This past Saturday my husband and I set up my booth at the Perry Chalk Art Festival!
The day started out a little rough; we were a little tired starting the day due to waiting on news if our new niece or nephew had been born (it’s a nephew!!!), and we’re not very familiar with Perry, so finding exactly where we were supposed to go was a little challenging, especially as roads were blocked off for the festival.
Once we got to our spot, we were really happy with our location. We were the second booth in on a side street, so we were very visible from the main street of the festival.
The only hiccup of the day was right away during set up: my tent wouldn’t work! We were trying to expand it and get the canopy up, but it kept collapsing on itself. I have to admit, I was a little panicky as if I didn’t have a tent, I didn’t have a way to display more than half of my products as they hang from the tent walls. After a couple minutes of struggling, I crawled under the tent to find out that the center post had come unhooked, and it was a super quick and easy fix!
We were supposed to be set up by 8:30, and with not getting our space assignment right away, trying to maneuver down closed roads for the festival and other vehicles and tent issues, I was really happy that we were up and running by 8:40!
Changes to the booth:
We had to make a couple modifications to the booth as we were on pavement, so stakes were not an option for securing items. I did some research and found a better way to attach our tent weights, and we were so pleased with the way they worked that we’re going to keep securing them that way, even when we get to use the stakes. We normally anchor our tables for security as well, but the pavement was pretty level, so the tables weren’t as wobbly as they are on grass. The jewelry displays also get anchored into the ground, but I just took the bottoms of the chains, wrapped them around a dowel and put a cinder block on the dowel to keep the displays from bouncing around, and it worked beautifully!
We also chose to not put the back booth wall up. We didn’t really need it for wind, rain or sun protection, and that allowed us freedom to get in and out from the back of the booth and use the sidewalk for extra space for our bags and things.
I also changed the print display. I love my risers that I’ve used previously, but it’s so big and bulky, and the prints don’t stand up too well if it’s breezy or another print gets bumped. I’ve been buying out Wal-Mart’s black inclined office folder organizers every time I go, and they worked out so well! Each print design gets it’s own organizer, and I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out. At some point I’d like something a little more professional looking, but so far they’re perfect. I’m going to have to get more for AppleUmpkin as I’ll have more print designs ready by then!
Other little changes included new business cards (aren’t they pretty? I didn’t think they’d arrive in time, but they did! Yay!) and the giveaway sign standing upright to be seen from the road.
Highlights of the day:
– Getting to meet a lot of new people and have previous customers stop by to say hi!
– Almost selling out of necklaces! That was a little scary as I didn’t want to fully run out, but was super excited that they were popular 🙂
– Great neighbors. We were situated between Screaming Fox Pottery and a travel agent. Both were super nice, and we spent time getting to know the couple who were selling the pottery (and also got a couple little pots for our succulents in our bathroom!). Being next to travel agent was a little dangerous as they had a Universal Studios display up, and we’re taking the kids in 2017. We picked up papers to help plan, but it was really hard to not book the trip!
– Good sales! People took advantage of the jewelry sale I had going on, and I plan on having sales again for the next show.
– The weather was amazing! Sunny, warm, and a little breeze? Perfection.
– People taking my card for commissions or to shop online!
– Square! I’m so glad that I have the ability to take credit cards; I would have lost out on most of my sales if I hadn’t been accepting credit cards. I also got a great review by one of my customers after the show, so thank you to whoever wrote that! It made my day 🙂
– Being able to get out of the booth for a bit and see the chalk drawings! It makes me wish I could do chalk; I end up making more of a mess than I do a drawing. These were my favorites:
Hard parts of the day:
– This show was longer than other ones I’ve done, so by the end of the day, we were exhausted and couldn’t wait to get home to the kids.
– The breeze was a little strong at times. We had no issues with the tent moving, but some of our signs decided they wanted to fly off the tables or into the road.
– My cell phone dying towards the end of the show. I accept my credit cards on my phone, and as most of my sales were by credit card, I needed it up and running. Thankfully we had our tablet, so my husband scrambled to get Square installed and up and running on it before our phones died and we lost the internet. He was awesome and it worked!
– This is a silly thing, but this mural on the building behind us was making me all twitchy. I told my husband multiple times that I just wanted to take it down and put up a new one!
Changes I want to make:
– Change my signs for products. They’re just folded pieces of paper right now, but I want to add a bottom to them so they’re like a triangle. That would allow me to put weights inside the sign to keep them from blowing around.
– New earring designs. A lot of people love the earrings, but didn’t buy as they’re afraid they’re not durable enough (which I understand!). I just ordered supplies for a new earring style yesterday, so hope to have a new watercolor earring line ready for Christmas!
– Get another table or a bigger table, or figure out how to fit more on each table and still have it look nice. I’m running out of room already on my tables, and I’m going to need space for Christmas items and Boathouse Mouse books in September at AppleUmpkin!
– Get chairs. We’ve been borrowing a couple taller kitchen chairs from our friends which work out great, but having our own would be nice as well. Maybe get padding for the chairs as well; sitting for hours gets really uncomfortable after awhile!
We’re already looking forward to doing next year’s festival, and have quite a bit of work and preparations before AppleUmpkin in September. That will be my first two day show, so I’m excited and nervous about that!
Have you ever been to the Perry Chalk Art Festival? What changes would you suggest for my booth?