Even though I'm running pretty silent these days (if you noticed, my Instagram feed is gone and my etsy shop is currently closed - I'm really making an effort to disconnect for awhile and I can't even begin tell you how amazing it feels). Anyways, I completely forgot that I had wanted to share my recent craft fair experience with you all.
Decades ago, many women in my family made their rounds on the craft fair circuit. I grew up in a pretty artistic family, and I enjoyed attending shows with my mother to sell her custom baskets (which people went WILD over - this was the 80's, painted baskets were big in this neck of the woods). When we moved back to Holliston, I always thought it would be fun to have a booth at the annual fair, which attracts thousands of people from several states away.
Now, I've done the bridal show circuit, and it was an interesting journey. Mike and I had a ton of fun building and designing the booth. And I loved getting out there in the world and talking to brides. However, after 3 shows (here, here and here) I only ever landed one client.
I expected the same when it came to a craft fair. My stuff tends to have a rather small, niche market. But, I really wanted to get out in the community and network, so I thought, "why not?"
Only trouble was - we had dismantled the booth and used the parts for other projects. Oops. Thankfully, I married a handy guy, and one trip to Lowe's and weekend of building later, I had a brand new booth.
This time I went with black for the background and had a new sign made at Craft Cuts. I made the subtitle myself using my Silhouette Cameo and adhesive vinyl. Instead of the custom linens I made for the last go 'round, I found an inexpensive black and white striped tablecloth for the table (which I've already reused for Christmas dinner - bonus! If you're curious, I'm really into non-traditional holiday decor and did a black and white table with bright, kelly green napkins, seasonal greens and all white flowers peppered with gold dipped pinecones).
I spent DAYS making one of those ridiculous little tassel garlands (I used this tutorial). This thing was mind-numbingly tedious. I was having flashbacks to those little paper tissue poms we made for the wedding. Gah. The tutorial said to use tape to hold them together, but I went all fancy pants and used gold washi tape. I thought it added a fun pop of color to the booth. I had no idea what to do with it after the show, so it's hanging in my niece's bedroom now.
I had the most fun building these foam core risers for product. I got the idea here, but drew up little plans to customize the dimensions to my products. I had one for notecards and a taller one for the notepads. I used a simple basket for the holiday cards.
I also tried to get a little creative with the art prints and simply hung them on a string on the back of the booth. I had wanted to do them framed, but I thought it might be a little misleading since I wasn't selling them framed.
My mother manned the booth with me and we had a really fun day. Half the time we were running around to buy amazing snacks from other vendors - so it was also a very delicious day. However, I wouldn't call it any kind of financial success. Honestly, it was typical to my other shows: people stop by, look at the booth, comment on how gorgeous it is - then walk away without purchasing. Ah, oh well - I wasn't sure if my stuff was really what craft fair attendees were looking for - and that's ok. I met a ton of people, got to reconnect with some locals, and even joined a new civic group in town.
Will we do it again? Yes. Will I sell stationery? Nope.
You'll hear more of this soon, but I'm thinking of nixing stationery altogether since my vendors have raised their prices. So what would we sell? Watching the resounding success the food vendors have (tables CLEARED!) we're thinking about selling Mike's Award Winning Apple Pie next year (and yes, winning an office contest that awards you with a pie trophy constitutes "award winning" in my book, ha!). Kidding aside, Mike's pie was a huge hit this holiday season, with families begging us to bring one over. And I come from a long line of bakers, so you can bet your sweet biscuits that I have an arsenal of yummy treats up my sleeve.
So that's the download on my first (but not last?) entrance into the craft fair world. Overall, the experience lead me to reexamine what it is that I like (and dislike) about being in my current business. More on that later, perhaps (or, I could just disappear into the night like my Instagram account, HA!).
I'm going offline for a good, long while, so this is the last you'll hear from me for quite a bit. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy holiday season and a wonderful new year!
Hey everyone! I hope you all managed to survive Black Friday. I was dragged to Target this year - thankfully at a reasonable hour - and managed to snag a $9.00 fleece jacket. I typically don't leave the house on Black Friday, but when your grandmother says she wants to go to Target, you take her to Target.
