27 November 2012

I Did It!: etsyRAIN Handmade Holiday Show 2012 recap

With my very first craft show behind me, all I can keep saying to myself (and aloud to my family) is: 

The etsyRAIN Handmade Holiday Show at the gorgeous, window-lit space of the McCaw Hall at Seattle Center (home of the Seattle Opera) was amazing! From the location to the organizers to the customers to the fellow vendors to the drama-free-ness of the event (except for one pre-show melt-down by me), it was all pretty awesome.

Photo by Jonathon Colman

From the moment I got the go-ahead to be included among the 100+ vendors of handmade, the show organizers have run a smooth operation. The organizers were friendly and supportive and so encouraging of the artists and crafters.

One of the etsyRAIN ads for the show

Of course, I had my reservations about doing the show. I thought it would be too big for my debut as a craft vendor.  I was a bit intimidated by the number of vendors and even the high-profile venue. Would I be able to pull it off? Make enough inventory? Design a interesting booth? Be able to be friendly and greet customers? And what about the logistics of loading in and out. What if I didn't sell a single item?

But it was an opportunity I couldn't turn down. It seemed like the logical next step in running a craft business.
Not only as a chance to sell items, but to:

*Promote my business to those who don't know my business or who don't even shop on Etsy.
*Meet potential customers in person and get feedback face to face.
*Get press attention as one of the vendors (the show itself got many press mentions in the local media)
*Meet other crafters
*Just to check it off my list of things I want to do

My booth at etsyRAIN Handmade Holiday Show Nov. 23-34 at McCaw Hall, Seattle Center.
Photo by Hannah Danforth (my awesome booth buddy!)

And I'm happy to say, I met and surpassed my own personal goals for the show. 

Not only did I get TONS of smiling faces and happy positive feedback from customers and fellow sellers, I even made back my booth fee on the first day. The second day, I had even more sales (in number, but not actual dollar amount) and even more positive feedback.

Yes, it was scary to put myself out there.
It was scary to try a new thing.
But I learned so much. And yes, I'm glad I did it.

Future Posts About My First Craft Show Experience

I have so much more to share about the show! I'll share more in future posts including: 
  • a detailed look at my booth and display
  • what I did to prepare including links/resources I used 
  • what I would do differently/what I would do exactly the same
Hope you will come back and read more about my first craft show experience!

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' said...

Your display was awesome and you fit right in. We were so happy to have you as a part of our show. Thank you! ~ Kayce

emily said...

Congrats! Love your stuff!

Anonymous said...

Congrats, Cathy! As a first-timer as well, I loved it! What a wonderfully supportive community we have in EtsyRAIN!

Rachel said...

Hi Cathy!

My name is Rachel. I have been lurking on your blog and shop for a while now! :) I'm a new etsy seller and you are such an inspiration to me. Your handmade things are gorgeous, right down to your packaging! I am so happy for you for putting yourself "out there" with this show, congrats on doing so well!

Cathy Pascual said...

Thanks for the love ladies!

Karen said...

I'm really enjoying watching you build your business. Believe it or not, I totally (silently, across the ocean!) crossed my fingers for you for your first show! I am doing my own first craft show this Sat and Sunday. Not like you, in a big city, but in a local little village Christmas market. Pretty excited - but a bit unsure of what to expect - I'm shy like you! Your example gives me courage though :) Congrats today to you on Etsy, how awesome to see you on the front page! Karen

LoveNote Crafts said...

Hi Cathy! {new follower to your blog @ esty shop here} =)

I think your items are super adorable. I just did my 2nd craft show in November as well and it was just as exciting as my first. Still learning but enjoying the experience. Thank you for sharing your experience and inspiration!

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