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A Market Experience

the elevator shot

Months back I can remember having no clue what Market was. I was asked to do Market by some scouts that had found me at some Dallas area craft shows. In fact, they had asked me several times. Each time I took their card and thought there was no way I was going to do a craft show in Dallas for four days! Then I was told what Market was (thank you to those friends that are way more savvy then I). I researched it and got really scared of the mere thought of doing Market. I promptly did nothing about this information and pretended it never happened. Then they contacted me again. This time I felt it was meant to be and I should probably put on my big girl panties and take Gleeful Peacock to Market.  For those of you still wondering what Market is, it is a ginormious set of buildings that are set up into areas and showrooms. Some businesses have permanent showrooms at Market. Then there are floors of 'Temp Finds'. These are the people like me that come and set up for 4 days or so. I was in the Vintage and Handmade section.

The shot above was taken while I was in the elevator (please forgive the blurriness). This building is 18 floors of nothing but shops set up to sell to buyers. Buyers from mom and pop stores, boutiques and huge department stores are all walking around trying to find the brands that can make their customers smile. Every brand you can think of in the home and gifts business was there meeting with buyers. Tobe honest, I was pretty impressed that I was among them.

handmade and vintage area of market

The problem with doing something as big as Market for the first time is that you have no idea what you are doing, but you don't want anyone else to know that. Due to show season ending the week before Christmas I only had a few weeks to put together my product line, photograph it, make a catalog, a line sheet, a postcard and design my booth. It was so crazy and the most intense thing I have ever done. I couldn't have done it without help from my friends. A big shout out to Rebecca of ChickeeBoom and Tiffany from LivyLu! I am such a lucky girl to be surrounded my ladies far more talented then I.

Here is a photo of the finished booth. My sweet husband deserves a prize for being okay with it being set up in my living room for the entire week before Market. I decided my theme was granny chic. Since I feel like I am an old soul, I felt right at home in booth. 

Here are a few of my displays. 

necklaces in an old trunk  

an old shelf on it's side with some knobs

vase, flower bud vase, spoon collectors display, books and mailbox for headbands

So here are a few things I learned about Market.
  • Be prepared. As my momma taught me, it is always better to be over prepared then under prepared. I know this in ingrained in me because I want to pack back-up everything for everything I do.
  • Have lot's of material for buyers to walk away with. I had a catalog, a postcard and business cards. 
  • Some showrooms sell off samples. If there is a 'S' on the door you can get some amazing deals! 
  • Talk to everyone you can. Every contact is an amazing opportunity. I am still crossing my fingers for a certain account that if landed I got from visiting their booth.
  • It is the most exhausting thing you could do to increase business. But it is an amazing experience. 
  • The last few hours of the last day most vendors will allow cash and carry. You can actually buy things for wholesale. I got some amazing things and would take advantage of it even more next go round.  
  • Bring along someone to help. My friend and helper was delightful, a hard worker and so helpful. Not only that, but she had experience with Market and that was so valuable!
  • Know what you want to accomplish before you go. What type of stores do you want? How much do you want to grow? What are you prepared to handle when you get back? 
I have decided to go at it again in June. I think this one was a training ground for me. So, between now and then I will be working on organizing my business more, getting a bit more help and making the accounts I have turn into gleeful groupies.

best booth award
Oh and the cherry on top was that I won best booth for my vintage and handmade! I was so excited I squealed. Mainly because my one main goal was to appear like I knew what I was doing.

The funny part was that I almost backed out a few weeks before. I just could not fathom the thought of all the work and exhaustion I knew laid ahead. I have to thank my sweet friends that told me to keep going and believed in me and my business. Looking back I would have missed out on so much if I would have let my fears and the exhaustion win out. Thank goodness for friends that kick you in the rear when you are being a baby. 

As I got all set up and I wanted to cry in exhaustion and emotion, all I could think was a quote that my step-dad always said to me. "Happy are those who dream dreams and are willing to pay the price to make them come true." - Albert Camus. In the end I am so happy I had this experience and that I did the hard work to accomplish what I wanted. 


  1. What an awesome experience! Congrats on your well-deserved award...looks terrific!!!

  2. That's so awesome :) & you could have fooled me because it totally looks like you knew what you were doing! Your displays and booth look amazing!

  3. Oh my stars!! This is just the coolest thing ever ... I am in awe of your experience and the details in your booth display are so fun and creative!!! I'm trying to get myself in the mindset of doing craft shows this year and cannot fathom what it must've been like to prepare for this type of setting. I would love to hear more-more-more :)

    signed...Craft Show Virgin,

  4. Wow, I never would have guessed how big the Market is!! Congrats girlie, I am so super proud of you and your accomplishments. You're an inspiration and I can't wait to see what the future holds for you :)

  5. stumbled onto your blog and just wanted to show some blog luv! def enjoyed this post! congrats!! sounds so gr8!!

  6. Wow, this looks so amazing! I know you just got back from your second one just now too, so now you're an old pro! I've been thinking of some big changes for my business, and perhaps doing something like this is in my future. That would be so awesome! Your booth looks fantastic, congrats on the award!