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I can finally share an exciting project that I worked on a few months back, a specially designed print for The Land of Nod's Fall/Holiday collection! It is a "circus bear" complete with a geometric composition and a darling little bow-tie and hat :) Hop on over to their site to view framing options for this 11" x 14" print and to see more great designs. Keep in mind that this piece is a part of the Nod Institue of Art, so it is limited.

ps- I'm already working on another design for SP14!

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MOVING SALE! Plus 30% off!

September 13, 2013

So you know that big move we are about to embark on? Well, we need to lighten our load so we are having a blowout sale for one week only until our shops temporarily close on Sept 20th! We have over 15 products marked down and you can save up to 70% on them! In addition to the sale items, we are offering a 30% off coupon for any regularly priced merchandise! The coupon is for use in this web shop only, not in our Etsy shop, just here. Enter the code "MOVING30" at checkout and please note that the code is only good for non-sale priced merchandise. (If it is applied to sale merch we will contact you prior to shipping for the difference.) So basically our entire shop is on sale, and at a pretty good discount if I do say so myself. The kicker is, you only have one week to shop. We will be closing down temporarily come Friday, September the 20th at noon PST. All orders will go out that day and then that's it for at least 2 weeks while we move and get settled.

Now back to packing boxes....

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Natural Nursery Elements

September 06, 2013

Wow. It's been quite a while since I have done a roundup. My last Visually Speaking post was almost a year ago! Well, today I am back with a new format for these roundups and an easier to pin image. This board was inspired by natural and wood elements for nurseries and baby gifts, which is a look I love. It is so light and airy and also can easily be gender neutral if you are waiting to find out if you are having a girl or boy. Enjoy the roundup and I promise that it won't be a year until the next one ;)

1. OEUF SPARROW CRIB 2. WOODEN ALPHABET 3.MODERN LION ON BIRCH WOOD 4. DANISH WOOD ELEPHANT 5. VINTAGE TRICYCLE 6. WOODEN BIRDS 7. LILLBERG ROCKER (discontinued) 8. ANIMAL PUZZLE 9. APPLE LINEN PILLOW 10. WOODEN GIRAFFE TOY

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We're MOVING!

September 03, 2013

 

I've got some BIG news to share today! We are moving back to our home state of Florida!

At the end of September we will be packing up and heading out out some 2,500 miles to our new home and temporary studio in Winter Park, FL. If you don't know, Winter Park is a wonderful city in the greater Orlando Metro area. You may or may not know, but Cesar and I are from Florida. I am from Pensacola and then spent 6 years in Orlando finishing college and working. Cesar is originally from Puerto Rico, but moved to Orlando with his family when he was 5. He and I met there and then I got a job offer in the other Orange County, so we moved out to Long Beach in 2007. Fast forward 6 years and we are about to embark upon our next adventure! We are super excited about moving back home, being closer to our families, and getting to re-discover the great state of Florida. We also learned about an exciting new studio space opportunity that we hope will work out! sass&peril and The Paper Cub Co. were born out here in California, and have seen some major growth in the past year. I don't think I would be where I am today without the support of the handmade and design communities out here and we will miss it! On the other hand, I feel very fortunate to be able to work from anywhere so when Cesar was offered a job in our homestate we couldn't say no. We've been so grateful for everyone's support and friendships, and we look forward to continuing to see many of you at future craft fairs and tradeshows! For my Floridians, we look forward to re-connecting and also getting to be a part of the rapidly growing art and design scene in the Orlando area.

A few notes on the shops and also for wholesale ordering, we will be closing down this online shop and both of our Etsy shops (sass&peril and The Paper Cub Co.) on Sept 20th. Current retailers, you have been notified so please check your email for our detailed announcement. We will take our last online orders Sept 20th and ship them out on Sept 21st. We will re-open the shops 2 weeks later or once we are moved and unpacked. We will continue to accept wholesale orders for both lines during the move, but we will keep you updated on your ship date. If you're thinking of ordering soon, I suggest you do so right away so that we can get your order wrapped prior to the move. The Paper Cub Co.'s Holiday 2013 collection is available now to wholesalers with a second ship window after Oct 15th so please make note.

