|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 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?
|best booth award|
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.