Archive for Shows

How to Create an Awesome Looking Booth at Your Next Craft Show

Booth Display

Booth Display

Attracting customers to your booth is really a lot of fun!  Lots of creativity pours out of you and unlimited possibilities on how to configure your store for the day or weekend.  But before you go out and buy new displays for your booth, let’s first take an inventory of what you already have.  Then search online on examples of fabulous booths there are.  Pick 1 or 2.  Then design the booth you want based on the business you have.  Keep it simple.  It will look cleaner and eye pleasing.

  • Make sure when designing your booth, that there is ample of space for your customers to come in.  Don’t block the path with products or displays.  If you find it hard to navigate around your booth, then your customers will as well.  Configure your booth as an L shape or U shape.  If you want to just show your counter, push your counters 3/4 of the way up.  Giving your customers a feel that they are coming into home – that they are welcome.

3 key points to consider when setting up your booth:

Target Audience

Target Audience

OK … let’s start with your target audience.  Know your customers!  This will be your main stay to your business.  Ask yourself, what age group, where are they coming from, who buys your product.  Don’t say everyone!  Even though anyone can be your customer, everyone will not be searching for you at the show or on the internet.  You want the specific market that is looking for your products.  Trust me.

Now that you know who your target audience, let’s highlight a few products you want to push … it should be placed where your eye goes first.  Step back straight from your booth about 10 steps.  Look down and then look up.  Where does your eyes go?  Center right?  Here’s another exercise.  Walk by your booth from north to south and then from south to north.  Jot down where you eye goes.  That’s where you place your highlighted products or your promotion for the weekend.  This is where your customers will be seeing your products first before entering the booth.  It is also when they will decide whether or not to enter.

Last but not least, know your dialog.  Yep!  You need one.  Not a sales pitch, but your story.  Say hello to every customer that walks into your booth.  Acknowledge them.  People want to know you know that they are there.  When you get their attention, tell them your story.  Why you created your product in 30 seconds or less.  You only have 1 shot at a great first impression.  This dialog counts.

 

 

Where to Shop in San Francisco, California

San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge

Let’s face it.  San Francisco, California is one of the most beautiful city in the world.  When you see and hear certain distinct attributes like cable cars, Golden Gate Bridge, City by the Bay, and crookedest street in the world you think San Francisco.  Ahhh, let’s not forget it’s famous neighbors Napa Valley world famous for their wines, Silicon Valley for technology and Internet Techonology haven – huh?  Think about it, there’s Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Ebay, Paypal, Google and Yahoo just to name a few.

But what about the shopping experience?  The culture, the artistry, the crafters right here in San Francisco and all throughout the Bay Area?  I bet you didn’t know they are in abundance here in town.  So where do you go to find them?  Here’s a few places you can spot them.  Timing is everything.

1. Renegade Craft Faire SF – yes!  One of the BEST craft shows when they come to town.  Over 10,000 attended this weekend event to see local artists at their finest!  It is extremely popular, that over 600 applicants last year applied for the 200+ spots that are available.  Very cool and amazing talent you will find here at this show.  Check out their website on the next date.

Treasure Island Flea Market

Treasure Island Flea Market

2. Treasure Island Flea Market – 3rd weekend of every month.  You don’t want to miss this!  Local crafters, local artists flock to this event to show their stuff.  Lots of artisans there repurposing, upcycling and recycling old parts and wood to make their products they are selling.  It’s amazing the talent that is out there!

3. De Anza Flea Market – 1st Saturday of every month rain or shine.  It’s a combination of flea market showers and talent all rolled into one.

Alameda Point Antique Faire

Alameda Point Antique Faire

4. Alameda Point Antique Faire – need I say more?  This place is huge!  Over 800 vendors and dealers with items they are selling that are over 10-20 years old.  Very cool.  If you have never been, it’s a must go.  1st Sunday of every month.

5. Alemany Flea Market – every weekend.  Here you will find the storage locker lifers!  They are there in droves!  Be careful though.  Some dealers are a bit shady with their pricing and might take advantage of someone who may not be knowledgable about antique items.  But I tell you, there is a bunch of cool stuff there.

 

Mac Cutting Boards at San Francisco Bazaar 2013

SF Bazaar 2013

SF Bazaar 2013

The San Francisco Bazaar 2013 is happening this weekend at the SF Concourse Pavilion.  It will be the last year that this craft show will be at this venue as the Concourse Pavilion is being torned down to make room for condos.  Sad but true.  But this year’s SF Bazaar will be amazing.  Over 200+ vendors will be there and my guide right in the middle of all of it!  Yay!

Mac Cutting Boards

Mac Cutting Boards

San Francisco Bazaar began in 2001 in the Boston-area as an offbeat entertainment extravaganza to showcase the DIY movement and handmade goods. San Francisco Bazaar has spread across the nation to cities such as Los Angeles, Cleveland, Maker Faire Bay Area and Austin. San Francisco Bazaar is a Handmade market, Indie entertainment extravaganza and D.I.Y. Festival all under one roof!

