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Sale, Sale, SALE!!

We couldn’t wait until our usual blogging day tomorrow, so we’re doing it today! That’s right, folks, we’re having a SALE in the shop! 20% off of EVERYTHING-back to school bound or not!-so take advantage with the coupon code 2COOL. Just enter the code at check out and watch the savings roll on in.

Ah, aren’t sales wonderful things?

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Hey Now, Zucchini!

Okay, so we’re not quite back up and running with our regular blogging schedule, so we’re afraid we won’t have a Thursday Shout Out quite yet, folks. Why? Well, because between Newport and now, we’ve been busy getting ready for the awesometown West Stockbridge Zucchini Festival, which is this very weekend!

Yup, we’re headed to one of our favorite fairs, where there’s plenty of good humor, zucchini based costumes, and fun galore. The Meatbagz booth will be up and running-look for us in a new spot, in the middle of the main drag!-and we can’t wait to see some of you there!

Official Meatbagz Decree #34

Anatomy of a Craft Show

We’re far from seasoned craft show professionals (when we think of that, we think of crafters and artists and artisans who do shows every weekend, year after year-not just shmucks like us who do a few every season) but with *ahem* Newport Folk Festival under our belts (yeah, we still haven’t gotten over it) we’re feeling pretty comfy in craft show land. And as such, we’re putting together this little blog post with little tips and tricks we’ve used to get us through.

First, the tent. We use an old school, domed canopy 10’x10′ tent, which is the standard size of most craft show booth spaces. We used to use a pop up EZ tent (the same you can find at sportings good stores, and places like Target etc) but  were especially happy we upgraded at Newport when severe storms and massive rains hit Saturday evening. Come Sunday, a lot of those easier to set up pop up tents were broken and had ripped roofs. It was not a good scene, and we felt for everybody who struggled to get through the day held together with duck tape. The domed roof on our tent kept the rains from putting too much stress on the poles, and we had everything securely closed up with zipped sides, and we were intact and bone dry.

And while we’re on the subject of surviving inclement weather, may we introduce a friend of ours: the dog tie out stake. We had three of these babies (two of which we got at the dollar store, one of which we stole from Kate’s pup, McCoy. He never missed it, for the record) and when the winds picked up, the tent did not. We stuck them in the ground and wrapped ropes around the tent poles, and even in gusty, seaside weather we held nice and strong.

Now, obviously, these things are generally going to be necessary for multi-day shows and shows where you need to plan for bad weather potentially making your tent fly off and crush the wicked witch of the west, but there are a few other things we never leave home without, no matter how big or small a show:

  • Twine. Seriously, we should buy stock in gardening twine. We use it to tie things down, hold things up, and secure whatever needs securing. Plus, we tie our tags to our bagz with it, so if we find an untagged bag we’re covered.
  • Zip ties. Again, buy stock. We use the zip ties to hang our tent sides, but we also use them to make loops and hang bagz on the outside of our tent walls if we’ve got our back to a walkway or path. Handy pants, those zip ties.
  • Duck tape. Specifically, white duck tape (since our tent is white, and all). We used almost an entire roll in Newport-seriously. We reinforced a few tears in the roof before the rain hit (keeping us nice and dry, thank you), and on Sunday when it was super windy Kate went to town and taped up every crack, crevice, and seam until our walls were as solid as rock (even though they were reed and nylon). It kept our tent from flapping in the breeze and our bagz nice and steady on their hooks. It was fabulous.
  • Business cards. Seems like a no-brainer, but we always bring extra. If people aren’t ready to buy (or are interested in a special order), out come our business cards. We get them from moo (and you can see our whole thought process on the wonder of these cards here) and we always bring extra.
  • Paperwork. Sometimes we need it, and sometimes we don’t, but we always bring whatever paperwork we’ve received from the venue with us. This can include parking passes, booth placement, or just general information and phone numbers we might need to call if we have a question. Either way, it’s worth having, just in case.
  • Our Square. Again, you can find all of our thoughts on this wonderful little device here, but dear God-if you don’t have one, GET ONE. We easily do the majority of our sales via credit, and the Square is simply the best. People’s faces light up when they hear that we take credit cards, and our faces light up when they buy bagz. That simple.
  • An inventory list. We have a handy dandy red notebook where we keep a runny tally on what we’ve sold and what we have left. Because we have different designs on different bagz, we can quickly check the notebook if someone is looking for something specific, instead of digging through totes and trying to remember what sold when. It also makes it very easy to figure out what we’ve made, what’s sold well, and we we need to re-list when we get home and open the Etsy shop again.

