Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Some Display Ideas

I thought I would share a few interesting display ideas that I saw at my last show. The first photo shown is a shoe shelf turned display. They are fairly cheap and it looks very professional. I also really like the second photo. Use a set of kitchen cooling racks. They are compactable and an awesome way to display kitchen related items, but you could experiment with different ways to use them. The last one, not shown, was a sweet, old fashioned, wall spice rack. It is another small, and easy to pack item that can help bring your product off the table. I loved the comment on the last post about using a styrofoam cooler to hang things! Keep sharing your ideas everyone!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Spring Shows are Upon Us

It is that time of year when we are all gearing up for spring shows. Something I see at every show I do, is at least 1 booth that is completely flat. All the items are laying on the table. If you find your booth looks something like that, do something about it! Displays in the making are everywhere, you just need to look in the right way. For us it was finding pear crates. I have seen people use trees to hang merchandise on, crates, I have some beautiful boxes from Victoria secret that I haven't incorporated yet. Be creative and dry your customers eye. Even if you find something less than perfect, you can always spruce it up with a fabric or paper overlay. When I am out at shows this year I am going to try to get shots of great displays to share with all of you. So, get inspired, and get out there and have a great show!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thursdays on 1st & 3rd

Thursdays on First and 3rd summer market applications are now available!
Applications and more information is on the Rochester Downtown Alliance website:

The market is in downtown Rochester MN every Thursday from June 9th to September 1st, 2011.

Application deadline is March 18, 2011.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


If you haven't had a chance to visit the new Teams section of Etsy, now's a good time. There have been a lot of changes to both Teams and Forums, so if you've been away from Etsy for a while it might be a little comfusing.

There has already been some good information left there by other local Etsians. You don't want to miss out any oppoturnities to promote your shop and your creations.


Stop by and check it out!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Spring Fling Expo

Saturday was our very first show! I will start with a quick introduction. I am Michelle and my husband, Adam and I run The Crazy Elephant handmade children's boutique. We had a lot of fun at our first show. It was the first annual Spring Fling Expo and was held at bethel church in Rochester. There were a lot of really great vendors there, mostly home businesses, but there were a few handmade jewelers and a woman that makes flax cookies and cakes (SO good) and of course us! We put up our display the night before and I must say it was a good feeling knowing that we had made enough to fill an entire table.

Well, the show turned out to be very slow. At least half of the customers walking around were the vendors themselves. While some of the vendors spent the 4 hour day sulking at thier tables, the rest of us decided to make lemonade with our proverbial lemons. Here is a list of ways to turn a slow day into a nice day...

1. Customer Face Time I work in retail and I can tell you that any store that is busy does not get the time to really talk with their customers. A slow day gives you the opportunity to really answer questions and talk about your product in a way that you just can't on a really busy day. We made a lot of really great customer connections and turned many non buyers into prospects for the future, especially when they found out they could get custom items done (i.e. hats made in any size).

2. Networking We got plenty of time to talk to other vendors and learn from them. It is a great time to swap cards and share what you do. We actually found out that many of the vendors were really interested in what The Crazy Elephant was (from the flyer) and were quite impressed with us and that is always wonderful to hear. This kind of time is still really important when you are a seasoned shower too because there is probably someone dying to listed to your words of wisdom.
3. Research We learned a lot about our product. When you can watch every customer you have the opportunity to keep track of which items they are interested and which they don't really care for. Some of the items that we were thinking of getting rid of were actually the most popular durring our show and some we loved were less than a hit.
We did end up making a few sales over the course of the day as did the booths around us. We are very excited for our next show and are already planning for it. Another benefit of our slow show is that I will not have to spend so much time socking up on the thing I already have. We now have the opportunity to work on new products and designs.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Rollingstone Days

A few of us had a fun time at the second annual Rollingstone Days festival in the tiny town of Rollingstone, Minnesota (along the MN/WI border just north of Winona.) Stena of CrazyBusy did a lot of the organizing for the craft vendors, and she did a wonderful job! Due to their good advertising it was a decent turnout for a new show in a tiny town. There were softball tournaments and a bunch of kids games nearby, and we all had a fairly succesful day. It was a fun, laid-back atmosphere. Being there with my little "model" I didn't get many pictures, but I at least snapped a few of our team's participants -

Here is Stena with her twin sister Nancy of Odin's Daughter selling Stena's upcycled purses and Nancy's Scandinavian-inspired items. I saw a couple of girls walking around with Stena's fun Capri-Sun zipper purses - what a cute idea!

Here I am (of TheHobbyRoom) with my daughter and all my tutu fluff and hair stuff. Baby was in a "no-nap" moodALL day, so I wasn't too organized this time as you can see by the random mess of my booth!

And here is a brand new member of our team, Kim of rEvolutionarie, with her mother-in-law Kathy. They make beautiful jewelry, and Kim makes some lovely unique vintage-style clothing as well. The two of them were wonderfully helpful neighbors to me at the show, and I look forward to having them join us for other events!

I can't believe I'm still blogging at almost 1am! Goodnight for now!


Friday, July 10, 2009

Another fun Thursday on First

We had another fun day at Thursdays on First. Despite the forcast of rain, it turned out to be a beautifully sunny and busy day! This week there were 5 booths of Artist Collective members, 4 of them different than last week's group, so I'm doing another post to include some quick snapshots I took while walking around with my little "model".

I was excited to see Liz of Terra Madre Soaps there again. She brought samples of her soap to a team meeting a little over a year ago, and I was eager to get more. She has expanded to lotions this year as well, and her booth smells absolutely beautiful! If you get a chance, stop by and try a sample. I have my new favorite, Spring Rain, in my shower now. : )

Amy of Morning Star Arts was there with her lovely jewelry and pendants. Amy and I shared a booth and had a wonderful time. If you haven't seen her beautiful postage stamp or copper enameled pendants yet, come by when Amy and I share a spot again August 20th to check them out. They were a big hit! If I didn't have my daughter at the age of trying to rip things off my neck, I would have been buying something new every time we had a lull in traffic.
And here I am, Andrea of The Hobby Room, with my collection of hooded towels, burp cloths, hair accessories, and tutus. Between the bright colored tutus hanging from the edge of the tent and my daughter smiling at people passing by, we had a lot of traffic in our booth this week.
Jen and the gang of Jen and Company were there again in their usual spot on the pavilion with their collection of jewelry and stained glass creations. I've met both Jen and her mom Carlene many times now, but I got the treat of meeting two more of the team this week - Jen's son and uncle. Oh, if I wasn't so bad at names....
Here is Jen's uncle working on a beautiful stained glass table. His talent amazes me! Jen and Company are there every week with all of their family's creations, so stop by and check it out.

Crystal of Scrub Your Butt Soap was also there, but on a break when I stopped by to snap pictures. She is there almost every week in a booth shared with Bubbles by Brooke at the front of the pavilion.

I will be back with Amy on August 20th and will possibly snap a couple more pictures. Until next time, happy shopping! : )