A year ago, recovering from breast cancer treatments and knowing that my work life needed to change, I participated in some critical workshops that led me to think differently. I was convinced that selling my pottery wholesale would be the ticket. Thanks to CERF+ (the Craft Emergency Relief Fund) which helped me out getting back on my feet I was given a chance to participate in the ACRE Philadelphia show (February 13-15, 2016) and have an online presence on WholesaleCrafts.com (for retail buyers). It is now a little over a month away from the show and I decided that I would blog about it. In part it will help me and hopefully other newbies go through the steps to prepare. I'm sure I will stumble a bit and make some mistakes. I have stuggled to find easy to read guidance or blogs on the web that simplify this process so I'm hoping to shed some light on this for others.
I've been participated in local craft shows and markets for the past few years - both indoor and outdoor so I have some things on the checklist. But they are not of high quality so with my brother's help (as he is a frequent trade show exhibitor as a salesman) I looked at what I had to decided to make do with what I had and march forward. Thanks to a pottery friend, I have some hinged and foldable shelves that are quite old and in need of some paint. We decided that they will have to work as long as I give them a new coat of paint.
Keep in mind that I had to make sure that everything I bring can fit in my car. I know I can ship some items but I'm hoping to keep my costs down. I think that I will be caravaning with some family members so I'll have 2 cars to transport materials (a good thing with all this pottery!) The shelves are about 5 feet tall and there are 4 pieces - 2 that are hinged (to make corners) and 2 that are free standing. I decided the shelves should be black and after a test, decided on semi-gloss. Yesterday I put the shelves in the yard and rushed to paint them before the bad weather approaches. My arm is very tired today but super relieved that I needed less paint than anticipate so some will go back to Home Depot! I have yet to figure out how they will be secured at the show but I know that zip ties and velcro are on my list of things to buy.
Next step - I have 9 shelves (a combo if 5 wide pine shelves and 4 narrow poplar) to which I plan to staple black fabric. I measured the total yardage needed, bought a large piece at Joann's and used a 50% off coupon (you only get a discount on one piece so best to do the cutting yourself), and have since cut out 9 pieces to fit each shelf.
More to come - my checklist of items including display items, lighting, marketing materials and more!