On Saturday my club, the Columbus Miniature Society, held its annual show. This was my first retail show. I shared a table with three other ladies and sold my garlands, key chains, and calendars. The event was well attended and there were about 25 vendors. We had a few fun little workshops on Friday in between setting up, and also one during the show. There was an exhibit room and I entered two exhibits. At first I was concerned that I’d not have anything to show. I’m still a relative newcomer to dollhousing. I haven’t had the time or cash to build up my supply of room accessories needed to make a believable mini scene.
A month or so prior, one of my friends told me that her mom was ready to downsize her dollhouse hobby collection. She asked if I would like to come and take a look at what she had and help myself to whatever I wanted. What an incredible windfall! I spent an entire day of helping her sort through her attic’s collection. I loaded up my car with two full-sized dollhouses, kits for least 3 or 4 more, multiple roombox walls, and 5 moving boxes full of dollhouse building supplies, furniture, and accessories! It took another two days to clean, unpackage, sort and organize, and store all the items, but now I know what I have, and it’s incredible!
One of my instant favorites of the trip was a little greenhouse roombox that had a glass roof and a glass front. Unfortunately the glass roof had broken, so I discarded those pieces. I cleaned up the little house and it’s unbelievable cute. I discovered I had an abundance of tools and garage type items, once I sorted everything, so I figured I probably had enough to make a scene with those.
With idea in mind, I made the little house into a garden shed tool workshop. I was able to put it together quickly for the Columbus Miniature Show. The only thing that took any time was the pegboard. I poked every hole with a sewing needle and glued some wood trim to the edges. I decided to use hot glue on everything because hot glue is easy to pop off. I’m not sure if how I have the little room set up is how I want it to stay forever. I think the little house might be super cute if I paint it white and turn into a small boutique. I also like the natural color for now.
The next item I had on exhibit at the Columbus Miniature show was a cute little ghost terrarium. I created it as part of a class at my library’s craft club. Though I deviated quite a bit from the example, I like it better that way. I brought my own ghost which I had received as part of my Cincinnati Miniature Society club’s monthly gift swap. Also, I had my own little Happy Halloween garland, and three little clay mushrooms I had purchased at my hometown’s Feast of the Hunter’s Moon.
The original design called for a piece of Styrofoam glued on the bottom to be covered in tissue paper. I did that, but I also added my own little fire ferns by rolling and snipping the tissue paper. Then I had to jam a stick into the foam. Where I changed things up was the design of the ghost. The original ghost was a round piece of Styrofoam covered in the white gauze material with two pinhead eyes. I skipped that and just used the gauze as spooky fabric in my tree. I glued down the mushrooms and strung my Happy Halloween from a branch in the tree to make it look like it had fallen in the wind. There were so many other great exhibits. You can see most of them in this Facebook photo album.
I learned a great deal at my first show, and I’m glad I went. Having only a quarter of a table was also very good. I learned that your success at a show is directly proportional to your ability to fill your real estate. Everyone who visited my table at the Columbus Miniature show quickly saw the few things I had to offer and then either commented on them, or moved on.
The majority of my comments were about how cute my little calendars were! A few people even commented on the calendar’s display. I put them inside square black picture frames that had grey corrugated paper board in it. Next to the calendars I taped two round mirrors. I think it was the reflection on the mirrors that caught everyone’s eyes and attention. I’ll be sure to include them in my next table display.
I made a few sales. If I had had more table, and not any more product, I would have really been in trouble. As it was, with my few sales, I did manage to make a small profit of almost four dollars! It was the table fee that really ate up my profit, so if I’d been on the hook for more than a quarter table, I would not have ended in the black.
I helped six of the dealers take things out to their cars, after the show was over. It was very cold and raining. I had stupidly rushed out of the house that morning without either a coat or confirming that the sunny weather would continue all day. Even though I was cold, wet, tired, and hungry; I was having fun. I had quickly secured myself a cart and I ran an express train out to the parking lot’s awning where the dealers had their cars ready.
Well, that’s it! I had a blast at my first show and I’ve got another one (sorta) coming up. Columbus has a craft show they call Winter Fair, and my club has a table. I might have a few of my pieces for sale there as well, but maybe not. I was told that the things that do the best there are finished scenes. I’m not ready to give up either of my two little exhibits yet, but maybe I’ll come up with something else. You can find more information about it at Winter Fair’s website.