That’s the quick and the dirty of it, folks-did we miss anything? What do you take with you when you go to shows?

Thank You, Newport!

We are once again back home, slowly recovering from the awesomeness that was The Newport Folk Festival. Hopefully you peeps followed our adventure on our Meatbagz Facebook page (because we’re sure you had nothing better to do last Friday through Sunday) but just in case you missed it, here’s a quick recap:

One, let us just say how cool it was to get the super awesome parking spot our vendor pass afforded us. For some reason we got to park in the same area as the performers. Which was freakin’ sweet. And also handy. And also made us feel like big shots, because we got to go through gates that the rest of the population were turned away from. Obviously we are now famous and don’t have to wait in line at restaurants and get our pictures taken by strangers all the time. Or, we could have just needed to be closer to the space to unload all of our crap without bothering actual paying concert goers. However you want to look at it.

Two: This was our first show with our new booth design, and we were pretty happy with ourselves. We scored a corner spot (which equals awesome), but it also called for some adjustment. More on that next week (we’ll have a post all about the ins and outs-as we’ve found them-of doing a multi-day craft show). But the important thing is this: the Meatbagz Booth looked fantastic (if we do say so ourselves), functioned well when we had a lot of customers, and it made us happy.

Three: The Newport Folk Festival was pretty much amazing. We got to sell bagz (and thankfully turn a profit!), listen to amazing music, and Kate even unknowingly accosted a few musicians. (For the record, the lead singer from Of Monsters and Men has red Docs like Kate’s, except Kate’s are way cooler…and also for the record, the lead singer from Of Monsters and Men seemed slightly confused by Kate’s compliments regarding her red Doc’s until she looked down and saw a similar pair on Kate’s feet-but was a good sport about it.) We met some amazing people, breathed the ocean air, and are already wondering why we don’t have a live, non-stop, killer soundtrack played by world class musicians in the background of our every day lives.

So thanks, Newport-we’re fairly certain  you’ve ruined us for every other craft fair there is. But we’ll patiently wait until we see you again next year, and no doubt we’ll enjoy every minute of you then too.

PREPARING

We are busy, busy, busy getting ready for the Newport Folk Festival, folks! We’re printing, preparing, and making plans. We’ve got some new designs in the works, new bagz being put together, and darn it, we’re excited. We’re going to take a blogging break until after the festival (we’ll be back the 31st) but no worries-we’ll be updating the Meatbagz facebook page with pics, news, and our general exclamations of excitement, so be sure to check in regularly! See you in Newport, peeps-wish us luck!!!

Thursday Shout Out: Cool It

Pretty much everyone, everywhere in the U.S. is pushing through a heat wave, whether it’s the normal summer sun or the crazy weather that’s hitting the middle of the country (many people suffering through  without power, no less). But the good news is, the weather peeps assure us that the heat is headed down to more manageable levels in the coming days, and until then, we havesome sweet finds to cool us off.

Westinghouse Electric Fan by MyLittleThriftStore. $50. There’s a lot to be said for looking cool while being cool, and this awesome vintage table fan easily fits both of those bills. In perfect working order, this baby will keep that you comfortable in even the hottest of weather, and hey, when the humidity finally breaks, the good news is this Westinghouse fan will still function: by being a conversation piece and the envy of all the cool cats in the neighborhood, as it sits on your shelf waiting for the next go round.

20 Wooden Ice Cream Spoons with Trellis Pattern by sucreshop. $8. We still remember the wonder of those little cups of ice cream with wooden spoons from when we were kids-was there anything better?-and with these adorable spoons from sucreshop we can capture that feeling again. Updated with a super sweet  raspberry trellis pattern, these spoons bring the simplicity of being a kid having a treat off the truck to even the most sophisticated (not to mention earth friendly) party.

Silk Sari Maxi Dress by JacknBoots. $68. What could feel better on a scorching day than a silk dress? And this dress is so gorgeous you’ll be begging the weatherman for record highs, just for the excuse. In great vintage condition, a beautifully unique print, and in size M/L (but fitting smaller sizes as well, for that bohemian look), this dress is simply amazing.

Four Martini Glasses-Hand Engraved “Reaching Branches” by daydreemdesigns. $98. What could be better after a hot day at the office than an ice cold martini? We love the engraved “Reaching Branches” design-it brings to mind cold winter nights, and fingers of ice creeping up the classic martini stemware-perfect for a refreshingly cold beverage (with a twist).