If you have any other questions please don't hesitate to contact us. Surely, there will be a few bumps as this is a huge move, but just know we will do our best to get back up and running smoothly. Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to all the excitement and possibilities this new chapter will bring! Much more to come :)

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New Cases!

August 14, 2013

 

I'm thrilled about this collab we just did with device case company Get Uncommon! We are a featured artist on the site and six of our modern animals are available on various styles and sizes of cases for iPhone (generations 3-5) and iPod Touch. Know someone who adores Foxes? What about a Lion for an ADPi gal? They make great back-to-school gifts and maybe, just maybe, matches a school mascot! Which one is your favorite?

Also, if you'd like to WIN one of these adorable cases then follow @sassandperil on Instagram by this Friday, August the 16th for your chance to win a case. I will be posting the image to re-gram along with what tags to use, etc. Easy! If you are the winner, you'll get a free case of your choice! The contest is open to entries worldwide :)

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BRIKA Featured Maker

July 25, 2013

I'm happy to share that I'm the Featured Maker today on BRIKA! If you're not familiar with BRIKA, it is an online shopping experience with a special focus on the makers. They really emphasize on telling your story, which is important for small businesses. In addition to the feature they offer deals on products, so you can snap up some of our prints, pillows, onesies, and more at a sweet discount. I love reading through all of the maker's stories and interviews and seeing photos of their studios and materials. You can check out my feature here!

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Shop Update- July

July 24, 2013

I wanted to spread the word about a discount we are honoring throughout the rest of this month and August. You can save 15% store-wide using code "SUMMER15" until 9/1/13. 

We also just added the second edition of our popular Alphabet Screenprints to the shop! These 18" x 24" 4-color screenprints would make a wonderful addition to a child's room or nursery and are also great back to school gifts for teachers and classrooms! There are only 100 prints in the edition and your's will be signed and numbered, making it an original piece of art. 

 

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Hi guys! It is my last installment of the NSS posts series. I hope you've been enjoying them thus far! I've shed some light on our overall experience, our booth, and our budget so today I wanted to talk a bit about the goals we set forth going into the show and if we were able to achieve them in this first year. Everyone's goals will vary, and really, if you only set one and that is showing up in one piece then that's a great goal to have and achieve! We felt pretty confident going in that we'd be able to show a solid range with a clean, well-thought out booth, so our goals are more for what we would be taking away from NSS. Ok here goes!

GOAL 1: Make Our Investment Back

Our first goal, and I should mention that these goals don't appear in any particular order, was to make the money back that we spent to exhibit at the show. Now there are two parts to this, one is making it back via orders written at the show and the other is making it back with those and orders/opportunities following the show. I will tell you, we did not make our money back in orders at the show. We weren't terribly far from it, but alas, we did not recoup every penny. We are, however, well on our way to making it all back with the addition of orders and events that have occurred post-show. As mentioned before, NSS is a great place to get the word out about your brand. There are many shops that may not get to attend that will see you online or in the press. Many times if you're a good fit for their shop and they have the budget they'll email you to get your wholesale materials to then write an order. So with that two part answer to this goal, I'm going to say NO, we did not make our investment back....but with a big caveat of not YET

GOAL 2: Get Into 20 New Shops

A goal going into the show was to have our cards in 20 new shops. I am happy to report that, YES, we hit this goal! What is more important than the number of shops is the quality of those shops. When doing our research on shops to contact for our pre-show mailers, we made a tier A and a tier B. Tier A were obviously shops that we greatly adore and would be floored to be a part of. Tier B consisted of wonderful shops that we thought would also be a good fit, but perhaps weren't ones that we had come to our minds first. I hope this makes sense. We are flattered by any reputable shop that would like to work with us, but I don't see any harm in defining for your brand what shops are your top picks. (Next year, we'd like to add 25-50 more shops to our list! Dream big, right!?)

