One of a Kind Show Recap

Oh boy, where do I start? It's now over a week since the One of a Kind Show ended and I'm still struggling to put the whole experience in perspective and to find the words to describe it all to you. On the Sunday, Carla texted, "Last Day! Can you believe it?" Response: "Yes and no." It was incredibly exhausting, both physically and emotionally, and there were times when I would've given a kidney to get out of that building,  but most of the time it was exhilarating and the most rewarding experience I could ask for for my little biz... and it was all over in a flash.

Now that I've had a little time to recuperate and step back, I realize that the most valuable takeaway wasn't actually the sales (although, I'm pleased with my profit). It's everything I learned. Customers were not shy to tell me what they liked and what they saw missing. I lost count of how many requests I got for toaster covers and french press cosies! I also discovered it's quite another experience browsing the show while wearing a vendor badge. The other sellers were so friendly and eager to share their experience and advice. As a customer, I used to be able to walk the show in about two hours. This time, it took me two hours just to go through the Etsy section!

Let's talk about the Etsy section, then. They certainly didn't exaggerate when they warned us that it would be "cosy". I mapped out the area at home beforehand, but I was still shocked by the space, or lack thereof, when I arrived. I'm not sure if you can tell in these pictures, but basically they had set up sets of four connected tables, with all four sellers sharing the space in the middle. That centre space was only one foot in width, people. For real. Being the creative types that we are, we made do and opted very early on to simply get to know each other really well. Like there was a choice. Ha! 

Whether it meant watching someone's table so they could grab a coffee, analyzing customer behaviour, or entertaining each other when it was slow, we were in it together... and that was pretty comforting for this newbie. Heather from Needlings, Kelli from Little Big Words, Gen from Hen Jewelry, Sherie from deermayor, Michelle from Aide Bodycare, and the Etsy crew: I couldn't have survived without you. Thanks, ladies!

Despite the closeness, or maybe because of it, the whole section had a fantastic social energy that the customers seemed to feed on. I don't know how many times I overheard people commenting on the quality and originality of our work and what a refreshing addition it was for the show. Etsy was the place to be. But we all already knew that.

{Talk, laugh, fold. Repeat}

Another huge benefit for me from doing the show was all the amazing promotion that came my way. I think my guardian angel may have been doing double duty as a publicist this week! First, one of my aprons was chosen to be a part of the main display at the entrance. That means that every single person that came in those doors at least glanced at my apron. I had several people come by my table and ask to see "the apron in the front", so a big thank you to Marion Heintzman for including me in her beautiful display.

It was Marion who told me that I was featured in the Toronto Star the Saturday before.  I found the online version immediately after I got home from move-in day and then had Carla rooting through the recycling for the print copy. This was another bestseller at the show and everyone that bought it was pretty tickled when I told them it was famous.

Finally, when I arrived on opening day, there was a little note on my table saying that Global TV had come by and selected one of my aprons to be on the Morning Show! Ah! Newspapers and now TV? Is this a dream? I tuned in the next morning while I got ready and low and behold, there it was! I'll admit I was a little disappointed that the hosts interrupted Valerie as she started talking about my apron, but I was still really proud to see it there and to be labelled as one of the top ten emerging artists at the show! (Here is the link to the video.)

I know this is a long one, but before I sign off, I'd like to extend an enormous thank you to everyone that came to visit me at the show and especially all of the friends and family that lent a helping hand. Whether you gave me your bed, brought me lunch, or actually sold aprons, you know who you are and I hope you know how much it means to me. But there are three people who get the gold star of service: my mom, my dad, and my Mike. They were incredibly supportive both leading up to and during the show. I can't possibly list all of the ways they helped, but to give you an example, I suddenly felt terribly ill on the Saturday morning and all three of them dropped everything to come to my side as quickly as possible. Thank you doesn't seem like enough for everything you've done and continue to do for me. I'll leave it at that before I start to cry. Gosh.

All in all, it was a truly fantastic experience that was worth every drop of blood, sweat and tears that went into the months preparing for it. If the Christmas show wasn't an insane 11 days, I might consider doing it again. For now, I'm just going to focus on adjusting to a more reasonable pace again, tackling that awfully lengthy "after the show to-do list" and thoroughly enjoying Spring!


De Facto Redhead said...

I liked texting you and digging through the garbage for you, but I would have liked it even more if I had gotten to be a part of this with you! Congratulations from one crone to another!

Unknown said...

As a newbie preparing for this Spring's Etsy Section... Thank you for this post!! Congratulations on your ongoing success! :) - Dayna Lee Collection

Erin said...

Thanks, Dayna! Feel free to ask me any questions you may have here or via email (dearednashop[at] Good luck!