After establishing myself by selling my clothes wholesale to specialty stores, I realized I enjoyed working directly with the women buying my clothes. So I’ve become part of a group of artists who sell their work through juried art fairs.
I’m in the midst of preparing for two more shows before the end of the year—the first being the Chicago One of a Kind Show, and the second in Austin, TX for the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar.
So here’s what it looks like as I prepare for back-to-back shows!
Today I’m going to prepare for Chicago. I’ve arranged for my display in my booth, so that leaves packing three boxes and four suitcases of clothes. I’ll pack three boxes of clothes. I will decide what I think will appeal to the women who are my regular clients, as well as the new women I’ll meet. I’ll need to bring lots of merchandise, as well as some office-type items like sales receipts, business cards and display signs.
I’ll be flying directly from Chicago to Austin, so next week I’ll ship merchandise directly to Austin before I leave for Chicago. It’s a 12-day show—yikes! How do I plan for that? What are the customers going to want? It’s a new locale for me, and I really don’t know, but I will try to bring a variety of work.
The Chicago One of a Kind Show has about 500 artists and vendors. It’s a lively show held in the beautiful Merchandise Mart in Chicago, which is not usually opened to the public. Customers come from a radius of a few hundred miles to do their Christmas shopping. The show is a savvy production, and similar shows are held in Toronto and Vancouver—those are definitely on my “To Do” list.
The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. It’s filled with cool handmade items, great food and lots of music. It’s my first time traveling to Austin, and I may treat myself to some new boots to wear with my cowgirl-style skirts that have become a popular item in my line.
Part of the fun of these shows is the camaraderie that develops between the vendors. Travel has become a fun addition to the way I run my business. My job has three parts—design, overseeing the production and sales of my product—it keeps me very engaged in my work.