Sunday, February 28, 2010

Inside the Lakeside Bridal Fair: A Vendor's View

I'm not gonna lie. Preparing for my first bridal fair was an incredibly stressful experience. I was nervous about everything. Whether my booth would look too "home-made". Whether the brides would like my work. I had nightmares of them laughing at me or throwing all my stuff on the floor. If the other vendors would mock the first time newbie. And I admit, I did throw my scissors at my incredibly patient, super sweet fiance when he suggested I try calming down to cut my paper straight. But after a lunch trip down to Bass Pro Shop and a few drinks from the open bar (as well as lots and lots of cake samples!) I got in the zone.


There he is helping me set up. Isn't he a doll? Seriously, he was so supportive and completely dove in when it came time to sell the business. The man is money ladies! You should all get a country boy of your very own.
I almost put the kibosh on the hand-sewn bunting. Nobody else had anything like it, and I was afraid of being to Etsy with everything. This probably would have been a bigger hit at a craft fair. But you live, you learn, right?

I was shocked that the invitation suite I designed for our wedding was the biggest hit. I thought people might find it a bit too themed, but lots of brides complemented it. I'm hoping to get a few commissions for it in the near future. But by far my most common question, "What's with the beans?" Argh! I thought I was being so clever, making a play on my business name, Sprout Graphics. I thought it was such a cute touch. Apparently I need to spell things out a bit more. There were also quite a few people asking me what it was I provided. Um... wedding invitations? Those things you mail out that tell people where and when to party? I don't know. It's always hard to sell yourself, so I was incredibly grateful I had the Boy to do a lot of that for me.
Of course the monograms made an appearance. And of course, nobody understood them. They thought they were centerpieces, or table cards. Which they could be, I suppose. Apparently I need to rethink my booth display.

I made sure to include my sweet little blankets and tshirts. Those garnered their fair share of attention too. I'll have to really vamp up my website and start my eblasting to see how much business I can drum up from the booth. But overall I'd say my foray into the fair biz was overwhelming. I'll try to save making a judgment after I can really gauge what the response will turn out to be. But for now, I think my booth was really cute, and I'm happy with the product line I came up with for Spring 2010.

No comments:

Post a Comment