Trade Show Tips

Have you been considering participating at a craft or trade show?

Looking for professional tips for rocking a show?

If so, check out this super helpful Aeolidia blog with tips from our paper pals, Two Trick Pony and Sycamore Street Press & yours truly, plus four other professionals. You'll be ready to Rock a Show in no time. Thanks to Aeolidia for sharing! Definitely bookmark worthy when planning your debut or researching your next show.

Inspiration Corporation Holiday Card

It’s that time of year when we all focus our energy on giving­. Personally, I enjoy finding ways I can help my fellow Chicagoans. It’s such an amazing city but there’s a lot of heartache and hardship too. Inspiration Corporation is an organization that focuses on helping people affected by homelessness and poverty by increasing their self-sufficiency as a “catalyst for self-reliance.” They offer social services, employment training and placement and they are committed to improving people’s lives.

I heard about Inspiration Corporation from my friends at hāzel, as they are very active with their fundraising efforts. Every year Inspiration Corporation asks an artist to design a holiday card for them to sell to raise funding. hāzel asked if I would be interested in designing a card for IC’s annual holiday card fundraiser. For me it seemed like a small but important way for me to give back to our community. That was in 2012 and I am honored to say, they also asked me to design the 2013 and 2014 cards. Below is our 2014 design available now.

If you would like to support this wonderful cause by purchasing holiday cards, you can order them here. As a bonus, they’ll add your custom message on the inside. 100% of the profits go to a wonderful cause that directly improves the community and your purchase is 100% tax-deductible. Inspiration Corporation gives people an opportunity to reach their potential while positively impacting the health of our community. They’re truly the definition of giving-back.

You can learn more at their website inspirationcorp.org.

Paper Party!

November 29th will be my very first trunk show! My friends at stumble & relish in Evanston asked if I would be interested in having a paper party with them for Small Business Saturday, I immediately said yes.

A little background for ya... stumble & relish was a dream of a very dear friend of mine, Jaime and her mom. She and I worked together over a decade ago during our previous, corporate lives. We were fast friends and have been supporting each other’s dreams and treasure hunting obsessions ever since. Her mom is equally amazing and has been a customer of mine for as many years as I've been peddling. A couple years ago I had the very good fortune of having Jaime help out at a. favorite design, and boy did she help, it was great! During that time she was dreaming & scheming to open a boutique with handmade jewelry, stationery, purses and gifts. After two years, Jaime and her mom found the perfect spot, lined up their favorite artisan vendors and took a leap of faith. Last year on November 23rd, (Small Business Saturday), they opened their doors. Evanston has embraced them with open arms, they’ve become actively engaged in the community and I could not be more happy or more proud of them. They have curated a beautiful boutique filled with incredible goods from real crafts-people with entrepreneurial dreams like theirs. If you haven’t been, you really should. And what better time then Small Business Saturday?

If you are in the Chicago area please come see stumble & relish (and me)!

stumble & relish * 1310 a chicago ave * evanston, il 60201
paper party * November 29th * 12pm – 4 pm

Show of Hands 2014

Several years ago I decided to stop participating in retail shows. Instead, I would focus my energy on wholesaling. This was a pretty big decision but I decided I needed to take some time, especially around the holidays to sit back and actually enjoy the season. And it’s been wonderful! Sure, I missed the extra cash but time to bake cookies, decorate my home, attend parties & not be exhausted the morning after in a cold gym for 8 hours the next day peddling my goods has certainly been worth it.

Last year my no more retail shows motto was challenged. I received an email from Emily of Orange Beautiful asking me to be a part of a new show she was putting together, Show of Hands. I was reluctant initially and explained my motto. Emily then shared her passion of curating an amazing group of professional artists, designers & craftspeople in the Ravenswood neighborhood (same as my studio). It was scheduled for the weekend before Thanksgiving, which happens to be before my hustle & bustle of the season. If you’ve ever visited Emily’s shop or blog you know she has impeccable taste. Her passion was contagious & I knew she had what it took to put together a successful show, so I agreed.

It was honestly, like no other show I had ever done. The quality of vendors was fantastic! I was even able to get some holiday shopping done myself. And the aisles were large, in a beautiful (& warm) space. Even during the busiest times you could move through the space comfortably while shopping. I’m honored to say, this year I am again part of Show of Hands. You should visit me & 59 of my independent artist, designer & craftspeople friends. After all, wouldn’t you like to invest in a few craftspeople dreams this holiday, while shopping some of the best, most creative, local handmade items? Happy Holidays, we hope to see you there!