Wednesday, October 29, 2014

It's That Time of Year Again + Artisans Holiday Art Market Survival Kit!

It's that time of year again...
I don't know about you all but the Year of Horse has COMPLETELY flown by for me!
And what a whirlwind of a year it's been! 
So far 2014 has gone down in history for me as a very productive and successful year filled with many triumphs both big and small in both my personal & career life. 

I would LOVE to elaborate on these little triumphs but will save the details for the coming new year. Needless to say, all of these wonderful happenings have got me doing a lot of personal reflection as the year winds down to a close...

Speaking of the Year of the Horse...

Above Painting done by the very talented Caroline Weaver. 
On a side note I actually own one of these original beauties. Caroline said the one I got would bring me super good luck. I'm a believer! Check out more of Caroline's work here! She's awesome! 

So these last 10 years of running Adhesif Clothing have had many BIG challenges filled with endless hours of hard work & becoming slightly OCD with organizing. In short, only one word really springs to mind and that is...


AND on so so so many levels...
(you know who you are)

Now that I've had the chance to look back on the long road less travelled and everything that has transpired along the way that has made me who I am today, I have to tell you that 
(without tooting my own horn too much)
I attribute much of the success of Adhesif Clothing
to my loved ones
 but being overly organized...
Talent, my friends, is really not enough unfortunately. 
If you want what you need to get out there and make it happen which requires serious hustle and lot's of it...

Ok so I don't want to get all preachy and stuff instead I will say
being well prepared for anything life can throw out at you as a creative individual means more room for being aware of good opportunities when they arise...

For this reason I've been thinking of doing a blog post on the Artisan's Art Market Survival Kit.
And I mean this literally (not metaphorically or this blog post could go on FOREVER)

Whether you have been participating in art markets/trade shows for the first time or are a well seasoned travelling Gypsy. 
Or if you are a generous supporter in awe of us artisans who can bring you the illusion of a portable retail shop within the confines of some pipe & drape I would like to share with you what are the absolute MUST HAVES when setting up your very own booth display...

First of all I put all of the major essentials in a large rubbermaid container so it's always all in one place and I know where to find the most important stuff...

Bags with your company logo on them & other packaging materials are useful in terms of providing your customers with something to take away their purchases in 
but they also serve as a  HUGE marketing/advertising tool... me if you wish, yes, I use a manual credit card machine...AND??
I don't need Wi-Fi so HA there! ;)  Oh and it makes for some pretty crazy conversations about nostalgia with the grey hairs and I like to tell teen agers its a VCR just to mess with them! 
Ok ok ok but seriously 
Whatever your prefered method of transaction taking is, make sure you got it all sorted & properly display what methods of payment you take. Also having a "Return Policies" clearly written on your receipts UP FRONT is super important for less hassle on any future return discrepancies with what your are willing to do for your customers. 

For example, your customer can't come to you the following year at the same show and ask to exchange the item acquired from the previous year's show, for a new design...
I'm serious, this happened to me
(the horror)

Banners, business cards, info brochures, Press articles, professional display tags, lookbooks, professional photo's of your product, etc etc etc...

Ok lighting is a HUGE deal for a lot of us. Proper lighting is really important especially if you work with fine details...
take note of bringing extra bulbs too, running out of stuff in the middle of the show is not only costly on your time and pocket (at the mercy of whatever over priced convenience store happens to be around) but a real hassle on spending that extra energy that is so precious to a multiple day show. 

I've built ENTIRE booths displays on 3 things
Duct Tape
Zap Straps
Seriously...don't forget these things
S-Hooks are awesome too
Clips, strong cord, chain, allen keys, screwdriver/drill & bits, double sided magnets, display clips. Everytime I do a show 
(and I've been doing them for over a decade like a boss) 
I learn something new, It's a constant process of improvement.

K, since I'm a fashion designer I have other items that's important to my trade like a measuring tape, tag gun, pins, needles & thread, sticky foam for hangers, window cleaner for cleaning the mirrors (don't forget mirrors if you are a designer...this is really important)

OK, this part's my favorite...
This could very well be the most CRUCIAL part of the trade show survival kit.
Emergency snacks
I always bring power nibblies like cashews, powerbars 
(the edible ones are just as jokes)
dark chocolate to keep the blood sugar up...
Extra cutlery, 
wet napkins, paper towel for accidental spills, tissue
and beer...
(it's for later, you know...for after the's refreshing and it's filled with protein!!)

As for the makings of your display booth...
The possibilities with this part is really creatively endless. 
Because I make statement clothing I tend to stick to a chic yet minimal display for the most part so as not to distract from what I'm offering.

I use mostly grid walls to display my garment designs with fabric as decoration to cover my back walls & to build my changeroom, some makers go to town & build hard walls. 
It really just depends on what your product is and the best you think to display it. 

Above photo Adhesif Clothing Booth and designs on the runway of The Circlecraft Christmas Market in Nov 2013

Things to consider

-Floor Covering
-Hanging Displays
-Display stands for promo materials
-Type of Lighting
-A small surface for taking transactions if needed
-Display table for promo materials
-A step stool or something to stand on to help build 
-A chair or stool to take rests on 
-A piece of rubber foam to stand on for tired tootsies
-For multiple day shows you might need to consider some help for the long hours 

P.S: Please don't be that annoying maker who depends on everyone else's stuff & asks to borrow things every 5 minutes and then doesn't return them.
I know you all know what I'm saying here
It's a really stressful time of year for all of us makers right?
And by this I'm not saying don't help each other out...
Let's all be considerate and have our own sh*t together?
No fuss no muss
Just sayin'

(rant over)

I hope this small checklist guide helps make your holiday market planning a little less stressful so you can focus on being YOU at your BEST! :)

Since we're talking shows! 
You can find Adhesif Clothing at the following upcoming holiday markets
First UP...

Circle Craft Christmas Market 2014

Tuesday, November 11
Wednesday, November 12
Thursday, November 13
Friday, November 14
Saturday, November 15
Sunday, November 16

Tuesday - Friday 10am - 9pm 
Saturday 10am - 7pmSunday 10am - 5pm

Vancouver Convention Centre West
1055 Canada Place
Vancouver, BC  V6C 0C3


Out of Hand 
Artisan Fair


Friday 10–9 
Saturday 10–6 
Sunday 10–4:30

Friday, Nov. 28, 10 – 9 pm 
Saturday, Nov. 29, 10 am - 6 pm 
Sunday, Nov 30, 10 am - 4:30 pm
Location: Crystal Gardens 713 Douglas Street 
Victoria BC

Last but not least...

Shiny Fuzzy Muddy 2014

Created as an antidote to large-scale craft fairs, they aim to present a pleasant shopping (and selling!) atmosphere. Patrons can be sure to find meaningful objects in the most pleasant of shopping environments.

Sale Hours:

Saturday, December 13, 2014 – 11am-7pm
Sunday, December 14, 2014 – 10am-7pm
Heritage Hall, 3102 Main Street, Vancouver, BC


1 comment:

  1. This is a great post! Can I ask you where you got your 'S" hooks. I've had a hell of a time trying to find them!!! I need them to hang my sign on pipe and drape. Thanks! Hopefully will see you around the circuit