This past month, (June) I had the honor of being a part of the Indieana Handicraft Exchange in Indianapolis!
This was my first time participating in this craft show, and actually my first time participating in a summer craft show at all! The IHE has been around for 10 years now, is a part of the IMAF at the Harrison Center for the Arts, and it is put on by the popular Mass Ave store Homespun: Modern Handmade. I was one of 150 vendors that participated, and there were also food trucks, and live music. This was only my second outdoor show, and the first was back in October, so my product line has changed a bit since then. My kits have new packaging, and I’ve paired down what I offer at the shows (for the sake of space and display cohesiveness). Here are some pictures of what my set up looked like!
I used the same tent, cover, and sign as my last show, and had a table and the trunk again too.
The curtain rod that I used back in October served me well enough that I decided to add a second level of rod to be able to display twice the number of Indiana Pillows.
I also found these great shelves (below) at goodwill that fold up completely flat when you need them too, which make them great for my craft show displays, because they fit in my car!
Along with the updated product displays, I updated my pricing displays. I created several wooden chalkboard signs a more versatile way to display pricing. If I decide to change what I’m selling, or the price I’m selling for at a craft show, I can simply erase and rewrite the price. I drilled holes in a few of the signs to allow for hanging on the rods alongside the pillows, and the rest I glued a bit of extra wood on the back to make them stand up. I used simple drawings for labels not only because they took up less room on the sign, but also would come across more clearly to customers.
I was really feeling the chalkboard vibe for this show, so I decided to make a fun sign (below) to help advertise the kits. I've noticed a direct correlation between the number of signs I have about a product and the number of people who comment on it. I've gone from no one realizing that I sell DIY kits, to having a ton of people comment on it. I actually may need to add another sign about buying a pillow ready-made though, bc with all my DIY signage, some people thought all my ready pillows were just samples. But oh well, I had a blast drawing up this sign, and the chalk pen made it super easy. It even rained on me at the craft show, and while you can see the streaks from the rain, the chalk actually held up pretty well!
Speaking of the rain, you may have noticed that my tent does not have any siding to it. Yup. I had big sheets of plastic that we hurriedly clipped onto the sides and back of my tent to keep everything dry. It actually worked, but only because I had about 5 people there helping me out. I never would have been able to get them all up by myself. You can see the plastic in the background of the photo below, taken by my awesome sister-in-law-to-be Rachel. Also, the sunglasses on Mr. Indiana were a hit with all the kids who stopped by the tent. If I intend to get serious about this craft show world (as yet undetermined) I'll definitely have to invest in a better tent.
I can't forget to mention that I debuted a new product at the IHE: the square Indy skyline pillow. Check them out here!
It was a long day (as all craft show days are) but overall, the rain didn’t ruin the day, and all my helpers and I spent the day talking to great customers and looking at all the cool products that everyone else had to offer too. And my favorite part of the day was actually a surprise.
At the very end of the show I got to talk with Amanda from Homespun, and she took some of my kits to sell in the store on Mass Ave! Which was one of my goals for the year!!
creative business owner. designer. hoosier. crafter. runner. sewer. swing dancer. outdoor enthusiast. entrepreneur. wife. material hoarder.
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Madeline Stage firstname.lastname@example.org
Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will