Becky's Big Adventure

Posted by Rebecca Stone on June 7, 2010
Jun 072010

Well, we got to the show (the Hollywoodland Annual Flea Market and Art Fair) yesterday around 6 am. Setup was a snap — it was hauling everything back down the stairs from our house to load in the car that was a pain, in so many ways. I had a box for each table, containing all the pieces that went with each one. This really speeded up prep time. I also had drawn a diagram of where everything went, which came in handy during periodic brain freezes. I had designed a poster in Adobe Illustrator to reflect the look of my business cards. Oz was able to round up a frame to fit it, and wired it to the front of my entrance-adjacent table. It looked fabulous. If you ever need a poster fast and at a reasonable rate, check out PosterBrain.com. I highly recommend them.

My first show experience was enjoyable. My booth looked wonderful, if not a little dressy for the event, with all the black velvet coverings (custom made by my friend Marysol) and props over burgundy tablecloths. Neighborhood friends stopped by to chat and check out my stuff. Another friend drove all the way from Santa Monica to keep me company for a couple of hours. We had a beautiful (though slightly warm) day and great music. Best of all, people looked at my pieces and, well, liked them. No one scowled, scoffed or burst out laughing. While I sat in the shade behind my tables and worked on some unfinished pieces I’d brought along, descriptors like delicate, pretty and unique floated on the breeze as visitors to my booth browsed. And…. I actually sold some things. Not a ton, mind you, but I recovered my entry fee and then some, even with the flea market situated right next to my tent.

I also met some of the other artists, and that is always nice. The only other full-out jewelry designer there was singer/songwriter Gina Venturini. I enjoyed comparing notes with her and visiting her booth. She uses many of the same materials that I do, but her style is very different — bold and super colorful. Check out her site: ginaventurinidesigns.com.

Today my feet hurt and I’m pretty tired. But, overall, it was a great learning experience. I got to try out some different marketing strategies, and now I understand the disadvantages of combining handcrafted arts and flea markets. Most people there came for the bargains and freebies (In fact, one of my favorite memories about the show was when someone approached me, asking if my bouquet of flowers was for sale — or the vase they were in — or the led lamp that was lighting up one of my displays — totally ignoring my jewelry — that WAS for sale). You can’t blame people for seeking out killer deals, but flea market stickers reflect price points that most handcrafters can’t afford. Lesson learned. Onward….

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