Looking for handmade gifts this holiday season?  What better way of buying something unique, original, fabulous and handmade than to come to this event this weekend.  Shop local, buy local, buy handmade!  Not only will you be supporting the artist, but the artisan community as well in so many ways.  Here’s a list of vendors that will be there:

San Francisco Bazaar Vendors

It will be a packed house as this event is FREE!  Come and shop with us!

Harvest Festival San Mateo 2013 by Mac Cutting Boards | Holiday Shopping

Harvest Festival Shows

Harvest Festival Shows

Holiday shopping is HERE!  Buy handmade and support your local artists with their wonderfully crafted products they will have on display.  The Harvest Festival in San Mateo is just around the corner!  This weekend November 15th, 16th and 17th and my guide will be there!  They are returning to the San Mateo Expo Center with over 200 artisan vendors in attendance.

San Mateo Daily Journal

San Mateo Daily Journal

Last year, my guide was written up in the local Daily Journal.  Check it out!  This year, there is a huge list of artisians that will be there.  Lots of options!  All very talented and offers superb products for you to buy.  Here are some of my favorites:

1. As Wood As It Gets – handcrafted peppermills made from the most colorful and exotic woods.  You so don’t want to miss this booth!

Gomez Carvings

Gomez Carvings

2. The Woodsman – handmade wooden toys.  Baby safe and earth friendly.  My daughter loves these Doug!

3. Gomez Carvings – you need to see it for yourself.  This guy is amazing!  Wood carving designs on various items of wood.

So you see, support the local artists and buy handmade this holiday season.  It is unique, one of kind, custom made and totally awesome!

Green Festival SF 2013 Review by Mac Cutting Boards

Repurpose and Upcycle - Mac Cutting Boards

Repurpose and Upcycle – Mac Cutting Boards

WOW!  This past weekend at the Green Festival SF was amazing!  It was huge! Approximately 25,000 people came over the 2 days we were there.  Vendors from all over the world participated and my guide was right in the middle of that!  Like always, I have a few of my favorite vendors at the show.  Here they are:

Simply Straws

Simply Straws

1.  Simply Straws – Reusable drinking straws – sustainable and non toxic.  Family owned.  Awesome product!

2.  Alka h20 – Natural Alkaline Artesian Water, Alkah2o is soft and smooth pulled directly from a pristine natural alkaline pool of energy and Ions.  Fabulous water.  Our neighbors.  Super nice guys too!

3. Salute Sante! – The original grape seed oil made in Napa, Ca.  Grape seed Oil is an ecologically sound product that is made from the seeds of grapes after the wine is pressed.  Great tasting!

4. Gourmet Body Treats – manufactures vegan natural Cruelty free Cosmetics, skincare, baby items and bath body eco products.  Super yummy!

The Green Festival SF brings together enterprises, small businesses, environmental groups, leaders, and community to support a sustainable economy.  What a message!  So thankful to have been a part of that.  After all, that’s our story – my guide.

Mac Cutting Boards Will Be at the Green Festival SF 2013

SF Concourse Exhibition Center

SF Concourse Exhibition Center

Green Festival SF

Green Festival SF

It has been called the San Francisco experience!  We are excited!  Get ready, because Green Festival returns to the SF Concourse Exhibition Center, November 9-10 and my guide will be there for the very first time!  Over 300 vendors are participating this year along with classic program favorites.  Green Business, Fair Trade, Community Action and more – Green Festival introduces brand new, hands-on programming including the Good Food Stage, The California Artisanal Marketplace, Exhibitor Demos and a fabulous eco-fashion show.  It is expected that over 25,000 will be attending this event.   This year’s San Francisco Green Festival will be the best in its 12 year history!

 

Repurpose and Upcycle

Repurpose and Upcycle

my guide is so at home!  We repurpose and upcycle unused scrap hardwoods to handcraft our products from cutting boards to coat racks to lazy susans.  We source our materials from hardwood flooring installers, cabinet makers and furniture makers.  We obtain hardwoods such as maple, mahogany and walnut as well as exotic woods such as purple heart, zebra wood and brazilian cherry.

Support a sustainable economy and get your holiday shopping out of the way! Green Festival is the nation’s largest green marketplace for the conscious consumer.  You won’t be disappointed!  See you there!

 

Great Craftsmanship is Everywhere

I’m always amazed by the wonderful talent that is out there.  Especially those that decides to go into business for themselves to share their gorgeous artwork.  Recently came back from Steve Powers – The Craft Festival in Reno, Nevada over the weekend.  Attendance was dismal, but the venue was awesome.  One of the best places we’ve

Purple Heart Jewelry Box

Purple Heart Jewelry Box

been to for loading in and loading out.  The Reno Convention staff was amazingly friendly and there were several quality crafters that came to be a part of this show.  Here are a few of my favorites:

1. Wood Jewelry by Michael & Nancy Bihler – I picked up this amazing wood jewelry box made out of entirely purple heart hardwood.

Art of Letters Photography - LOVE

Art of Letters Photography – LOVE

2. Art of Letters Photography by Brian Smith – He has an amazing eye!  Check out his photography work on pieces that look like letters.

