Thursday, July 19, 2012

Plymouth Art in The Park Show

I have officially finished my first multi-day outdoor show.  I am sharing a few pics of my time at this show and of course a few thoughts. This is a huge show, in Michigan I think it is the second largest, second to The Ann Arbor Art Fair which is this week. 

My serious prep for this show can mid April when I learned I got into the show.  I had at that time between etsy and my stock I use for off line about 450 items made.  My first step was making a dream list of inventory, where I listed my entire line and how much I hoped to take.  This went through many changes and became my sewing list.  My final number of items I was aiming to make was around 1200 items, with a value just under 15K.  I kept an excel spreadsheet of inventory, supplies needed and random comments.  This spreadsheet was a tool I used pretty much all day everyday getting ready, and really kept me on track for sewing.  Yes, I finished my goal of 1200 items made, actually I think 1187 but we can call it 1200 I may have missed a few along the way.

For this show I also had to invest in some additional displays, I hope to do 2-4 outdoor shows a year, so these purchases were inevitable, for other displays I used things from around the house.  I bought weights for my tent and 4 additional grid walls, a metal shelf for on my table and more hardware for the grid walls.  As for display items for future shows I am pretty well set, though I am contemplating replacing 4 of my older grid walls for newer ones, the new ones were MUCH lighter.

For set up, it was the night before starting at 8:30 pm and went to midnight, you might think setting up at midnight would be my thank you.  Luckily we had some friends help and were finished with the tent, gridwalls, tables and other small display items in about an hour.  

The hard-work, or the long time consuming part of the task was putting up for display 1200 items.  When you have three months of neatly organizing and counting them it seems this would be an easy task to display them.  It took myself and my friend and her husband about 2.5 hours.  This was definitely an area where I learned something for future shows.

This shows the table that had the most on it, and this was also the table that saw the most action.  On the left is a metal shelf that I got just before the show, it gave me some much needed height and dimension and my kanzashi clutches looked great on it.  This shelf is better used for items that can sit on their own, rather then being in a basket as the shelf part had lots of gaps.  I also used the grid walls, that came back from the front "end cap", on this I had a shelf on the right and used hooks to display carabiner coin purses.  Also in this view is my picture frame kanzashi display which I showed in this prior blog post.  Baskets and trays display other items, I used a home made riser for an item which was simply a box wrapped in pretty gift wrap. I hope to add a few more pics as I still sort things out...and find one of the cameras. 

As for the show itself, I had a great time and it was a great experience...would I do this show again...not sure?  Though to be honest I am not sure I would ever do another 3 day show, especially when that show goes into a 4th day for set up.  I learned a lot about doing big shows and know for sure I could improve upon my prep, set up and tear down.  I have applied to a 2 day show in September, though a little reluctant fresh out of this show as the amount of work is still lingering, but I figure after 2 months I will be ready to go again.

Good news is I have lots of completed inventory to stock etsy, Yellow Door and a good jump start on holiday shows I already have planned.


Kathy said...

Looks very nice, and welcoming.

Yours Truly said...

Your tables/booth look lovely and so inviting. I'm considering doing a craft show soon, my first and collecting ideas on how to set it up.This ones definitely on my list. Thanks.

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