Entering the World of Art/Craft Shows...what was I thinking...

What was I thinking...Thanksgiving, holiday shopping, work and traveling for Christmas weren't busy enough for me, I had to add more drama to the situation.  For those of you who know me, the answer is...OF COURSE.  I decided to try my first real attempt at a Craft and Art Show...and not only am I trying my hand at ONE but TWO.  The first of which was last weekend in Matthews, North Carolina at the Women's Club's Victorian Tea Boutique.  I call that my trial run because I wasn't present for that event.  I just dropped my stuff off and left it to the professionals.  Sadly, I bombed.  I only sold three things.  My main event will be this weekend, Friday, December 7th and Saturday, December 8th at the Arts Market in NoDa.  It's located at the Neighborhood Theatre and has lots of different vendors.  My goal...to sell $100 worth of items. So...now that you know where I'm headed...here is how I began.  When I decided that I wanted to participate in these shows, the first thing I did was a lot of reading.  Reading on what to do...what not to do...how to advertise...how to plan...how to package and of course, the big buzz word that everyone is talking about...SOCIAL MEDIA.  My next thought was what would I sell.  For the first show, I only did stationery and calendars.  For the second show though, my theme  is Everything Paper.  I am adding gift tags, picture frame mats and subway art to the mix. 

Three weeks out and it's time to get started.  Step 1:  What items to I take? After doing my research, I came to the conclusion that I would come up with 5 or 6 new designs - providing a little variety but not overwhelming people with too many options. Step 2:  Purchase Supplies It never failed that no matter which Michaels I go to, they don't have what I need.  Probably because I think I have bought them out of all the white paper cardstock they have. Step 3:  Start Creating I tried to get in a habit of printing all my designs on one day and cut the next.  I've been repeating the process every night for the last three weeks, with a night off here and there. Step 4:  Packaging I was lucky to have some friends that came over and helped me package everything up for the show. Step 5:  Social Media Of course I went the normal routes of Facebook and Tweeting but I also completed my first attempt at an email blast via Constant Contact.  Then I came up with incentives....SHOW SPECIALS as they were...and FREE GIFTS.  And the VIP Gift Bags at the  The 4th Annual Red Pump/Red Tie Affair sported Coupons by LJL DESIGNS. Step 6:  Packing Up I found one large plastic container and two small ones that I can pack all my stationery, in order by pattern, subway art, etc.  Step 7:  Plan it Out One of the most popular things that I learned was to plan out your table beforehand so you know exactly where everything will go...that happens TONIGHT!  Based on my schedule, I will have 1 hour to set up my booth and I need it to attract everyone that walks by. Step 8:  SELL/SELL/SELL Step 9 :  Evaluate/Take Notes/Plan for the Next Event

It's now Thursday and the show is tomorrow.  I have Steps 1-4 completed and I have a LONG night ahead of me...but Saturday night when it is all over, it will be worth it tomorrow!  Positive Thinking!

So, if you find yourself with time on your hands or in the need of holiday gifts this weekend, drop by the Arts Market in NoDa - Booth 115 and say hello.  Be sure to check out some of the Show Specials...

Free Gift with Every Purchase Have something customized and receive free shipping AND for those of you reading this blog...Purchase 4 sets of cards and receive the 5th one Free.  Be sure and mention that you read it on my blog.

Want to know what happens at the show and see all the fun pictures...follow me!  I'll tell you all about it next week.