Pricky Pear

Pricky Pear

3. Prickly Pear Gifts by Ed and Lynne Rogers – custom made jewelry and I really mean custom made.  You personalize your piece by putting your name(s) or sayings or just letters on your jewelry.

Well over 120 vendors with amazing handmade products.  Great ideas for the holiday season!

Road Trip to Reno Nevada | Steve Powers The Craft Show Festival

Road Trip

Road Trip

Mac Cutting Boards will be participating this weekend at Steve Powers – The Craft Show Festival at the Reno Convention Center.  ROAD TRIP!  Here we go again … schlepping our booth in our trailer on the road to set up on Thursday for a show starting on Friday 10/25, Saturday 10/26 and Sunday 10/27.

Mac Cutting Boards has never participated at this show, but we have a good feeling about it.  Steve Powers himself came up to Bart & I at another show and personally invited us to participate at his show.  WOW!  We thought, this is a hard working guy.  Self promoting himself, meeting the vendors and passing out a personal invitation.  That’s class.

Either way, we felt the effort is totally worth checking it out.  We have great friends to visit and stay with while there.  The kids are coming with us so it’ll be a little mini vacation (sort of) while making money.  Woohoo!

Starbucks and Target stores are a must to stop at for potty breaks and coffee.  YES … coffee!  We’re leaving really early on Thursday as we need to get there for set up.  Four hour drive ahead of us.  Sigh.

Steve Powers - Craft Festival

Steve Powers – Craft Festival

 

How to Prepare for the Holidays | Thanksgiving and Christmas

Yikes!  As far as I’m concern, the entire month of November is dedicated to Thanksgiving and December is ALL Christmas.  Of course, right?  So, how do you prepare for these major holidays?  Here’s a few tips on that:

Get Organized!

Get Organized!

1.  Be organized.  Keep a calendar going visually in front of you.  A dry erase board would be perfect that way you can make corrections when you need to.  Hang it in an area where are you at daily so you can see it daily.  I love the sticky back.  Here’s one that I use RoomMates RMK1556SCS Dry Erase Calendar Peel Stick Wall Decal (Overstock.com).

2. Start your gift shopping NOW!  Seriously, don’t wait.  If you are like me and can’t stand crowds, but still want to have the shopping experience, here’s a few craft shows to consider:

 10/23 thru 10/27 – San Francisco Antique Show, SF, CA

10/26 & 10/27 – Treasure Island Flea Market, Treasure Island, CA

11/2 – De Anza Flea Market, Cupertino, CA

11/3 – Alameda Point Antiques Fair, Alameda, CA

11/22, 11/23 & 11/24 – Gifts N’ Tyme Holiday Fair – Napa, CA

12/7 & 12/8 – San Francisco Bazaar Holiday Show, SF, CA

12/14 & 12/15 – Los Angeles Renegade Craft Fair, Los Angeles, CA

12/21 & 12/22 – San Francisco Renegade Craft Fair – SF, CA

Online Shopping

Online Shopping

or SHOP ONLINE – here’s some great websites dedicated to unique, handcrafted gifts.  Check out this blog from Mashables on more websites dedicated to handmade products: Etsy or my guide

Make your gifts personable, memorable, unique that has the “wow” factor.  Keep in mind, your “wow” factor is just good enough.  If you like the gift for yourself, chances are, your recipient will like it too.

3. Set your date and time for your own parties.  Having it on the day of the holiday is always stressful.  So why not consider a before or after the holiday?  This way, your family and friends can still make their obligations for the holiday visits to their respective family and friends and YOU can relax (a little) as you won’t have to compete with other parties going on that day.  Have a menu prepared and visualize your party.  Check out Martha Stewart.  Awesome ideas!

4. When overwhelmed, consider going to a restaurant.  Make the restaurant do the work – cook and clean.  You bring you and your family and just eat, mingle, drink and be merry.  Nice!

Where Does Mac Cutting Boards Sell Their Products

Running a business is no easy feat.  You wear many hats from janitor to administrative assistant, telemarketer, bookkeeper, pickup and delivery and inside/outside sales.  It’s no wonder us entrepreneurs are exhausted at the end of the day everyday.  So what is more important amongst the many tasks we do?  That all depends upon what time of day you are asking.  I believe the most important task hat we wear as entrepreneurs is sales.  So what does that mean?

Paddle Cutting Boards

Paddle Cutting Boards

In our business, marketing and follow ups are crucial to keeping our business alive.  We need to get the word out there of who we are.  Small “mom and pop” business that makes unique, one of a kind, handcrafted wooden cutting boards made from unused scrap hardwoods.  Our business is primarily online and craft shows.  We are in a few boutique shops throughout Northern California.  my guide sets up shop most weekends during the latter half of the year at craft shows, art & wine festivals and/or demonstrating our unique gift ideas to realtors, contractors and other businesses looking for thank you gifts to give to their clients.

Every year we are always looking for great ways to let people know how to buy our products.   Any suggestions?

 

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