Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Craft Fair Extraordinaire Feature Interview #6
I am SUPER excited to feature this Fantastic Crafter by the name of Polly Danger. She has some of the cutest display and packaging ideas I have ever ever seen!! She used to work as a Visual Merchandiser, and what a great fit that would be!
I can't get over how cute the fun packaging is here. Her iron-on applique patches are great. And her table setup looks so scrumptious, you could almost eat all of these goodies if they weren't paper and fabric! She has some really amazingly eye-catching displays that are taller, and also at eye level. The number of different levels on her table really make this setup stand out. Please read more below about my new favorite artist!
Please tell us a bit about yourself:
Hi, I’m Polly of Polly Danger and Polly Danger Notions. I make a variety of adorable sewn goodies from a studio situated in an overgrown garden in a suburb of Los Angeles. You can find me 24 hours a day here:
and you can email me here:
What form of art/craft do you make?
I sell handmade bias tapes, sewing buttons, and sewing kits in addition to ready-made accessories like mini wallets, coupon organizers and utility aprons.
Never be without your Polly Danger Craft Fair or Kitchen Apron!! The best crafty uniform you can get!
When did you start vending at Craft Fairs? Were you successful at first?
I first started selling at craft fairs in 2006, just about 6 months after making my first utility apron for my then job as a visual merchandiser. My boss was and is an incredibly crafty and encouraging person who made me share a booth with her. Before that show I really didn’t have much confidence in myself as a crafter, but I was really encouraged by how much I made that weekend and how wonderful the customers were.
What is/was your favorite Art/Craft Fair you have ever attended/vended at and why?
My absolute favorite shows to do are the Bazaar Bizarres. The coordinators are really warm and dedicated people who do a great job of making the shows comfortable, busy, and profitable. They promote their shows really well and are a wonderful bunch to work with!
What was your least favorite Fair to attend/vend at? Why?
I did a show once in a very upscale area where the customers shopped our handmade goods as if they were used underwear. I remember overhearing a man guffaw and then tell his wife, “These people sure are confident about their pricing,” and I really wanted to tell him how hard we all work to make quality products and that our time is valuable. It was really hard to be nice to customers that day. I’m happy to say that that’s the only time I’ve had a bad craft show experience.
Who tends to be your target audience? What tends to be your best selling item(s)?
My target audience are women in their mid twenties to mid thirties, and often new moms who are re-learning or really getting into crafts. My best sellers are bias tapes from vintage fabrics, mini wallets, and coupon organizers. The coupon organizers are actually so popular that I have trouble keeping them in stock!
Do you ever do marketing for your upcoming shows, or do you leave it to the Show Coordinators? If you do promotions, how do you do them, and do they seem to work well? Do you ever do giveaways at shows? Give out lots of business cards, etc...
I usually blog about the upcoming shows, tweet, and send notes out in my monthly newsletters. At shows I always make sure to have business cards and I like to have a dish of giveaways. For giveaways I make tiny iron-on appliques out of cute fabrics and pop them in a little cellophane bag with instructions, plus my shop and contact info. People always feel like they’re getting a little gift and they get to be crafty! I’ve seen a couple of people blog about those tiny freebie patches, and it makes me so happy to know that my promos are doing their job
Have you ever helped put a show together or run a show? Which one(s)?
Not yet, but I’d love to!
How have Flickr, Etsy, Facebook, etc helped you expand your crafty business?
I love Etsy because not only is it where most of my business is done at the moment, but my shop is advertisement in and of itself. I love that it’s so easy to make contact with customers there. Facebook gives my customers the opportunity to connect with me without the interruption of products and sales- it’s like running into a customer at the park after closing up my shop at the end of the day!
If you wish, please list your upcoming shows for 2010 and beyond.
March 13- Listen, Touch, Taste, and See in Anaheim, Ca
March 14- The Pink Parlour in Santa Anita, Ca
May 22+23- Bazaar Bizarre Maker Faire- San Mateo, Ca
For more dates you can sign up for the Polly Danger Newsletter at http://pollydanger.com/blog
Any words of advice for people who do not think their setup is as good as it could be? What is your most successful layout for a table or booth. Be as general or specific as you want.
My biggest advice is to take an afternoon to window shop and pay attention to the window displays, mannequins, and even how the signs are set up or where they are placed inside the store. The displays in the most successful stores are not just attractive, they’re meant to make people spend money! They are the result of expensive research, testing, and training- but the techniques are yours for the taking!
Before becoming a crafter I spent time as a visual merchandiser for an international retail company. They spared almost no expense to create fantastic displays because they understood that when someone stops and says with wide eyes, “Oooooh,” they’re probably going to buy something. My personal goal with my booth is to get people to stop walking and say, “Awww” or sigh a little bit- that’s how you know you’ve hit that emotional note!
Last thoughts . . .
Best of luck to all of my fellow artists and crafters this season!
a special thanks to Polly for being so gracious to share her expertise and words of advice to us all! I hope you have a lovely craft season yourself, and thank you SO much for your time!!