We Got In! Oh Crap!

The holiday season is quickly approaching and applications for the holiday shows are closing. Our applications have all been filled out and decisions from the market organizers are going out this month.

One show in particular that we applied for is the Blue Genie Art Bazaar in Austin. Earlier this week we were notified that we were accepted into the show. We were ecstatic! This is a huge deal for us and represents the “next level” of our business.

When we got the email, it was all high-fives and smiles. About a minute later, reality set in and Monica and I just looked at each other. The smiles slowly faded as the wheels were turning in our brains. Panicked expressions started to show on our faces as I think we both said “Oh crap” at the exact same time. The festive mood crumbled into chaos as we both started listing out loud the things that we needed to do and all the stuff we didn’t have and needed to be built or made. Later that night while watching TV in bed we would periodically glance at the other with something else that we needed to consider. For both of us, sleep was fleeting as our minds continued to process what this acceptance meant.

Blue Genie Art Bazaar is a multi-week show that starts at the end of November and ends on Christmas Eve. It is essentially a temporary consignment store of Texas makers to focus on the holiday gift season. They have days were they get more than a thousand people a day. The organizers advertise this show very well and it has become an Austin tradition. It appears to be extremely well run and organized.

The great thing is that there is no booth fee! This means that it doesn’t cost us any money to be there. They get a percentage of sales. However, this is a huge show. We need inventory. We not only need inventory we need A LOT of inventory. We also need to ensure it is all packaged for gifting and packaged as sets.

Since this is a temporary retail pop-up, they don’t want us there hanging out. We have been given a 4 foot space to display our goods. It is our responsibility to set up this space in the manner we choose, stock the display, and leave. And, I don’t want to have to be there for 12 hours a day for weeks.

When we normally set up, we set all our products on a table or shelves and then help people choose what they want, sell it to them and put it in a bag. At this show, all our stuff needs to be packaged for retail and ready to go. We need to think carefully about how we package our products and an effective way to display what it is.

And we need a way to display our products. All we are given is a 4 foot section on an 8 foot wall. This gives us an opportunity to create a display that will show off our products in the best way possible. I get to build another display!

Restocking is going to be our responsibility as well. We will need to either drive to Austin (6 hours round trip) or have someone there who can restock our display on a regular basis. That requires extra inventory to be in Austin ready to be put on the shelves.

Even though this market doesn’t require any booth fee, we don’t quite get in for free. I am budgeting $500 for the display and signage and expect that the inventory will cost us several thousand dollars. This is during the time of year that we have other shows every weekend. We will need to dig deep for this market.

The upside is that it is a great opportunity. Not only could we make some money during this market, but it also gets our name out in the Austin area. This could lead to other opportunities.

This holiday season with this market is going to be a huge challenge, but we like challenges. It gives us the opportunity to be creative in our display and presentation and propels us to the next level. We are really looking forward to it.

I hope that this holiday season, you find opportunities to propel your business in the right direction. Opportunities abound as markets are looking for quality vendors to attract their customers. Some of these opportunities may make you panic a bit too, so calm down and plan it out and you can do it.

I will definitely keep you posted about our adventure with Blue Genie Art Bazaar. Look for more soon.

See you at market…

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