I've always admired people that regularly do craft shows. SO much work, it feels daunting just thinking about it! Well, daunted could describe the way I'm feeling lately, but also really, really excited. I'm doing Salvage here in Atlanta on April 12th, which is a vintage and vintage-inspired handmade market put on by Atlanta's ICE (Indie Craft Experience). It will be held at Ambient Studio (of which I've never been, but I'm super excited to experience... a beautiful, HUGE, filled-with-natural-light indoor studio... no worries about what the weather might bring!).
Honestly, never in a million years would I think I'd be doing a local market. I've never been able to pull off a prolific handmade business, but when I saw an ad for Salvage in my Instagram feed a few weeks ago, I thought to myself "Vintage Show? THAT I can do." I'm not sure what possessed me to send in my application the next day (which was also the last day to register), but I just had this wave of "why not!?" come over me. I have SO much vintage that I've been wanting to sell, but I've never loved the idea of selling online and having to deal with shipping (me-no-likey the post office). And I always feel like I'm selling my soul to the devil when I try to sell stuff to buyers at antique malls, etc. (so many of those people are so icky, greedy and rude.)
But the idea of curating an adorable booth filled with all of my favorite vintage, and local people being able to actually see the pieces in person and experience them up close - was really exciting to me. And honestly? I love to "play shop". What little girl didn't love that? I thrive on decorating spaces, and always tell Ethan that I'd love to own a brick-and-mortar shop one day when I'm retired and I know we don't need the money (haha - retail is scary!). Curating shop windows and displays - that is what dreams are made of for me.
So, getting to do this on a temporary, small scale REALLY inspired me! Getting involved in our local handmade and vintage community was an even bigger draw. I've often regretted that I don't get involved more with local events and too easily take refuge behind my computer screen because it's safe and comfortable.
But wow, I'm THRILLED to get to chat up local, like-minded people, shoppers and fellow vendors for a day! I truly believe that everything happens for a reason, and seeing that ad in my Instagram feed was a sign for me. (Honestly, I rarely follow my IG feed just being so busy, so it was especially serendipitous that I saw it!)
Another really legit reason to do the show? To share Kitschy Digitals with locals of course! At first I wasn't sure if it would be "allowed" to promote the business since it's all digital product, but since the aesthetic of our shop is so heavily vintage-inspired, and our products are as well, I added it to my application and it was approved! I rented the larger space so that we'd have PLENTY of room for loads of vintage, as well as handmade projects created with our products at Kitschy Digitals (dolls, embroideries, cross-stitched pieces, oh my!) I'm receiving samples from our designers as well as our sample-makers daily in the mail - it's like Christmas! I think the project samples are a great way to communicate to people what we offer, who we are, and to assure them that "you can make it, too!". (P.S. our shop is fresh with new products, including some really cute embroidery and doll sewing patterns, perfect for Easter baskets!)
I definitely thrive on deadlines. I have a hard time with projects that are open-ended, but I totally thrive on big deadlines and projects that have lots of components to them. I've been constantly brainstorming ideas for our booth (have had a few sleepless nights because I can't turn my brain off). There will be swag bags for the first 100 attendees, so I've been dreaming up a few fun gifts to include in those! There also might be a large cardboard cutout that I'm DIYing for the booth... not of me I promise... I will share that soon, along with a full tutorial (if it doesn't bomb!). I also have an idea for table risers that I'm going to DIY and will share that as well if it comes together.
So, what do these adorable vintage kids clothes have to do with anything? They'll be for sale at the show of course! Another perk of doing this show that I honestly didn't see coming, is that it has been SO refreshing getting back into thrifting again. I haven't frequented the thrift stores in a very long time. It kind of hit me last year that I wasn't enjoying it because I KNEW that I didn't need to bring anything else into the house unless it was an AMAZING piece and something we actually needed/wanted.
I also knew that I have vintage stuck in closets that I've been meaning to sell. And honestly, the feeling I'd get every time I stepped into a thrift store was that of dread... like "do I really want to be here?" I wasn't finding many true, great finds and I think that was just the bad karma I was bringing with me when I walked in the door. So, I just stopped going and felt better for it. I wasn't getting those butterflies I used to get stepping into those places, hoping and wishing for my next score!
(Apologies for the wrinkles.. I have a lot of ironing to do)
Well the butterflies are back and the good thrifting karma has returned I'm so happy to say. Why? Because I'm not buying things for me!! :D I'm buying them for YOU. Ok, well, the royal "you". I've been hitting the thrifts for the past few weeks, spending entire afternoons driving all over Atlanta and also doing the regular "pop-in" with so much luck. These clothes are only a fraction of what I've found.
It's weird because I seem to have particular luck when it comes to finding vintage for kids. Clothing for adults? Not so much. Honestly, I HATE looking through racks of adult clothing. So boring! Kids stuff though? LOVE. I think I'm just drawn to kid designs, what can I say. That said, I've been forcing myself to look through those adult racks just in case.
I think my favorite piece so far is that minty colored giraffe smock at the beginning of this post... and I loved finding this trio of Polly Flinders dresses for the older girls.
The handmade, super soft, fleece baby quilt will be for sale as well... made by "Grandmother Dodge, 1988". : )
Now I just need to raid our closets and attic for things I've been holding on to, that I need to let go of. One simply just does not need to keep everything. I hem and haw over what I should keep for my "maybe-one-day-granddaughter" and most certainly grand-sons (both sides of our families are rampant with boys!) Honestly, I go back and forth. Sometimes I feel silly keeping stuff. My internal conversation usually goes something like this:
"What if the boys' significant others don't like vintage? I don't want to be one of those wicked Mother-in-Laws forcing stuff on their children..."
"But what if they DO love vintage? I'll earn major brownie points!!"
"Eh, maybe I should just shop for vintage stuff when I actually HAVE grandkids and sell everything I have now and let someone else enjoy it..."
"But what if all the great vintage stuff is gone by the time the boys have kids?!? I'll regret getting rid of it!"
Do you do this?
The problem? To sound like an actual grandma... "They just don't make things like they used to." And all the new well-made brands out there are so pricey. You can understand why it's hard to get rid of things.
Anyhoo, speaking of what to keep and what to let go of... if you follow my Instagram, you read the story about some of my own childhood toys that my Mom mailed to me recently (read it here). When I think about stories like that, that is when I realize we need to be diligent about keeping the boys' "special" toys, because one day they might actually REALLY want them!
And here are photos of more vintage that I'll be selling at the show (had to take the photos for my application). As you can see, when you're in a hurry, you use what you have. In this case, a soccer goal to display the clothing (by the way, I'll have a wide range of sizes from Small to XL!)
If you aren't local and/or won't be able to make it to the show, I do plan on doing an InstaSale after the show for anything that is easily shippable. I usually don't ship Internationally (because it's so costly and/or such a pain!)... BUT if you are outside the States, I MIGHT be coerced to ship to you if you have your eye on something. ; ) And if you're in the Atlanta area, even better. I can meet you somewhere to hand off the goods. I'm also willing to sell the larger stuff locally if it doesn't sell at the show.
If I can get my act together, I also plan on making some vintage-inspired polymer clay jewelry, and I'm for sure putting together some cute crafting packs full of lots of vintage supplies (including vintage wallpaper samples!)
I'll be posting peeks of more things here, so check back!
In the meantime, I'd SO appreciate it to hear any tried-and-true booth ideas from you show-pros out there. Please share in the comments! They might be very helpful to any readers out there wanting to take the craft show plunge as well.