My first art fest :: a complete wash

In case you were wondering why I had fallen off the face of the earth for the past couple weeks, I was prepping for my first show ever.  There were many questions I had to address and many details to attend to (what will my booth look like?  how in the world will I display my jewelry?  what new pieces should I make?  how many?  how do I accept credit cards?...).  Being the obsessive nut I am, I naturally obsessed over every detail.  Thank heavens my family and my husband's family were all in town (for our daughter's first birthday and baptism) so there were plenty of folks to hang out with the kids while I secluded myself in the studio.  And down to the last minute, I was prepping for the show.  It was exhausting!  Fortunately, I had help from  my sister, mom, husband, and in-laws, which made things go so much more smoothly.  So by the morning of the show, I was nervous but excited.  The day looked promising.  But as soon as we were done setting up my booth, the storm hit.

It was a continuous downpour for about 7 hours straight.  And the first couple hours, was torrential!  Despite being beneath a huge covered tent, I was wading in about 2 inches of water for a good part of the day.  And it was windy!!!  Thank heavens the artist next to me was a photographer who had huge walls for her booth.  If she hadn't been there, or if I was at the end of the row, my booth would've been a gonner.  The rain finally subsided by the afternoon and the sun actually came out during the last hour.  My water-logged feet were very thankful.

This was about as crowded as it was the entire day, and it was basically all the artists, visiting each other's booths.  At least I got to meet some really nice people, so that was a big plus.  And I managed to make just enough sales to cover the cost of the show so that was another plus.

Here are some snapshots of my booth.  Apologies for the poor pictures.  The lighting was so awful and weird that day so I couldn't get any good pictures.

The left side.  Those floating branches were individually screwed into the bases of those candle holders.  We also framed some perforated aluminum sheets to hang the earring cards.  Both worked beautifully, thanks to my husband and his father's handiwork.

The right side of the booth.  I had another framed aluminum sheet for my Daily Dose line (other side was my original line).  And can you spot some polymer 'crystals' by the talented Lynn of UnaOdd?  Please excuse the giant cup of coffee.  I had very little sleep the previous night.  :)

And here's the front (right) side of the booth.  The sign was a last minute effort.  I wanted to make my own unique banner, but I couldn't find an idea that I really liked just yet, so black paint on white canvas just had to do for the time being.  I wasn't crazy about it at first, but I ended up really liking how simple and elegant yet strong it looked, just bare bones.

A view from the far right side.

And here's the entire booth.  I hate how bare naked the back is.  I was originally going to put a 3 panel screen there, but the winds were so strong and beating so furiously on that tent wall, it would've fallen over, so I didn't bother.  I also wanted to have large product pictures displayed somehow, like along the backdrop, but hadn't quite settled on an idea that I liked and just ran out of time.  It was just another one of those things on my to-do list that I never got to do.  Oh well, next time will be better.

Oh and here's me and my highwaters, during the beginning of the flood (man I need a haircut. I hate how ponytails look on me).  Wow, you can see the water creeping up my tablecloth.  By the end of the day, it was soaked more than half way up.

My trusty model and I.  She's wearing a hand-painted original dress by Aidah Collection.

The kids and the rest of the family stopped by for the remaining hour of the show and they completely cheered me up.  I was trying to get a picture of both kids in front of my sign because they are my eNVe Designs originals.  But these shots were as good as I could get.  One and two-year-olds are tough to take pictures of!

And here is Kaili giving her daddy a spelling lesson...

"That's an "S" and don't forget the squiggly loop.. or squiggle-oop"

So all in all, I'm glad I ventured out of my comfort zone and finally did a show.  It didn't turn out well, but at least I'll be much more prepared the next time around.  

And now, I have about 300 new items to list!  It's daunting just thinking about it.  I better get started on those photos.  I'll be back again shortly to post about my warm hearts necklace whereabouts.  Stay tuned!


Evie's Tool Emporium said...

Your booth looks great and your products amazing! Sorry about the rain. You'll be ready for next time! Good luck listing your items in your shop!

Penny Glass Girl said...

your booth looks great and well worth the effort to be prepared for next time.

Monica said...

You and your booth look awesome!! Sorry about the washout though.

Happy Birthday to your little girl!

Brenda said...

Oh nooo!!! But let me tell you, your booth is gorgeous nevertheless. Gah! (And what cuties your two originals are!!)

Consider it a trial run for the next one???


eNVe said...

Thanks so much, ladies! It definitely could've been worse. The roof could've blown off the tent (which at certain points, I seriously thought it might have). Next time has to be better. I paid my dues with this one I think. :)

Catherine Ivins said...

Your display looks amazing Ngan! Next time will definitely be better! You have definitely paid your dues with this one!

Elena (Tickled Pink Knits) said...

Considering this was your first ever show and the weather, I am absolutely amazed by how creative and well put together your booth and product presentation were, and what good spirits you were in! The situation sounds like it was absolutely dreadful but it also sounds like you made the very best of it. Think of it as a boot camp for art/craft shows, there's no way the next show you do could be any worse. I'm certain you and your booth will be a start at the next one!

You have a beautiful family!

UnaOdd -Lynn said...

Awww! So sorry that your very first show was so rainy! On a good note you've now broken the ice, developed a really great set-up, and made lots of new products! Your sign looks great and I LOVE the branch display.

Your next show will kick a**!

What a sweet family... beautiful little ones!

Kasia Blue said...

The first show that I ever did was so crazy (in prep) that I don't even know how I made it through, but...each show will be better than the last one. Some will make you lots of moolah, and some will gain contacts/friends, some both. Each one that I have done is better than the one before and I learn something new about customers and myself each time. Hooray to you for stepping out of your comfort zone and for bringing the world such beauty. Be proud of everything, especially those kidlets :)

eNVe said...

Thanks so much for all your kind comments (about my booth and my little kiddos). :) It truly means a lot to me coming from such pros in this biz. It was a boot camp for sure! But yes, I have learned a lot just from this one show. Looking forward to my next! :D

June Shin said...

Your booth looks amazing for your first show! You should have seen mine. I think I just had all my jewelry laid out flat on the table. And your kids are adorable!

Little bug jewelry/Jane said...

Sorry about the rain, but your set up looks great!!!!

Lan said...

What a great display! Congrats on your first showing! I bet if you had sunshine, you'd have a sell out! Good to finally see current pictures of Kalli.

mandywillard said...

I can't believe you did a show in such horrible weather! Your booth looks amazing! At least you made enough money to pay your fees! Your kids are darling! Hope you had a great time with your family and the birthday/baptism celebrations went well! Let me know if you do another show in the area! I would love to come out and meet you =)


Ashley said...

I had a similar experience for my first (and only, so far) show, except my "rainstorm" was "holiday shopping burnout". Mine was sometime in January, I think, and people were really over shopping, I think. All the vendors at my show reported very low sales. I also only made enough to cover my entry costs.

I had all those same questions, and really, just doing it for the first time answers so many of them.

GIRL. Your booth was beautiful! I've been to several different types of shows now and most people don't have as much design sense as you do when setting up their space. The different little sections, methods of displaying items, etc - really works! And once you figure out the enlarged photos of your pieces, I think that will look AMAZING.

Also, I love the sign. And the mannequin. And the bebes. :) And I can't wait to see you!!