GOAL 3: Get Media Coverage

We were honored to appear on numerous design and lifestyle blogs and we even got a write up in the Daily NSS magazine made for each day of the show! It sounds funny, but Instagram was also a huge marketing tool for us. When shops, brands, and bloggers post pics of your booth and products that just amounts to more coverage and eyeballs on your products. What a better environment than at a tradeshow with all of your products lovingly on display when it comes to media snapping pics? So YES, goal achieved. 

GOAL 4: Network

This was one of the most fun parts of the show! We met lots of fellow paper pushers and retailers that we have admired from afar up until the show. It was such a pleasure putting faces to names and getting to fawn over their lovely products and hearing about the shops we love. This is also a great opportunity to ask questions and learn. We also had a chance to network with suppliers and gather new leads on materials for future product development. YES, goal met.

GOAL 5: Be Open to New Leads and Possibilities

This show is funny in that you work so hard on what you're going to show that you forget that there is a whole world of custom design and licensing prospects. We were approached by representatives from companies that were particularly interested in our s&p line of modern animal designs and asked if we did any custom designing or licensing. To be honest, I wasn't totally prepared to have those conversations at the show, but have been doing quite a bit of follow-up now that the show has wrapped. Licensing and custom designing can be very lucrative and should certainly factor into your initial investment to exhibit at any tradeshow. It can be tough to track down an email to pitch your ideas at larger companies, but when your'e speaking with them face to face and they are getting to see your full range for themselves, it can make the process speed up dramatically and with much success. We also discovered the world of distribution and how that can work, especially overseas. So, to summarize, licensing inquires and distribution deals, YES, goal certainly met when it comes to possibilites beyond just wholesale orders.

In Closing:

I can tell you that we have been working our butts off since the show has ended. Preparing for a tradeshow like NSS is no joke and can be exhausting  The thing is, there is an immense amount of work that will still need to occur after the show. Now that our first round of June orders are on store shelves, we are gearing up for round two in July and working through some of those exciting new leads and opportunities mentioned above. It is also time to start planning for new releases, specifically Holiday launches, and getting the word out to our current and prospective retailers. Dare I even mention that we are already starting to think about 2014 NSS!? Oh yes, the emails for contracts are already starting to hit our inboxes from the show management. Eeeep! What I've ascertained is that it is a cycle and with that comes a new way of planning, scheduling, budgeting, and thinking. It would be an understatement to say that I have learned a lot being a part of this show. It really can be a game-changer and an exciting way to grow your brand. The experience was wonderful and I look forward to 2014!

THANK YOU for reading along and as always if you have any questions about anything I have covered feel free to leave a comment!

----- NSS Parts ONETWO, and THREE-----

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Fun news today! The Paper Cub Co. is the Featured Shop on Etsy! I was thrilled when they chose to feature TPC as this is my newer line and shop. Coming off of the tradeshow, I felt it was perfect timing to keep spreading the word about the brand and products. But enough about me rambling on, you can go check out the interview for yourself here

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Hi everyone! I'm back with the third installment of this NSS re-cap series. It's been fun putting our experience into words and photos and hearing back from those of you who have been following along. Today we'll go over what can be a scary aspect of exhibiting, the budget! Don't let the numbers intimidate you too much though. Keep in mind that this show is an investment and may be some of the best marketing dollars you'll spend. Hopefully you'll leave with much more than simply marketing, but as mentioned in parts ONE and TWO you can't come in expecting to make it all back in one show. If you do, then awesome!

In lieu of writing out another word-heavy post like part TWO I decided to put the data into a little infographic complete with pie chart (I've always wanted to make one and have never needed to) alongside the overall budget percentages and what those represent. I've heard that first time exhibitors spend anywhere from $7k- $12k their first year. I've gathered this from webinars from the TradeShow Camp along with talking to other exhibitors. Well, how much did you guys spend you ask? Let's just say we fell somewhere in the middle, toward the lower end. 

Some other things to keep in mind as you process the info below:

1. We travelled to the show from California, so we had to account for flights for two people and accommodations. We crashed with a friend for a few nights during setup, but then stayed in a hotel for the actual show, hence the hotel for 4 nights. If you're driving in or staying with friends or family the entire time, your percentages may be vastly different from ours when it comes to travel and lodging.