Today is Small Business Saturday, a day were those of us with itty bitty businesses encourage you all to shop small because we aren't Target (although sometimes I wish I was, just for the Sugar Paper and Nate Berkus collabs... drool). I'm still offering 50% off in my shop on holiday cards and select stationery. The holiday cards are limited edition, and stock is starting to run low - so if you're in the market for cards, grab 'em now! I also have handmade art prints up in the shop for only $5.00.
So if you have a teacher in your life you need to buy a gift for, or a co-worker or picky niece, my stationery makes a great gift. Click here to shop, and thanks for supporting small businesses!
Did you miss me at the recent holiday market because you don't happen to live in Massachusetts? Well, you're in luck because I have limited inventory left and I'm having a SALE! Why wait until Black Friday? 50% off select items in my shop - including holiday cards, note cards + notepads. Makes GREAT teacher's gifts and stocking stuffers. Shop now!
I'm really excited to debut a series of eight gold foil art prints featuring inspiring quotes at the upcoming Holliston Holiday Market. (It's THIS Sunday! Click here for details & directions). Along with my exclusive, limited edition holiday cards, these pretty little prints will be a fair only item. Every print was handmade. Previously, I had only ever gold-leafed items (coffee tables, canvases, anything I could get my hands on...), so these were a lesson in patience and a labor of love, for sure.
I'm so thankful to my good friend Alexis at Curio Press for letting me hole up in her studio for a day and use her fancy equipment. I picked quotes that resonate with me, personally, and I hope others will enjoy these shiny words of wisdom and encouragement. Two of the prints are Holliston-specific, which was a lot of fun to design (one says, "it's a Holliston thing" and the other is the zip code of the town).
So come on down to Holliston this Sunday and check out all eight designs! The fair attracts over 2,000 visitors, many coming from as far away as Maine. It's a juried show, and all of the booths are sold out, so you can be sure there will be oodles of goodies to ogle. There's also a lot of fun stuff planned for the kids - face painting, train rides - and I heard a rumor Santa is stopping by.
See you Sunday!
Holliston Newcomers Fair & Holiday Market, just TWO weeks away! Here's a little sneak peek for you guys. There are four designs, and each features metallic gold ink. The cards are printed on super thick stock, and I had them printed locally. Come see us at the fair on November 22, 9:00 - 3:00 to see the rest of the designs and purchase a set!
You may have noticed a change around these parts. After years of hemming, hawing, general hand-wringing (and paying domain renewal fees), I finally felt it was time to ditch the "bride" in my name. I've had an identity crisis, of sorts, for quite awhile now. I really wanted to start moving toward a more well-rounded stationery collection, including fun custom products like notepads, notecards and address stamps.
My problem? While those products can definitely be geared towards weddings and brides, the style I wanted to do them in was decidedly not. And with an upcoming holiday market where I'll be peddling my new wares (mark your calendars for Nov. 22nd metrowest peeps!), I thought the "bride" would be more than a little confusing for new folks who haven't yet heard of me. Especially since there won't be a single wedding-related item on my table. The change just makes sense.
It's been a slow process, and it will never be complete. Wicked Bride has permeated the web since 2009. I have dozens of publications, blog mentions, and features that I can't change. And that's fine. Because I am still doing wedding stuff (not much, but some), and that moniker works for the wedding industry. Also, I'm more than a little attached to it (and kind of miss it already...but I've always had a problem with separation anxiety). So, you'll see both names kicking around as I work to direct all backlinks and traffic to the new site at www.wicked-press.com.
(And yes, I'm not a super fan of the hyphen, but after waiting 5 years for the non-hyphenated version to expire, and unwilling to shell out $3,000 to purchase it from the big re-listing service that has it set to auto-renew indefinitely, I learned to like the hyphen.)
I can't promise this new change will get me blogging again - to be completely honest, I literally don't have time. I have sooooooo much in the works behind the scenes I'm trying to figure out how one person can possibly get it all done without cloning themselves. How much am I talking here? Three new companies in development (one with a partner, squee!) and two new freelance job opportunities. I love it, I love being self-employed and I thrive on chaos...but being able to sleep at night is nice, too.
I hope you guys like all the new stuff coming your way, and remember if you're in metrowest Massachusetts, come see the new booth (Mike is building it this weekend!) and buy some pretty paper from Wicked Press!