Wow, I can’t believe it’s over! And yet I feel a sense of relief, as well as accomplishment.
We hit success at HoopFest New England, our very first vending experience. Sales were much better than I anticipated (we brought in about three times what I thought possible for a first-time event) and hoopers seemed to really love our designs. They stated over and over how hard it was to decide which items to get. We were glowing. Also, hoopers were very eager to give feedback or share ideas with us. Unsolicited. A-friggin-men! I love that.
Most people seemed surprised when I told them it was our first time vending. They talked about how much they loved our nautical/tropical theme and how everything looked very put together and thought-out.
I give credit to our Disney World trip a month ago. Disney is such a magical, detaily kind of place. You can tell a lot of thought was put into it and you do end up caring about the place. It imprints on you. I think had we not gone there we wouldn’t have thought to put as much effort into display and theme ~ which made our booth inviting, I like to think. :)
Mom kept watch of the booth when we went to go and play. Thanks, for your help, Mom!
Raquel, our DIY duct tape mannequin bust, really held up quite well. Even on the one ridiculously breezy day when t-shirts seemed to be flying off the table every 10 minutes. (And NOT in the way I’d like them to ~ in people’s hands!) :)
We put a glitter station right next to our sign up sheet :) Who can’t resist glitter? I hadn’t figured out what to put the glitter in, so thankfully, Maria, the HoopFest organizer, gave us that little ceramic seashell tray as a “Welcome to Maine” gift. Dang, she so niiiiice. Worked out perfectly!
The vibe was playful and open. Here’s Mike, my hubs, goofing around with some other hoopers.
Rachel running through “Big Bertha”.
Dogs are really great sales people. Every hooper loooooved Spider. Look at how ridiculous he is.
Vending can be rough, so make sure you keep up those “electrolytes”. Moxie was one of our favorite new Maine finds. It’s a soda that tastes like Angostura bitters. Mmm…
This is Rachel standing in front of the coolest tent on the block, owned by Try Out Toys. So Renn Faire… but I mean that in a good way.
You’d think from all the above pictures that we weren’t working that much. But, sweet geezus, we really were ~ setting up, tearing down, being charming and stuff. (Kidding. I’m charming all the time. Takes no effort.)
Most of the time I was too tired to hoop dance, which sucked. After all, I was there to connect with hoopers and what better way to connect than to hoop with them! Shit! So if I have any regrets it was that. I shoulda just taken my meth like usual and hooped it up day and night. Oh well. I was able to talk in a fake New England accent to a few people who seemed to enjoy it. That was wicked-awesome.
Overall, this was a great intro to vending and we’re looking forward to having all the bugs twerked out for HoopCamp in September!
Notes for next time:
- Make booth asymmetrical. It’s more pleasing and interesting to the eye and also to walk thru. We tweaked this on the 2nd day and the flow seemed much better and less confusing to people.
- Absolutely need to have that glitter station. This brought people in to our booth and made them smile and feel welcome. And that’s what I want people to walk away with when coming in contact with us. HoopPretty is all about happy glitter times!
- People like to handle merchandise. At first, we just had sample shirts out with signs stating to ask for the shirt in a certain size. Mom thought to pile shirts on the table in each size. What happened? We had more people buying shirts because they could hold up the shirt in front of them without having to ask for anything. I was trying to make it easy on ourselves by not having that much merch out, but really it was hindering sales. The less asking people have to do before buying, the better, I think.
- We need a mirror and “changing room”. I underestimated the importance of this. I ended up taking photos of people with my iPhone so they could see how they look in our t-shirts. Thankfully hoopers aren’t too modest, so most just changed in the booth. Next time we definitely need this though.
Check out more photos over on Flickr.
And leave a comment letting me know your vending insights!