I Survived Art Star
Paula Woolarina and I are back from the Art Star Craft Bazaar and I am officially exhausted. I have been going to sleep early like a grandma since I got home. I had no idea a two day show could be so hard. The weather didn't help, either. Saturday was crazy hot and humid, making the shoppers seem droopy and tired. Sunday was nice except for the spotty rain and then the downpour at the end of the day. Sunday's shoppers seemed more excited and interested to find something rad.
I was pretty impressed with the quality of vendor at this show. The gals at Art Star did an amazing job jurying it. Nearly every booth had something new and interesting and made for fun shopping and trading! Lucky for me, Lissie, who I met on Etsy.com came out to help with my booth on Saturday, so I got to shop and get water and eat ice cream and spend some time in the Art Star gallery/shop. I am still amazed that a complete stranger came out to help me all day in the heat! She was totally rad and a far better salesperson than me.
I got to meet some of my favorite indie crafters whose work I have been admiring online. Beth from LemonCadet won the day for the best booth presentation. She is fairly new to fairs, but has done her research (she told me so!) and had such a cute and clean and organized set up. This is what I am worst at, so I made sure I collected her energy and positives on the topic and put them in my pocket for later.
Another new favorite of mine is Spaghetti Kiss from Baltimore. Michael Bracco and Shawna Pincus-Bracco are a force with their line of shirts, housewares, comics and prints. I really dig their style.
I also met Kellee and Matt from My Favorite Mirror and we talked a bunch. They work with some of the best indie illustrators, putting their art on compact mirrors, coasters and mouse pads. They are really an indie craft label, like a record label. They have the best taste in art and make all of their products themselves, of course. Such a cool idea to showcase young artists on functional items.
Here's some of the great stuff that I picked up:
- Blueberry ring from P1 Unless Otherwise Noted
- Shark print (#16 of 25) by Alec Thibodeau from If'N Books and Marks
- Orange and blue flower pin from Woolarina
- Dolly Parton Necklace from Danielle Maveal
- Yeti mirror from LemonCadet
- Mouse pad and mirror from My Favorite Mirror
- Recycled fabric apron from The Other Woman Collective
- Shirt from Spaghetti Kiss
I also special ordered this shirt from Gladys Makes Things. It says, 'The Internet is Powered by Bees,' isn't that totally brilliant and funny?
The biggest surprise of the day for me was how much of a force Etsy.com is in sales. So many people told me they saw my work on Etsy. I would say that one in three sales happened because people remembered my shirts from my Etsy shop. I was also surprised that many shoppers had checked out my blog beforehand and wanted to see the new design that I had written about. I sold a bunch of new sea monster shirts because of this. I heart the internets.
Overall, Art Star was well organized and had great vendors, but the weather had it in for us. Another thing that locals kept saying to me was that it wasn't the right neighborhood for a craft fair, indie or not. A few even said, "yuck," to the location. I don't know anything about Philly, so I can't tell if they were right or not. Perhaps a different venue would have drawn more shoppers no matter the weather? Who knows.
Thanks to Art Star for putting on the show, it was great fun!