2. This chart does NOT take into consideration the costs to produce your products and samples for the show. That can be a huge chunk, especially due to minimums if you outsource, so keep that all in mind when it comes to your total spending.

3. We "rented" foam walls from a third party company and had them installed. In terms of dollar signs, this falls squarely in the middle with two dollar signs, $$. You'll pay much more to rent their hardwood walls, $$$. If you are able to arrange for your own foam walls or use lightweight coverings you're looking at spending less, $. Keep in mind you'll have to install your wall coverings or boards if you don't elect to use a third party and there are those crazy union labor rules. Another option is to build your own walls, which is an initial investment that can be re-used in the long run, but you'll have to ship them (or drive them in) so you should expect to see your shipping percentage increase quite a bit. The only items we shipped were our floor tiles (heavy box), our shelves (long box), and then a few USPS boxes (priority mail) of booth supplies, tools, and some heavier marketing items like catalogs and press kits.

4. Since we showed both of our brands at our very first tradeshow, sass&peril and The Paper Cub Co., we had two catalogs, two sets of business cards, and two set of vinyl signs. This increased our marketing materials percentage a bit.

Ok, I think that is enough explaining! I hope this chart will be useful for you and give you a real picture of what goes into these types of shows from a financial standpoint. I will be back next week with the fourth and final installment covering our final thoughts on the show and if we met our goals and expectations. 

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I am back today with Part TWO of our NSS coverage. I’ll be sharing our experiences during the show itself so make sure you go check out Part ONE if you haven’t yet. Get ready...it’s about to get wordy! 

The show officially runs Sunday-Tuesday from 9-6 and on Wednesday from 9-12. I assume it starts on a Sunday to include a weekend day for those who cannot make it during the week? From what we had heard, many non-corporate retailers and smaller shops walked the show on Sunday, and more corporate shops or bigger shops come on the weekdays. Before I get into the breakdown of each day, let me first say that prior to the show we sent out pre-show mailers to shops and bloggers inviting them to visit our booth and check out the line. 

We ended up mailing out around 135 of these to various levels of retailers and a few of our favorite bloggers and media. Not only does this let them know where you’ll be at the show and gives them a glimpse of your line, but it allows them to do some research on your products and brand prior to the show. I had mine digitally printed so I could showcase photos of the products, and then I screenprinted a polka dot design in mint and a "hello" script in black. The entire spread was scored to z-fold down to an A2 size so that it looked like a greeting card. You want to be sure to capture the recipient's attention and show what you do, but forst and foremost include your booth number and contact info.

 

Sunday morning was off to a bit of a slow start and then out of nowhere buyers and members of the media began to fill up the aisles. Our first few visitors to the booth happened to be recipients of our pre-show mailers! We could tell that they had done their homework because many of them were ready to write orders right away once they had an opportunity to see and feel our products. So why go all the way to New York if they were planning on ordering anyway you ask? Sure, buyers could just view a PDF of your collection online and place an order, but the reason we as exhibitors and they as attendees travel to the show is to have not only face time and to market yourself, but for products to be touched and seen in person. It really makes a difference especially with items that involve screenprinting, letterpress, and embellishments. Plus it shows you’re legit and professional enough to take such a huge step. A few questions that many buyers had for us were the following:

• What is your opening order amount?

• What is your turnaround?

• Where are you based out of?

