Thursday, February 2, 2012

getting ready for my first 2012 event

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, one of the biggest things going in this month is an open house in the Chicago area.  It's this coming weekend.  I swore that I wasn't going to do a lot of display or product upgrades for this event, but of course now that I have all of these new ideas floating around, I had to make some of them real.  I shared my new thumb tack and magnet packaging earlier this week, which I will have at the open house.  Here are just a few of the other things that I've been working on for it the past couple weeks.

New Display Banner
Edi very generously did the graphic design work for a new banner.  We coordinated to make the layout, font, and color choices, but she put it all together.  This would have taken me hours, so I'm very grateful for her help.  When she had the final design done, I uploaded it to VistaPrint and ordered a banner.
The blank spaces are for 8 x 10 photos.  I cropped 8 of my photos to 8 x 10 size and had them printed through Target (which was a cheaper option than ordering and shipping with Shutterfly).  We decided that this would be a better option than printing the photos right on the banner because this will allow me to switch them out as my product lines change.

I feel like I've mentioned this 100 times here, but I'll say it again because I know I'll get questions otherwise.  I ordered contact paper and Velcro dots in bulk when I was teaching and still have lots of leftover materials.  That's what I used for my banner.  I covered all of the photos in contact paper and attached them to the banner with Velcro.
Jake is the only one who's seen it in person so far, and he was very impressed.  It will look even more amazing when I have it mounted on the front of my display.  I will definitely get pictures of this at the open house.

New Free Shipping Cards
I send or give out a discount or free shipping card with all of my orders, both online and at shows.  My old free shipping cards were business card sized and very plain.  I just ran through the last set that I'd printed, and it was time for an upgrade.  One thing that I'm really working on this year is building return customers, especially from shows.  I hope that these will help.  (Yep, that code does work all the time.  You can steal it any time you like.)

New Price Signs
Most of these signs are simply for new products or for products with slightly adjusted pricing.  They match many of the signs that I already use, except that these all use the new font that I have on my new banner and free shipping cards.  Here they are matted before I covered them with contact paper.

New Small Button Items
I pushed really hard to get enough of these items ready for my final 2011 shows.  I am going to pace this better for 2012 and just made a handful for this show.  I'll work on making more slowly for spring shows throughout the next couple months.  We were blessed with some sun this week so I was able to take a number of these photos with natural light.

New Glass Magnets
I am still in the beginning stages of my glass charms and magnets, but I've found a couple designs that I really like so far so I've been working on a few more sets of those designs.
That's a mean tease, right?  These all have music or flower designs.  I'll get some pictures of them sometime before or at the open house.

Greeting Card Packaging and Display
The biggest investment, both for money and time, for greeting cards has been the packaging and display.  I went ahead and made a full set of tabs for my display box.  As you can see, they are not tall enough to be seen over the card sleeves.  They will be alphabetized so people can find what they need easily enough.  I may adjust them at some point but not for the open house.  At this point, I only have cards for about 5 tabs so it won't be a big issue.

I packaged all of my cards in sleeves with price/description labels.  I bought most of my card packaging materials like these sleeves in bulk through ULINE, and I use address labels for almost all of my shop labels (like the ones on my jewelry boxes).  Eventually I'll have cards in different numbered sets and lots of mix and match price options, but as my inventory is not large enough to do that yet, I'm simply offering discounts for multiple card purchases.  I'll have signs with all of those numbers on my display.

What's Left to Do?
-I'm going to have a basket of $5 or less freebies.  Everyone who attends will get to pick one.  Most of these are ready to go, but I still have a few magnets to finish.
-I got a custom order within hours of creating the open house event on Facebook.  I completed the order (which was for 2 bracelets) and sent her pictures a couple days ago.  She loved them, and yesterday, she ordered 4 pairs of earrings to coordinate with the bracelets.  Those earrings will be one of my main priorities today.  I'll get pictures of all of those pieces up after the open house.
-Then I need to get everything packed up and ready to go!

What have you been working on this week?

Newest Article:
Yep, I got another Valentine's Day article together!


  1. Looks like a lot of work! The display banner looks great.

  2. Good luck this weekend! Your display and everything look fantastic. I can't wait to hear how it turns out.

    I haven't been working on anything new... but the week isn't over, so going to do something creative today!

  3. They look fabulous! Best wishes this weekend! I hope it goes amazingly for you.

  4. The display banner is great. So smart of you to have the pictures removable - you have become an entrepreneur to be admired.

  5. are right on the ball! Great idea for the signs and i sure like those free shipping cards! Great idea :)

    Wishing you great sales on your craft shows this year and it sounds like a great opportunity to kick the season off!

    What have I been up to? Completely gutting the studio and building an office! I plan on blogging about it early next week...the targeted completion date!

  6. Enjoy the event! The banner looks great. I can't wait to see the other side of those glass charms. :p

  7. The banner looks good. I like how you will be able to change out the photos over time, too.

    You sure have done a lot of work preparing for the show--hope you do really well!!

    Artful Rising

  8. I love the sign, it looks great. Good luck at the open house. Don't forget to pick up some pizza while you're in the windy city. ;-)

  9. Great idea to put contact paper and use velcro for the photos! This turned out awesome...thanks for sharing it!
    I really like your card display, packaging and pricing too!
    Congrats on already making your open house a success! I hope this is a preview of how the whole show will go!

  10. Wow Rose, you've been a busy bee getting ready for this open house. I love that your card file folder will allow you to have lots of options without taking up much room. And I'm sure you'll place out some eye catching samples!

    That banner is great too. So smart that you left the photos to be interchangeable.

  11. Nice banner! Very creative! My mother, sister, and I started a new blog this week. I'm so excited about it :-)

  12. Dear Rose, Wishing you success for all of your hard work.
    I am sure that it will pay off. Hard work always does. You are very dedicated to your craft.

    Blessings my dear, Catherine xo

  13. Phew! I'm tired from all your hard work! But everything looks great and I love your banner! I hope the open house is a huge success!

  14. You're busy! Good luck with everything!

  15. Good luck with your show Rose! Everything looks great. I love the banner.

  16. I think your first event of 2012 is going to be a huge success! Great job on that sign. The pictures are so inviting. Looks like you have all your bases covered. You are putting on such a professional face to show the talented professional that you are! It's going to look awesome!

  17. lots of hard work, and it's paying off. Love the way you organized the cards - they are great and I know they will sell quickly! And the banner is great! Good idea about the removable photos. Kinda like your blog and Etsy banner! Hope everyone is in a buying mood - congrats. on the custom earrings! {:-D

  18. Wow, Rose! Your presentations are stellar!! You will have a fabulous open house!
    This week, I've been dyeing some new items. They are about ready to be photographed.

  19. How exciting! You do such beautiful work. I hope you have a wonderful year ;)

  20. You did an amazing amount of prep work for this show. I love what you did with the banner!


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