planning for an art show: part i

i’ve never had my own booth at a festival or an art show. that statement will be a thing of the past in 5 weeks. i’m super stressed out thrilled to be diving head first into this adventure with my best friend in the whole wide twitterverse: jess {from roweHOUSE}! you’ll find us making our big debut at the clintonville art and music festiville. eeps!

we’re being borderline anal as we plan for this beast. we both have big ideas. and the same taste. it makes planning easier, which is a diamond in the rough as we navigate these new waters. we just have to keep it under control and not let this thing get too big. {is there such a thing?!}

between our constantly changing google doc, pins flying up on our board, texts zipping back and forth, and links being tweeted – we have ideas swirling constantly. for the rest of you crafty peeps or small business owners that showcase like this…does it get easier? did you feel overwhelmed and out of control when you got started? {please say yes}

what we know for sure? we’re going with a house/home theme. and trying to turn our tent into a house. yep. it’s happening. the crafting craziness has officially been given the green light to get the heck outta the closet and get busy. i mean, jess makes beautiful quilts, and i kinda sorta rock the coaster and magnet circuit. perfect fit? duh.

jess and i take pride in being creatively crafty on a thrifty budget. translation: we bargain hunt. at goodwill. and antique shops. and stores that sell vintage stuff. our shopping list includes: shelves, wooden boxes, vintage suitcases, anything that could work as a display, clipboards, and something to function as a business card holder. we have lots of shiz to spray paint, lots of product to make, business cards to order, parents to sweet talk into using their skills for us, pennant banners to make, solutions to find, and kinks to work out.

but it’s coming together, and it’s so, so much fun to be doing this with one of my favorite people.

mark your calendars for saturday, september 8  and get your buns to clintonville to see elegant elliephant & rowehouse make their debut at the festiville!

and if you have any tips, tricks, or things to avoid – please tell us. we’re all ears and would love anything you can share with us so we can have a super successful first run at this thing! peace out, lovellies.

6 thoughts on “planning for an art show: part i

  1. My best piece(s) of advice are…make sure you can accept credit cards, eithe through square for apple o other means…it GREATLY increases your chance of sales, alo, don’t take anyone’s opinion personally. Sometimes opinions are not meant to be critical or harsh but they can slice like a knife ( especially after th time you’ve. Spent crafting no preparing!!!). Good luck!

  2. Such an exciting new adventure for you. Ill have to mark my calendar to stop by and see all the goods you have in your tent. Moving soon so that will give me an excuse to come buy!!! :)

    Let me know if you need any crafty help along the way. I can be dangerous with a can of spray paint!

  3. I agree with Katie- you def need to take credit cards. I heard Paypal has a thing you can get to do it. I have Square. They have a very small processing fee, and the device is free. Being able to accept credit cards is really appreciated by customers and does help sales. I also agree with Katie- do not take anyone’s opinion personally. My favorite (eye roll) is the person who spends 15 minutes at my booth, looking at my designs, praising my work to say to their friend under their breath as they walk away “I can totally do that”. I feel those people only come to craft shows to get ideas :) You will hear a large amount of comments- from “you don’t charge enough” to “these are too expensive”.. to people being appalled that you don’t have coasters in a certain color or baffled that you sell them in a set of four when they just want one. You will hear it all :)
    I’m sure you and Jess have thought of everything but some pointers: make sure you have change (including coins), make sure you have table coverings that are long enough, try to practice a set up in your home before you pack everything up to head to the show, make sure your prices are clearly marked (although, people will still ask you ‘how much is this?’), if the venue permits- bring some snacks and beverages (it’s a long day of talking).. for you and Jess both- don’t get discouraged if the tent next to you is selling like hot cakes and you’re not. Perhaps it’s what I sell, but I’ve been to a few craft shows that I’ve honestly sold like 2 cards and others where I am constantly restocking my racks. Also, don’t be surprised if around the end of the show, people try to haggle with you more or you see other vendors having reduced prices for the last hour (I suppose this technique works to bring in last minute sales?) Receipts are not always necessary, but I have a receipt book-I find it’s handy for me to keep track of what I sold and how much I made.. Most of the time, only people who use their credit cards want one. But most importantly HAVE FUN! It’s going to be a long day, but the expirence is priceless.
    And it does get easier, at least I think it does. I have my booth layout down to a tee, although I’m anal and I still do a test run at home before I pack up the car :)
    Good luck! Can’t wait to hear how it goes!!!!

  4. How exciting!! I always wanted to do an art show or craft fair. Sounds like fun. A lot of work, but a lot of fun, too! Please let me know if the Hottinger clan can help you in any way possible!

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