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.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Corn on The Cob Side Dish

Loving this new idea for corn on the cob, well in this instance it is off the cob.  This is a good combination of ingredients with the abundant summer corn.  You can also vary it to taste.

Cut corn off the cob.  In a skillet lightly saute diced onions in butter, I was sort of generous with the butter as you will want it to coat the corn.  Once onions are translucent add corn, continue to saute, season with parsley, I used about 1tsp per 2 ears of corn.  Cook until corn is tender, or cooked through, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Picture Frame Display

I am always on the lookout for display ideas that go up.  I have recently added Kanzashi and yo yo brooches to my line and these were my inspiration. 

I recently got a perfect picture frame at a yard sale for $4.00 and this was a perfect size to try my idea, and with little cost.  I had thought I might add a plate stand to help prop it up but that did not work for my frame, then it occurred to me to try an artist easel, and recalling I had seen table versions.
This is the tabletop easel I opted for, it has support bars on the top which I can move to properly support my picture frame.
My picture frame had a double matted print, I just flipped it over, this sturdy cardboard was enough body to hold in these little nails, they are poking out the back, I need to put something behind to help, for now I will just be careful.  I also painted the cardboard with an acrylic paint.  My original idea was to get a piece of 3/8 inch plywood or similar to put in the frame, I got lucky it worked as is.

I was able to get 30 brooches display, these are hung on business cards, I put a gold charger underneath to hold additional ones as well.

My total cost for my display was:
$4.00 yard sale frame
$9.00 Tabletop easel with coupon from Michaels
.59 cents acrylic paint.

Such a deal, and a great way to take a display UP!

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