Monday, December 15, 2014


My first big gig since inception of, and it was quite a learning experience!  I present you with visuals...

I have now experienced swimming with both big and small fishes.  

When I decided to join this I had no idea how big it was but the space rent should have been a tip-off.  No matter how much I resisted at first, I figured in order to get where I want to be, I had to get my feet wet, and Napa is the best place for it.  I learned later on that majority of the exhibitors were not even from the locality.  Better for me since I didn't have to travel far and wide to be a part of it.

So what to fit in a 10x10 space?  I had 2 6-ft tables and 4 display stands.  I only learned about the faire a month before the date so I really didn't have very much to sell.  I worked day and night and missed so many events to do this, one of which was a funeral of a friend.  R.I.P. Rudy.  

So this is what I came up with initially.  It worked pretty good but after about an hour, I noticed people were not venturing inside as much as they did at the start.  Enter my newfound friend Mel.  He is a veteran at this and he comes up and says, "Your feng-shui is all wrong!  It was bugging me this whole time!  You need to move the table up, do this do that, etc. and do it now!" He wasn't pushy right? NO not really, he was soft-spoken but the urgency was dire!  So we moved things around and got to this.

 Well, it really worked so thank you Major Mel!  Then there is the stark white wall behind me.  That is what I would concentrate on next time is to have that wall filled with stuff to maximize the use of every inch.  I guess that is the premise of this whole thing to maximize profits as well!

I got a lot of compliments on my work as it seems most of the exhibitors were commercialized reseller, as opposed to my 100% handmade items.  Money cannot buy pure appreciation for what you have created, but along with that I had to also sell myself by appreciating their appreciation, if you know what I mean?  Here are the lovely faces of happy buyers!  Enjoy!

So ok, I am in the black after it is said and done but not by much.  In other words, it cost money for me to learn the tricks of the trade and I am giving it to you for free, in case you want to do it yourself.  However, the cost of the fee paled in comparison with the valuable lessons I've learned.  Below is the list of things to remember:

1-)  Make use of every inch you are given.  If you have a stark white wall, fill it up as high as you can reach.  Bring a step stool (so important! My plug was located 7 ft up).  
2)  Have your business cards, flyers, banner available to see.  Make your business card so eye-catching so they will not throw it away instead keep it.
3)  The photos you see here were highly edited due to the yellow cast lighting they had at the hall.  You may have to bring flood lights to negate the yellow cast, unless your hall is well lit, which is highly unlikely.
4)  Raise your tables up about 2 feet higher so that people wouldn't have to bend over to look at your stuff.  
5) Place the table right up to the aisle where people walk so that they can see and touch as they go.  Happy colors are helpful and make sure you cater to all ages with your items.
6) Have change ready, or use Square .  OMG!  Square was the best thing ever!  No more trying to get change or risking to accept checks and losing business!  So easy to use!
7) Don't get intimidated.  I did.  When I saw the commercialized exhibits I felt like my handmade items might get passed on.  On the contrary, I got a lot of comments about people almost not coming because of the commercialized exhibitors and they were glad I was there.

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!

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