Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas show preparation

Do you remember in my second fall show round up post how I mentioned that I had a potential offer?  What happened was that two of the women who jury one of the biggest Christmas shows in the Milwaukee area personally invited me to apply for the show.  When I say, invited me to apply, I mean that they handed me an application and told me that my work would be a great addition to the show.  I don't think that I need to elaborate on how amazing this opportunity is, especially because I didn't have another show lined up for 2011.

Everything worked out with the application process, and I will be doing this show this coming weekend.  This means that I had less than a month to get everything ready.  It might not seem like a big job when I'd already prepared for 2 shows this fall, but it has kept me really busy.  Not only had I not prepared enough show inventory for a third show, especially a large show, but there were a number of things that I had to do for this show than I hadn't had to do for the first two.

I have been working on show inventory almost every day since my last show, which has included lots of button magnets, pins, tacks, and earrings.  All of our items have to be individually tagged with our artist numbers, which means that I've been making 8-10 piece sets of magnets and tacks instead of planning for my usual "make your own sets" set up and pricing.  People really like the "make your own" (especially kids) so it'll be interesting to see how this works.

As mentioned above, because all of our items need to be tagged with our artist numbers, I've been re-tagging all of my items.  While this is a very tedious time-consuming task, I do have much more professionally tagged items now.  Even though all of them have my artist number for this show, I can still use the remaining items as is for future shows.  I included my Etsy address on my tags.  One of my issues with shows is that they almost never generate repeat customers for me.  I would really love to change that, especially as I build a local following in Milwaukee.

I've also been creating an inventory for my entire stock of items.  Normally I record sales as I go during shows, but I won't be able to do that this time so I need a way to check off everything that sells.

I've been busy finishing my December EBW Challenge piece (more info on that tomorrow), but in between that, I've been creating some new jewelry pieces, too.  I'll have a small line of Christmas bell button charm bracelets that will first be available at this show.  If they don't sell out, I'll list what's left on Etsy in early December.  Most of my remaining focus has been on smaller pieces like shell bracelets and earrings.

One of the requirements for this show is that all vendors wear aprons with bibs that represent their art.  Thank goodness for Michael's plain aprons, cheap seed beads, and fabric glue because I seriously did not have the time, energy, money, or motivation to do much more than this.
I safety pinned it through the middle like that so the pockets will be at a functional placement for me.  Hopefully this will be a successful show for me, and I'll be able to use this apron again there in future years.  I love my half vendor apron, but this will be another fun option for other holiday shows, too.

I'll post the details about this show on Friday in case anyone in the Milwaukee area is interested in attending.


  1. Congrats on the show, you're gonna do great, I know it. Sorry about having to re-tag, I know how tedious that can be. Best of luck with the show, can't wait to hear how it went.

  2. Very awesome on being picked to do the show. It sounds like you have been soooo busy! Have fun.

  3. Congratulations, Rose! Wonderful news. I really love reading about your events and all the details involved. I'm making notes for future reference :)
    Quite a bit of work though tagging each item with your number.
    My biggest challenge is having enough items to actually participate in an event!

  4. Cool apron and it makes the show sound even more interesting. I do have to say that I have purchased from vendors I met at shows because I had their site URL so hopefully the new tags will translate to more sales later.

    It’s a Wrap Link Party at Artful Rising

  5. Congrats again on getting invited to this awesome show! Good luck!

    And that apron couldn't be more perfect for you :)

  6. Congrats on being personally chosen to participate! Good luck!
    I love your apron!

  7. Oh, I know how that feels. I'm still pushing myself every day to create enough for the next 2 weeks of shows I have coming up. Best of luck to you! $$$$

  8. Sounds like a lovely show! Congrats on the invitation.

  9. Sounds like a lot of extra work - hope it's worth it!

  10. Wow...that's quite a bit of work! I wonder if the show organizers realize what all of these requirements translate in terms of extra work for each vendor! What a great honor thought to get personally invited, way to go! Good luck Rose, I wish u many sales.

  11. First, congratulations on being invited to this show! I hope it's wildly successful!
    Make your own magnet set sounds like fun!
    You could set out a book for people to sign with their home and email addresses. I have found this to be very useful.

  12. your apron is lovely - and what a great idea! It looks like you have really stocked up! Congrats. and best of luck! What a great opportunity! {:-D

  13. That apron is great- 3 pockets is the way to go. :o) I love the buttons - they really go with your shop. :o)

    For Love of Cupcakes


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