This 2010 show season has been a long, unpredictable, and exciting one for Two Seaside Babes. This year we were accepted to 22 shows. They were:
1. Hamilton County Marketplace (January 2): We started the year off with a bang! Food poisoning. Ok, not really "we". Just me. So needless to say we were unable to attend this show.
2. Hamilton County Marketplace (February 6): Aye aye aye! First, it was the day of a freak snowstorm in Indy that day. I flew off the road once just trying to get down there. Yes, this has nothing to do with the actual show. And for those of us who have done a show know that the weather is a completely unpredictable force in a shows success or failure. Second, half of the vendors couldn't show up because of the snow. Third, the patrons that showed up were clearly not my target buyer. Fourth, because the turn-out was so low, the organizers of the event decided to shut the event down 2 hours early...without asking the vendors first. So not only did they break the contract (I paid for those 2 hours...I expected to have them give me those 2 hours) but they lied about it being a "handmade" event. Over 50% of the vendors were commercial, mass-produced, or not-handmade goods. For all of those reasons, we will never do this show again. And we highly recommend to all other handmade vendors to not do it.
3. CUMNS (Castleton United Methodist) Kids Rummage Sale/Boutique (February 27): For a smaller show, it turned out to be okay. This show only allotted us one 8' table. And for that little bit of space, it's very difficult to gauge what products to put out (since we can't clearly put out our entire inventory). And it's obvious that we can't bring in as many sales as we would with a large actual booth space. Considering patrons were there to save money as opposed to really spending it, it's a show that we will probably consider doing again.
4. ISOM Elementary Craft and Gift Show (April 10): A day I'll forever remember for horribly bad planning on the part of the organizers. I should have known it was going to be a bad day when I got about 2 hours of sleep the night before. Or the fact that I couldn't find the place. Regardless, while the patrons were there, the sales were not. The fact that the vendors area could have held another 40 or so vendors might have had something to do with it. Or maybe it was the fact that the organizers held their biggest fundraiser of the year just a few weeks before that (hence why people weren't buying). Either way, it's a show we won't be putting on our schedule in the future.
5. Chica Boutiqua (April 17 - 18): The worst aye, aye, aye EVER! To make a long story short (since those 2 days felt so horribly and unbearably LONG!), I broke the truck on the first day just trying to get to the show...ball bearing and axle. So my sales didn't even cover the costs of the towing and truck repairs. Couple that with poor planning and promoting on the organizers part, horrible location, and barely any patrons, and this is an event we will never do again. And we will NEVER recommend to another vendor. Aye, aye, aye!!!!
6. Zionsville Brick Street Market (May 15): Our first good show of the year. Actually our best show ever up to that date! We had never done a show in Zionsville before and were unsure of what to expect. Hundreds of vendors, excellent organization, patrons that were surely shopping, and sales galore made it a show we will continue to do for years to come!
7. Shoe Fetish and Fashion (May 27): Clearly not our target market. A very small show with less than a dozen vendors, in a freakishly hot building, and then tearing down in the pouring rain. Nope. Not doing it again.
8. No Coast Art Series + Fashion + Music Matinee (May 29): The sister show to Shoe Fetish and Fashion. That show went so poorly that we decided it would be best not to even waste our time with this one. We hate throwing away booth money like that, but the time, energy, and money (gas) spent on that show wasn't worth it in our eyes.
9. Fishers Freedom Festival (June 26 - 27): We had heard wonderful things about this event from other vendors. Overall, it was a pleasant event. Pretty darn good organization, despite the fact that we were placed far away from the majority of the vendors in the trees. Trees = shade. Our spot = blazing hot sun. Blazing hot sun + almost 100 degree temps = hard to sell wool hats. But it was our first show introducing our new headbands and they went over very well. So this show is definitely promising for next year...if we can have a spot in the shade. And if the temps are not hovering around the triple digits.
10. CarmelFest (July 4 - 5): Our first duplicate show of the year. This was our first show last year and we were very pleased with how we did. So we decided to do it again, despite the "carnival" atmosphere and the high booth cost. While we didn't do as well as we were hoping, we were still pleased with the fact that we did better. And that we were able to sell wool hats in 100+ degree weather at all! Our headbands, hair clips, and newly-introduced American Girl doll hats went over very well. It's a show we'll continue to do for a long while.
11. Festival of the Arts/Art in the Park ( July 17): Yet another horribly hot day. But luckily we were in a nice shady spot for the majority of the day, which probably helped us greatly. We were pleased with how we did, considering it was our first ever show in Brownsburg. And we fairly certain we'll be doing it again next year.
