Almost two weeks ago I attended my very first craft fair as a vendor here in Japan. I had such a wonderful experience and wanted to share it with those of you that are far away or couldn't make it.
The fair was held on the Navy base here in Yokosuka and was held over a Saturday and Sunday, November 30th to December 1st. As some may remember I've been preparing ahead for several months now, selecting prints that needed to be ordered online and shipped in time. My greeting cards arrived on time a week before but somehow the prints never did. As you can imagine that caused much stress at the time but it allowed me to branch out and explore more of my options here. And I'm so very glad I did. I've now found a local printer that I was able to turn around prints with in time. With a local printer I can easily print new prints for people here without the added cost of shipping for them as they can pick them up here at my house.
During the craft fair I enjoyed talking to all kinds of people about my work. One of the things I've found about selling online only until this point is that I don't get to interact with you, if only a little here on my blog. I love hearing what you think about my work, what it reminds you of or who you are buying it for. It's partly why I create, is for you. I came away with a renewed excitement to create more and to find more places to interact with you.
Fuji, a new print, that I had printed out. It is a very rewarding feeling seeing your work for the first time in print. I can't wait to buy more!
I ordered my blank greeting cards through Moo, the same company I print my business cards with. It was an easy decision as I already knew their printing quality was up to my high standards. The cards come in sets of 25 with your prints divided up as evenly as possible amongst them. The insides are blank. On the back is my name and website. I plan on looking into buying postcards for the next craft fair to sell as well.
Along with the prints and greeting cards I also created magnets in themed sets of 6 of my images, some photography and others my illustration work. These were quite a success and I plan on making more for my next craft fair, or perhaps experimenting with something like it.
This was a bit of an experiment all around as I have never made these and just invented the idea based on a combination of a few others. The wood tiles are the backs of scrabble tiles now attached to magnets with adhesive backing. The magnet is trimmed to fit the tile with an exacto knife. The wood tiles made a perfect base for my mini thumbnail sized prints to be mounted on. On top they are sealed with a clear doming glaze that hardens after about 12 hours.
For my setup the design needed to be very portable as I do not have a car here. The large panels are just canvases covered in fabric I already had. And very light to carry I might add. They worked perfectly as a pop of color and something to lean the prints against.
For future craft fairs I plan on experimenting with new display ideas. I plan on possibly making a card stand, finding a method to hang more of my prints at eye level as well as a way to allow people to flip easily through stacks of prints. For now though I think this is a good example of what one can create with little to no budget.