We found it helpful to be prepared for such questions and more. It is also helpful to have a pitch ready as many times those buyers walking in were not on your mailing list and/or may have not heard of you before. We definitely gave them space to look around but always greeted them and let them know what printing methods we use (screenprinting) as this set us apart from other brands at the show. Some buyers are chatty, some are not. Some just want to look and take your card, some look and want a catalog, some will sit and write orders. I found that you can’t be offended if they look and walk away because many come back the next day! This is a HUGE show with hundreds of booths and if it felt massive to me, it must be overwhelming to buyers. I noticed many people making lists and then going back to those booths they jotted down once they walked the entire show. If they don’t come back or walk by without stopping in your booth then you can’t dwell on it. Not every shop is going to be a good fit. And your goal should be to establish accounts that you can continue to work with, not just taking one order. Also keep in mind shops have a budget and limited shelf space. And who is to say they won’t place an order with you after the show? Give them a card or a catalog and stay positive and open-minded. Another thing we kept in mind as first time exhibitors is that some shops are wary of taking on newer lines and instead they opt for brands that have been at the show before. It’s nothing personal, it is a business and they may not want to risk an order with a brand that may not be around the following year. We found it helpful that we were also showing not only The Paper Cub Co., our greetings line, but also our gift line, sass&peril, because we have been wholesaling those products for a few years now. So we were new to the show, but not new to wholesaling. There is no magic number for the amount of orders you should write at the show. As a first timer you may not, and probably won’t, make your investment back at the show itself so keep that in mind as you set your budget. The real work begins after the show, making sure to follow up on leads, continuing to market yourself, and first and foremost attending to your accounts you established at the show. Eventually, those numbers start to even out as you grow. There is a reason that brands continue to do this show every year, right? At some point you start to recoup those expenses.

Going back to the topic of questions, there will always be some questions that you just were not prepared for. We got a lot of licensing inquires for sass&peril, and honestly, I didn’t really have a solid answer prepared in that moment. Best thing to do is take a business card and follow up after the show that way you have time to think and discuss these types of things. Another point of hesitation for us was boxed sets for our TPC cards. This was something we had thought about but didn’t have a structure in place for. But hey, it is a great opportunity to get opinions of people who run shops and have first hand experience of buying them! Take advantage of their knowledge, being respectful of their time, of course.

Sunday went well overall, being the first day of our first ever tradeshow I’d say it was a smashing success! We started off a bit nervous but as the hours passed and we talked and wrote orders more we were able to shake that off. It was fun talking about our line, I mean why not!? We were proud of what we did and were happy to share it with visitors to our booth. Many were shocked that it was our first year, which we took as a huge compliment. I owe that to being prepared and doing the proper research prior to the show. (And TSBC!) 

Monday and Tuesday were a blur. A good blur, but exhausting nonetheless. These days were jam packed with not only buyers (that's Ami and Liz from Mac & Murphy and Danni from Oh, Hello Friend above), but also bloggers, suppliers, and even prospective exhibitors and students walking the show. We did the bulk of our order writing on these two days. I heard from some exhibitors that Tuesday was slow for them, but I think it is because the crowds made their way from one section of booths to another each day. These must have been the days that these crowds occupied our section of the show! There were some lulls as most of the attendees came in waves, picture 5-10 people in your booth all at once, then none. On that note, I am glad that Cesar was as adept at taking orders as I was because we both were filling our order forms with different buyers simultaneously at one point. Over these two days we got orders, media coverage, licensing inquiries, requests for info from some big box stores, connected with fellow printers and designers, and much more. Exactly why we were at the show to begin with! Check out Nole from Oh So Beautiful Paper and Kelly from Studio DIY doing their thing below :)

To say we were utterly wiped after each day of the show would be an understatement. I am so glad we chose to stay in a hotel within walking distance of Javits during the show because all we wanted to do was go back to our room, put our feet up, and relax. At least until we got our second wind and went adventuring, mainly to find food and libations :) The hotel was not cheap, this is NYC people, but we figured we’d be saving on transportation to and from our friend’s place in Brooklyn. Also it is nice to have a quiet, private place to unwind after each day. We booked it through the show managment so I'd like to think we got a deal. It was so worth it, really.

Tuesday evening we had the pleasure of attending a get together hosted by Etsy and also the Paper Party hosted by Oh So Beautiful Paper! That was a fun night just networking, letting loose, and hanging out with our new paper pals :)

Wednesday was the last day at the show, which was from 9-12 Noon, just a mere 3 hours worth of show time. It sounds odd, but there are last minute catalog and business card grabs for those who didn’t have enough time to fully see your booth and collections. Plus you never know who might walk in 10 minutes until noon. You've got to be on your A-game during those short hours!