12. A Taste of Art (July 31): The day started off miserably...couldn't find the place, a freak wind/rain storm hit during setup, and half of the vendors packed up and left. We were in an odd spot but still had plenty of patrons come down and visit us. We were glad we stayed because thankfully that storm dropped the temperatures into the mid-70's, which of course was perfect hat-selling weather in the middle of summer. It turned out to be an absolutely fabulous show for us and definitely one we'll be doing next year!
13. Tipton County Pork Festival (September 9 - 11): Our second duplicate show of the year. It turned out to be better than we were expecting. It's hard to know what to expect from this show...since it's not our target market, but we oddly sell well here. We were disappointed in the craft section this year, but overly pleased that we didn't have any other similar vendors to compete with. The temperatures were good, had great vendors to chat with, and yet again another show we'll be doing this upcoming year.
14. Fishers Art in the Park (September 18): We had never done this show before. While other vendors didn't seem to fare to well, we did fabulous. It was our best show to-date! The temperatures were perfect, our location was ideal (we were setup right next to the kiddie areas!), and the venue was great. We particularly love selling at genuine art shows...where people value their craft, time, and product. This is another show that is definitely on our list for next year.
15. Avon Community Heritage Festival (September 25): We were extremely disappointed in this show this year. Last year's event turned out to be wonderful for us. But so many things were different this time around...the amount of commercial vendors, church booths, and political booths was absolutely atrocious! It seems as though patrons were too scared to go into anyone's booth for fear of being bombarded with religious and political pamphlets. Sadly, this is a show we will no longer be doing. We didn't even make half of what we made last year.
16. Whale of a Sale (September 20 - October 2): This show is kind of up in the air for next year. While we're fairly certain we're going to do the spring show (since shows are so hard to come by during those warmer months), we think we might skip this fall one. Sales were okay, but definitely not was I expecting, especially for an outdoor show. This event was geared at patrons trying to SAVE money, so we kind of expected the low sales. Regardless, we were still kind of disappointed with how we did.
17. Riley Festival (October 7 - 10): This was our duplicate show that we had been waiting for all year long. We sold fabulously well last year and were expecting to do the same. However, this years temperatures were 20+ degrees warmer than they were last year. And while we were disappointed that we came into this years show with twice as much inventory and came away with the same amount of sales as last year, we're not disappointed with the overall sales. This is definitely a show that we'll continue to do for a long time.
18. IUPUI Fine Arts & Craft Fair (October 30): Aye. Aye. Aye. This show was horrible on so many levels. Indy is well known for it's horrible street network where there are about a gazillion one-way streets. So getting to the venue provided us with many a potty words. And if that wasn't bad enough, the actual location of the event was astronomically horrible! Even if we had done twice what we were EXPECTING to do at this event, it is not one that we will do again. The treck from the truck to the booth was just about impossible. Add in a horrible floor plan, poor organization, and lack of "fine arts & crafts", and we will never consider doing this show again.
19. Bloomington Handmade Market (November 6): I was dearly worried about doing this show. It's the farthest we've ever traveled for a show...over 2 1/2 hours away. But that worry and travel was beyond worth it. The venue was excellent, the location was perfect, the patrons were amazing, and the sales were spectacular. It was BY FAR our best show ever...we did almost 37 times our booth fee! So yes, definitely, we will be applying to this show again. And the one in the spring too!
20. Lawrence Central Holiday Boutique (November 20): After all of the hype that I received from my other crafty friends about this one, I was kind of disappointed. Traffic seemed really low and if it hadn't been for a giant sale made in the last 10 minutes, it would have been an extreme disappointment. We're still up in the air if we'll be doing it next year.
21. Hoosier Artisan Holiday Boutique (November 27): We were eagerly looking forward to the 2nd year of this show. However, it proved to be a disappointment...the location was different (it was the same as the Hamilton County Marketplace) from last year. So obviously a different crowd. And there were tons more vendors there, not all of the caliber that I was expecting like the 1st year's show. But considering the superb advertising, excellent organization of the event, and the support of local Indiana artisans (it's entirely a handmade product show), I will still be doing the show.
22. Alternative Gift Fair (December 11): So we started the year with food poisoning and ended it with the flu. Yeppers...you read that right! We missed this show too. So we'll probably try and catch it next year.
We would like to thank all of our amazing customers that helped to make this year's shows successful, for the most part. You made this years extreme ups and downs totally worth everything! Now comes the long 2 - 3 month haul to build our inventory back up for our busy show season next year. We're looking at doing 24 shows definitely, but hoping to add more. Stay tuned, we will let you know of our shows as we are accepted to them!