Adele Miller, May 2009
Aaah yes, the time has come for me to leave the cosy and safe conﬁnes of my home studio (read: dining table. I was trying to sound fancy) and enter the show scene. Gulp! So far this year I have committed to two shows - Craft Dinner and BIG on Bloor Festival - both of which take place early June. They appear relatively low-key (did I just jinx myself?) and therefore, I hope, good options for entering the show scene to test some waters.
The biggest question I have is - how much product should I take?
Right now, my answer to this is too much! But then, even that response is relative. How much is too much? 10 of each card? 20? Keep in mind my product line consists of 25+ products right now and continues to grow. Hmm... the questions just keep coming don't they? For now, I'm going with 10 singles or each card I think (or hope) will move such as my Father's Day line, 5 singles of others and then 5 each of my sets. Whether these numbers change remains to be seen.
Thankfully, having leftovers isn't going to do me a disservice as it can be the start of my in-house inventory (I usually print to order). Though I guess one possible disservice is a slap to my ego if I come home with more than expected. Let's face it, that's everyone's fear right? What if no one buys? Ugh, that's a whole other worry but thinking that way is detrimental so let's move on shall we?
Back on point Adele, back on point. Where was we? Oh yes, shows!
Besides the big product question, there are things I need to think about such as:
- How am I going to display my products? How should I decorate the table?
- How will customers take the product on their merry way? Wrapped in tissue? Bags?
- What should I do if people barter with me? Stay ﬁrm on my pricing? Or have some possible deals worked out behind the scenes?
- What's my elevator pitch? Yes, I still struggle with a clear and concise description of my company.
- Should I accept returns?
- Do I know my products inside and out if I'm asked any questions about materials and so forth.
The list just keeps growing and growing. Suddenly the remaining 3 weeks I have to prepare seems like 3 days. I've printed maybe a quarter of my inventory and need to place a huge materials orders next week. Part of that task is ﬁnding a Canadian based supplier for my card stock (hello - and hopefully goodbye - brokerage fees from my US source). Then I still need to work on more designs. Breathe! Though all jesting aside, I am having fun preparing. Believe it not, it wasn't until last week that I saw some my current lines together. It was quite eye-opening (in a good way) to see that a distinct style has developed and that a consistency throughout my brand was forming. It definitely put a smile on my face.
Of course, me being me (i.e. a glutton for punishment), I'm also working on building a small portfolio of custom work to put on the table. To keep things manageable, I'm just going to work on some simple items such a baby announcements, save the dates and perhaps calling cards. As much as I'd love to enter the wedding industry full force, I recognize I need to do more planning in this area so I'll address that after the shows. One step at a time Adele, one step at a time.
Okay people, wish me luck! Or break a leg as they say - it's show time!
Visit Adele: http://modernemotive.com, http://blog.modernemotive.com, http://twitter.com/modernemotive
Photos: bigonbloor.com, modernemotive.com
Monday, May 18, 2009