Cleveland Bazaar Eve!

One day to go, at last!

It's nearly time for the only place you can shop for everything chile con yarne, the annual Cleveland Bazaar.

I've been a vendor at the Bazaar for over 10 years, and was at the very first event. In fact, I've only ever missed one show: the second show when it fell on the weekend following Thanksgiving and I had a family obligation.

So as a decade veteran of this annual show, let's talk about how I prepare.

Now, I'd like to say that I sew all year round, but that's a big fat lie. I don't usually get down to brass tacks until September. The REAL crunch doesn't begin until November when I spend every single weekend down in the Craft Dungeon. These past few years my goal has been 100 cubes, and whatever other little prototype designs I had time to play with. (In the past I've sold fleece hats, cat toys, booties, baby dolls, sock monsters, scarves, and handbags.) The big focus is always on the cubes.

After Thanksgiving, the social media crunch begins. My dormant Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook go into overdrive.

The week before the show, I check the stock and condition of all the ancillary items I need: business cards, signs, tablecloth, bags, display cases. This year, we've got new cards and a second display case. I'm starting to worry I won't have enough bags, but nothing to be done for it now. Next year, I'm swapping to paper bags. More expensive, but better for the environment. (Shoppers: Remember to bring your own bags!)

The week of the show I start packing up. I only live 20 minutes from the event, but I start to break down my vendor table (which is my sewing table the rest of the year). Cubes get squished into boxes or bags, and I triple check every other item I need at my table. Cigar box for cash, Square reader, sewing kit for repairs, and a chair.

I also stop at the bank for cash, stop at the grocery store for snacks and drinks. Pack a book or two for when things get slow, pack a sketchbook in case someone suggests a new design idea.

Friday night, aka tonight, pack up most of what I need and head down to 78th Street Studios. Set up the table, chair, tablecloth, display, and sign. The actual merchandise can wait until Saturday morning. It's pretty quick, after all.

My cubes take up two plastic tubs, a HUUUUGE garbage bag, and a giant cardboard box. Over the course of the show, the bag I brought the cubes in turns into my trash, and the cardboard box can also be broken down and left behind. I can usually fit everything into my two plastic tubs when it's time to go home.

And that's about it!

I'm off to sew up the stuffing holes and add tags to the last few cubes, friends. Make sure you're subscribed to my Twitter and Instagram for live updates on the show. See you tomorrow!!