more. I would definitely prioritize being on a corner or end higher than being upstairs or downstairs. She charged a little bit more for spots downstairs, but I love being at the top. My guess is that just as many people entered on the top level as the bottom. Plus, there were signs all over pointing to there being more vendors upstairs. Anyway, I digress. I recommend that corner/end spots be offered at a premium or that booths be spaced a bit farther apart. (I do acknowledge that few may share my sentiments. I brought a 6 foot table for a 6x4 booth.)
-When I arrived, I was notified that the lights upstairs (where I was vending) weren't on because of some high-tech issue. Basically, the building had sensors that made it so the lights wouldn't turn on until the building was dark "enough." A similar issue had been resolved downstairs, and Kacey was working feverishly to fix the problem upstairs. Alright, so let me be clear - the lights not being on isn't the reason this is listed in "The Ugly" section. The reason I put it here is because of how some of the vendors responded to the "darkness." It. Wasn't. A. Big. Deal. I wanted to just tell everyone to breathe and calm down. I think more than a few ugly comments were made about it, and it just wasn't necessary. I don't think any sales were missed because it was "dark." (In truth, it really wasn't that dark, as evidenced by the fact that the gizmo-y lights didn't "sense" enough darkness in the first place. The sun was shining deceptively bright given the flooding (maybe that's a slight exaggeration) that would soon follow.) Ah, I love the blogosphere's capacity for one-sided, unchallenged rants like this. I didn't feel like speaking up yesterday, but instead enjoyed my contained, low blood pressure.
With that said, how did you find the show?
*And note: the lights did come on towards the beginning of the show and stay on during its duration.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
I'm gearing up for the Queen City Craft Bazaar this Saturday. 10-5 at Union Station (One Main Street) in downtown Burlington.
Other upcoming events:
*On May 23rd & 24th, I will be a vendor at the Atlanta Jazz Festival in Grant Park. See http://atlantafestivals.com for details.
*On May 30th & 31st, I will be a vendor at the Indie Craft Experience in Centennial Olympic Park (Atlanta, GA). See http://ice-atlanta.com for details.
Expect write-ups after each show, such as this one.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Although I was in 2007's Indie Craft Experience (ICE) Summer Show, I was pretty nervous about whether or not I'd get in this year's show. ICE is growing in popularity, so the competition is getting steeper and steeper. "Competition" probably isn't the right word to use since Christy and Shannon (the organizers) as well as the vendors at ICE are so quite kind and polite, but you know what I mean. This year's show is 2 days and about a week earlier than last year's show. Here's hoping that the weather is kind.
Side note: I love the acronym ICE. I wonder if Christy and Shannon have ever considered having a theme song for ICE. Minus the profanity, if it bothers you, don't you think Gucci Mane's "So Icy" is perfect?