Tear down begins promptly at noon, and boy do those booths come down faster than they were put up! It is quite hilarious. For the most part everyone is exhausted, looking forward to getting home, and ready to start fulfilling those orders! I think we were done at around 2:30, but that is also due in part to not having any walls to ship back. If you ship your own walls or use a crate you've got to stick around and wait until the Javits workers bring it to your booth. So with suitcases stuffed, we dropped off some of our boxes to the Fed Ex kiosk that we needed to ship back home, then we were off to the airport. Just like that!

Part THREE will be coming up next with the financial breakdown of the show and a few thoughts on budgeting. I’ll also discuss our goals going into the show and if we met them. I hope you’re enjoying this series of posts! If you have any questions or comments on things I covered or didn't cover, feel free to leave them below.

 

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I'm taking a short break from printing (ok, truth is I actually ran out of paper) so I wanted to dive into my coverage from NSS! I know many of you are wondering how it all went down so I decided to spread the knowledge and do a series of posts from my experience at the show. I've even given it a handy-dandy little tag so you can pull up all the posts at once when I am done. 

So here we go!

Part ONE will cover our arrival, some shots from around NYC, and our booth images, along with a few points on getting here and setting up. My goal is that I will be able to shed some light on our experience as first time exhibitors. You might hear me mention this a lot but without a doubt the Tradeshow Bootcamp courses were instrumental in our success at this show. I highly recommend signing up for their webinar series, which should roll around again in the Fall. If you are looking to get into tradeshows, I cannot recommend their services enough!

We arrived in NYC on a Wednesday before the show, which ran Sunday-Wednesday. This gave us plenty of time to get acclimated, explore the city with friends, and have some time to get all of our ducks in a row before the set up days. I've been to NYC a handful of times so I didn't take as many pictures of sights and scenes as I did in years past, but we always make it a point to visit Central Park. It is so breathtaking and feels like you are miles from the city, when in fact you are smack dab in the middle of it! This year the weather actually was on our side and we enjoyed California-like temps as we walked through the park.

We had been walking for a bit so we decided to stop and have a rest on a little grassy patch near the lake, it was so peaceful! I even managed to get somewhat close to a mama bird sitting on her nest in a nearby tree.

We literally just laid on the grass and I nearly fell asleep when we heard a bit of a commotion down by the water. Apparently, a couple that rented a row boat had flipped their's over and were just floating in the water!

The odd thing is they were in the water for what seemed like 20 minutes and weren't trying to get into other people's boats and no one was really trying to get them out. I assumed they were trying to recover their belongings from the lake? Well, then out of nowhere a cop in a boat came speeding toward them, full on row team style, and then a helicopter appeared, and ambulances and fire trucks came...it was nuts! The funniest part was while the boat cop was rowing toward the scene another cop on land was suiting up in a full wetsuit tied to a line and he flew into the water and started speed swimming toward the people in the water. I honestly couldn't believe that these people who were just sitting there bobbing in the water for 20 minutes had caused such a commotion! Other boaters were paddling by and taking pics of them and they weren't yelling for help or anything like that. People who had just walked up were asking us what happened and really it was nothing! Or so we thought. We found out from someone a little later walking away from the lake area that the man they "rescued" was naked!? Weird. So there was that moment of peace and then the craziness of the city reminded us where we were! Ah...New York.

It was nice to enjoy a couple days of hanging out with friends in Brooklyn and Manhattan before setup day for the show, which was Friday for us. We chose not to have a crate or palette shipped, but instead we opted to ship a few boxes to our friend's place and then take advantage of our checked bags for free deal with Jet Blue. Since we went with pre-installed walls, we didn't really need to worry with freight, but wrangling all those boxes and suitcases and getting them to the Javits Center definitely took a bit of planning.

