BEHIND THE SCENES: American Handcrafted Wholesale Show
Whenever I sit down to create some content for you all, I think about what I really enjoy consuming from my favorite creators. One of my most FAVORITE things is getting to see a little of what goes on with a company besides the final product showing up in my instagram feed.
This past weekend was one of our biggest events of the year - the American Handcrafted wholesale trade show! Trade shows are different than festivals because they are not open to the public, and I don't actually sell the jewelry I have displayed in real time. Wholesale shows like AH bring together makers and the stores/boutiques/museums that carry their product. They look at my wares, and place an order with me to be fulfilled at a later date - this could be three weeks from now or three months! From this show, I get orders that go all the way to July for their ship dates.
Setting up for these shows is fascinating, but also exhausting and time consuming. You basically have a little space (I do 10'x10') that you turn into your own store for a few days! First, I have to load all my product and display materials in. You can actually drive into the convention center to get your supplies into your space:
I sign in, and then I walk to my completely empty booth:
Ok, I lied, there is a chair! Enjoy this photo of me awkwardly smiling at an old friend.
The first things I do are the flooring, wall photos, curtains, and lighting. During this show set-up, I was also shooting some short videos for a project coming down the pipes.
After all those things are in place, it's time to do the more fun and exciting aspects - tables, displays, and jewelry. There's a cool time lapse on our facebook and instagram pages that shows some of that part of the process!
The whole thing takes about 6-8 hours, depending if I have help, but only about 2 hours to pack up! This year the show was from Saturday to Monday, and we hung out at the booth for about 8 hours each day, talking to potential customers about the benefits of carrying our jewelry, and we get to see other customers that have been stocking our jewelry for years. I'm a relatively social person, so I do enjoy these few days, although they can be seriously exhausting!!!! After the setup is done, I try to spruce myself up to match - here is the final scene:
If you ever want to know who we sell to, you can check out the "stockists" tab on our website! No one near you? Don't worry, you can always order from our website!
This year we also had the honor of being featured in the Maker Studio - which gave everyone a little highlight of Vannucci ltd. We had a blurb in the show directory, and our jewelry had a little display with the other members of the Maker Studio.
I hope you found this as interesting as I first did when I discovered the fascinating world of wholesaling at trade shows. Everyone decorates their booth differently, and it's amazing to see all the different set-ups. People have some wild designs, and I think it's incredible that we all create this whole world inside the convention center that is so ephemeral. And then we do it over and over again in different cities a few times a year! Perhaps next show I'll get some behind the scenes footage of other booths that have specially designed hard walls, or bring in chandeliers to hang. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about this process, I'm happy to answer!