I am fortunate enough to live in an area that has lots of craft shows year round. When I first started my business I was thinking that I would do all of my selling online, but that really isn’t realistic. You have to get out and meet people and show them your products. Let them touch, feel and especially with scented candles – smell!
In a previous blog post, I wrote about my first experience with a craft fair at Knott’s Berry Farm. I really didn’t know what I was getting into and just jumped in with both feet. It was an extremely long “show” – 44 days straight, and most people were really there to enjoy the theme park, but liked looking at the crafts, too. It was a great learning experience; I met some great people and some wonderful customers who loved our hand poured soy candles. I participated in a few more shows that again were great learning experiences, but I still didn’t feel like I had hit my stride yet.
Until… I found Patchwork Shows! I had several people tell me that my candles were perfect for this show, so I checked them out. From the moment I went to their website, I knew I had found my home. I loved everything about it. The fonts they used, the illustrations, the typewriter (I LOVE an old fashioned typewriter, we use typewriter keys as our letters in our logo for cryin’ out loud!), and the clincher – they have a vintage VW Bus… in blue!! When I was growing up my dream car was a VW Bus and my favorite color is blue! I knew I had to try to get in with them.
They have 3 locations for shows, Oakland, Santa Ana and Long Beach. I am in Southern CA, so I decided to apply for both the Santa Ana and Long Beach shows. If I could have figured out a cost effective way to get my booth set up, supplies and candles up to Northern CA, I would have! There was a waiting period of a couple of weeks between the time I applied online and the day they would let you know if you were accepted. They actually sent out the emails a day early. I received 2 separate emails, the first one telling me I got into Santa Ana (I cheered out loud), and then moments later the second one telling me I got into Long Beach (I think I may have teared up a little).
I will write about the actual shows in a future blog post. Stay tuned…