Santa Monica Festival

This past weekend Ben and I set up our very first booth with our wares at a local festival. We researched and prepared ourselves as much as we could, and the results were great! We had a fantastic time, met many wonderful people and even sold a few items. At the bottom of this post I am including a few of the things that worked best for us. Thanks to everyone who made it out to see us! We hope to see you again next year!

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We were on a tight budget, so we bought very few new things and were creative with what we had around our apartment for our displays:

1.We found a set of hinged closet doors by an alley dumpster, which we painted gray and used to display our original art and framed prints.

2. To display giclée prints and drawings, we strung a clothesline and hung a selection of prepackaged prints with bulldog clips. After thinking way too hard about a way to display prints standing up on the table, we discovered a few boards that we had in the garage and assembled them together to make a trough. We painted it to match the large back panels. We used inexpensive office wire baskets to hold multiple prints in front of the standing display.

3. To display smaller collages, we used a vintage file box that we already had.

4. We found a collection of small wood boxes at Goodwill, which were perfect for displaying books and postcard sets.

5. Ben and I discovered a free business card promotion through our favorite green printer at greenerprinter.com and were able to order professionally printed business cards for the event. I designed mine to double as a blank tag, which we used as price labels for all of our items.

6. For a tablecloth, I hemmed a huge piece of cotton canvas, which we can always cut apart to stretch for new paintings later!

7. I painted a colorful canvas banner to hang on the front of the table, which we now proudly display in our studio.

These are some other tips that we discovered during our research that really worked for us:

1. Accepting credit cards is a very good idea! We purchased a knucklebuster (the thing that slides over a card to make a carbon copy receipt) and used ProPay over the internet to run the numbers. We were fortunate enough to have internet service at the park, so we could run the cards right then and there on Ben’s laptop.

2. The festival was “zero waste” and forbid plastic shopping bags. I discovered a great selection of sustainable bamboo and 100% recycled paper gift bags, as well as recycled content tissue papers at Dunwoody Booth Packaging. These worked great to pack up framed artwork and books. Since we already had them, I used large manila envelopes as flat bags for the prints.

3. Free chocolates make people happy! (including myself)

4. Visible pricing is important.

5. We found that displaying a framed version of a print helps people envision what their print could look like. Also, some people prefer to purchase a framed print to save them the trouble of having it done themselves. We did our own framing and ordered our framing supplies from American Frame.

6. People (including kids) will manhandle your products. Good thing we didn’t have any delicate items! Each of our prints was prepackaged in a clear bag to prevent sticky fingers from ruining them. We ordered our bags at clearbags.com.

We had such a good time and hope to do this again, so if you have any other ideas or tips, please add them! We’ll give them a try next time.

7 Responses to “Santa Monica Festival”

  1. Claudia Says:

    Super cool blog and beautiful artwork… I’ll have to check you out on etsy.
    Claudia
    http://www.ransomsoul.com

  2. Cindy Says:

    Thanks for sharing what you learned. Carrie and I did a craft show and really wished we did credit cards but we had no idea how …now we do : )
    Your booth looked great!

  3. The Beckley's Says:

    Wow, you guys did an amazing job! I’m soooooo impressed. Wish I could have seen it all in person. Miss you!

  4. Kim Says:

    I would love to see you in Santa Monica…where exactly was this and will you be dong it again????

  5. Suzy Allen Says:

    Wow. Not only is your artwork great, but I love your display. Thanks for sharing ways in which you searched for things to use. Sounds fun. I’m going to check out your stuff on Etsy too. I am an artist/art teacher living in Louisiana, and this summer my goal is to put my stuff on Etsy and I really wanted to do a show. We’ll see how it goes. Thanks again for sharing. Love your work. http://www.suzyallenart.blogspot.com

  6. Shannon Says:

    I’m glad I found your site! Lots of great advice for the show, look slike you really thought out everything! Hopefully some day soon I’ll be able to use some of your great ideas, mainly because everything looks so pretty I would want to buy everything. haha =) the buisness card as price tag is awesome to, way to make the cards multipurpose!

  7. Michael Miller Says:

    Hello,

    I was fascinated by how your booth could accept credit cards, does it do the same with debit cards? and how easy was it to set up?

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