Indie Art + Design Show Recap


I'm back! You probably thought I fell off the face of the earth. Fortunately, I didn't (though I came pretty close). I have just been busy, busy busy with the Indie Art + Design Trunk Show that was last weekend. Then I got sick, sick sick. But now I'm on the up and up, so I figured I'd share a few photos and tell y'all about my experience.

First I want to say how much I have enjoyed the last 3 weeks. This is the first time I've ever focused solely on my personal work, and I loved every minute of it. I have never felt so inspired! Just doing all of the things I want to do, and think about non-stop was so rewarding. Usually, as I'm working on my freelance design work, my mind is trucking along, spouting idea after idea at me. What torture that is, knowing I can't pursue most of those ideas! But November was different. It was all about me and making the stuff I want to make.

I'll admit - it was pretty scary, going a month without any income from my freelance design gig. But I was hoping that I'd make at least a little dough with the Trunk Show, and it would be somewhat justified.

My goal for the Trunk Show was to have a good mix of stuff, to show my range of capabilities. I didn't have a lot of inventory to start with, just a few Fuzzies and a couple totes. I needed a strategy for production. I decided to split my day into thirds: During the morning, while Stella was at school I focused on screen printing. (And this meant I had to finish setting up my screen printing studio in the basement!) A couple hours in the afternoon, while Stella napped, was dedicated to new Fuzzy production. And then the wee hours of the night, after everyone was in bed, was mostly for working on custom Fuzzy orders (non-Trunk Show-related).

I decided I'd go with this production schedule until a few days prior to the show, then at that point I'd switch gears and start focusing on the finishing details, such as packaging, hangtags, mounting, etc. Then, the night before the show I selected my favorite personal illustrations from the last year or so to print on my fancy new Epson printer. This was the first time I've ever printed them out! They looked just as pretty in real life than they did on the screen.

My space at the show was pretty limited (I was against the backside of a fireplace), so I knew I had to work vertically to make the most of the narrow room. Unlike my show experience in July, I wanted the Fuzzies to be out in the open, not crunched into some crates. Sandwiching some pegboards against the brick wall allowed me to hang the Fuzzies over my table. I really like the presentation, though I need to figure out a good way to hang them. For this show, I looped yarn under their armpits (or highest catch-point) and hung them from a hook. This worked better on some than others. The Fuzzies with a low center of gravity tended to lean forward off the wall. It worked for the time being, but I might start sewing a temporary loop into the top of their heads that can be cut off after purchase.

photo courtesy of Prozan McGlinn

One thing I improved with this show was my use of Square. Last time I couldn't figure out how to enter multiple items under one sale (on my iPhone...I think it's possible on an iPad). So I utilized a sales receipt book where I manually entered every item, totaled it, figured out tax, THEN entered that number into Square to finalize the transaction. It took a little longer, but in the end, I really liked having paper copies of all my receipts with the names of all the purchases and the names of the customers. It made my bookkeeping a breeze.

For the show I ended up with 3 new large Fuzzies (plus the 3 circus Fuzzies who were featured in STUFFED Magazine), 11 new Runts, a 2012 calendar featuring a new illustration, new striped floral totes, a new floral screen print (in 5 color options!) and new screen printed holiday cards on Kraft or white. Plus some of my old screen prints, totes, greeting cards and illustrations. It was a pretty good variety and I couldn't be more pleased.

Though I did fairly well, I didn't sell everything, so within the next few days I will be adding lots of new items to my shops. Yay! Just in time for your holiday shopping.

And...there will probably be a sweet deal in said shops to celebrate Cyber Monday, so be sure to check back for the secret code!