When you arrive, if you did not arrange to have walls installed by a third party company like we did above, you walk into a space outfitted with pipe and drape, that's it! It is up to you to build it out and decorate it as you see fit. So now you can see how much work goes into all those incredible booths! We opted to use a company called Manny Stone for our walls. They do all the foamcore and some of the hardwood walls for this show. Our walls were 1/2" thick flame resistant foam core walls in white that they installed for us. As you can see they were up when we arrived with our stuff. Done! As a first time exhibitor this felt like the right choice for us. They are not cheap, but it was one less thing for us to worry about. I definitely see the advantages of building your own hardwood walls that you can re-use, you just have to ship them, install them yourself, and be good with measuring as you are essentially putting a box inside of a box. Oh, and you must build them so you won't need power tools to install them at Javits, not an easy task. A note on installation at the Javits Center, they use union labor so the list of things you as a non-union worker are not allowed to do far out lists the number of tasks you are allowed do. We were not allowed to hammer, stand on ladders or chairs of any kind, and we could not use any power tools. They are crazy about enforcing this stuff so we took heed, although we did stand on a chair to clip on our lights and even this was risky! If they catch you they could invoice you for the work they would have done had you hired them. Yikes!

 

Once we pieced together our faux wood floors (from company Soft Tiles that were a savior on our feet from standing for 3.5 days) we started hanging our shelving. We had purchased them, cut them to size, clear coated them, and attached the brackets at home before we shipped them out to NY. Again, the more you can do ahead of time, especially when it involves power tools, the better. We had tested this shelving setup using a store-bought piece of 1/2" thick foamcore and a couple of shelves under different types of lighting environments (think heat from the lamps) so we knew what type of screws we'd need for them to be secure in our walls. We essentially screwed them into the foam and they stayed put! Keep in mind, we only had lightweight cards on them. Obviously heavier items may cause the shelves to be less stable. I created a diagram on the computer of how I wanted everything in the booth to look and where I wanted it to go, and then I forgot it! No one will know but you so you have to just press on.

It is also helpful to have help! Cesar and I greatly appreciated the assistance from our friend Mike. He also let us crash at his apartment for a few nights prior to the show, and offered to let us ship packages to his place in advance. Also, helpful...ship a box of tools and hardware. Our level came in quite handy when installing the shelves. Pack all types of adhesives and attachment hardware. One of our rails for our tea towels was so much heavier than we anticipated so we had to use copious amounts of velcro and adhesives to help it stay up! There is a Home Depot on 23rd, but each little trip takes time and cab fare so the more you plan in advance and have on you, the better. Also, your neighbors will probably be amazing folks like ours were (shout out to Parrott Design, Letter and Lark, and ThimblePress!) and they'll help you out with things you might have forgotten or lend a helping hand. It is an incredibly amazing community. In terms of lighting, we were under the "low ceiling area" so with the lights being closer to our booth we opted for clamp on lights that we outfitted with halogen flood bulbs. There are a plethora of lighting options out there and Javits offers many to rent for the show, but they come with a hefty price tag. It is up to you, your budget, and your design, but overall I'm pretty happy with how the lighting turned out and we didn't spend a ton. Again, being under the lower ceiling helped us in the lighting department. See Cesar putting together that Ikea cabinet? We put together a wish-list from Ikea and had the furniture we wanted for our booth bought and delivered to Javits for us. We got together with a few exhibitors prior to the show to organize the service, and we were all able to split the delivery fee saving time and money. Another bonus of Tradeshow Bootcamp, the private Facebook group where you can converse with other exhibitors!

So all in all, we spent the two full days allotted for setup getting our booth together and completed, and we needed every bit of that time to complete our booth vision. I thought we could finish in a day, but give yourself time as there will always be issues you didn't expect. One of our issues was that the laborers did not run our power cord behind our foam walls so it was just sticking out in our booth, not pretty. We had to have a separate outlet configured right behind the top mid section of our booth and since the walls were already up, we were stuck with that cord all during the show. You can see it in the photo below although we tried to conceal it as best we could, but what are you going to do? Some things are just out of your control. Main lesson learned on that note is be flexible and roll with it.

I leave you with some images of the finished booth with both our brands on display and all ready for visitors on day one of the show! We are pretty pleased with how it all turned out :)

I love that panorama shot Cesar got on his phone, mine's a 4 and is not that fancy ;)

Coming up in Part TWO of this series will be our experience at the actual show itself and more. Part THREE I will dive into the financial cost of the show and a breakdown of how our money was spent.

Thanks for following along thus far and if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below!

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