Gearing Up For Celebrate Brooklyn!

In case you haven’t heard, I’m participating in Celebrate Brooklyn! this summer. A formal announcement was made by BRIC Arts Media on April 29th, so I don’t think I’m sharing anything prematurely here. Thanks to the amazing team that I’m part of, The {NewNew}, me and several other Etsy vendors will be the selected merchandise vendors at Celebrate Brooklyn!  Amazing, no?

Can you feel the air leaving your lungs?

Because I do.

Here’s why: Celebrate Brooklyn! for those of you that don’t know is “one of New York City’s longest running, free, outdoor performing arts festivals. Launched in 1979 as a catalyst for a Brooklyn performing arts scene and to bring people back into Prospect Park after years of neglect, Celebrate Brooklyn! was an early anchor in the park’s revitalization and has become one of the city’s foremost summer cultural attractions. Over its history, the Festival has presented over 2,000 artists and ensembles reflective of the borough’s diversity, ranging from internationally acclaimed performers to emerging, cutting-edge artists. All Celebrate Brooklyn! performances are free! The festival attracts upwards of 250,000 attendees from across New York City to the Prospect Park Bandshell each summer. ”

Their concert line up is being released on the 12th-only three days to go! I have to admit that since I’ll be working many weekend shifts in the tent with fellow {NewNew}ers, I’m a bit excited to find out who and what music I will be exposed to.  You can get an idea of what the line up is courtesy of the New York Times’s Pop and Jazz Across the US Listing that was published last Thursday, May 5th.

Anyhow, about a week ago, I started to go into a conniption. See, I’ve only ever done customized work so I’ve never really had inventory. Are you beginning to see the problem? Is the equation making a bit more sense to you? Sara – inventory = NO INVENTORY for CELEBRATE BK!. Okay, I’m being a bit of an over-exaggerator here, but you know when you’re faced with that wall and you don’t know where to go? Well, that was me for a brief period of time and it sent me into overdrive and an awareness that without inventory, I’ve got nothing.

On the flip side, what I DO have is an abundance of paper and envelopes. With my creative left brain, need to purge and my business right brain, I dove straight into my collection of paper and envelopes and sheet paper. I started developing ideas for gifts of teachers (Celebrate Bk! is not soon enough for these, but they can go on Etsy), creating limited edition sets that will sell until they sell out at Celebrate BK! and if they don’t, well, I’ll get to that hurdle when I’m facing it), and determining what I am going to need more of before June.

And so the early part of my weekend was really productive. It even found me out for a morning run (something I’ve been lacking motivation for, but feeling quite urgently is a priority).  Anyhow, you can see that I became ready to take over the world. And while I, didn’t get quite so close to world domination, I did get quite a bit planned and accomplished in my Celebrate Brooklyn! strategy. Well, enough to make me pleased with my work load in the remaining three weeks before Celebrate Brooklyn! starts.

The general gist of my strategy is that I’m going to make some key pieces, outside of the limited edition pieces, and I’m going to make enough sets for the first three weeks of Celebrate Brooklyn!. Since I’ll be working, I’ll be able to see what needs to be refreshed and make them in enough time. I’m fortunate enough now to know what supply stores I will be using, how much things will cost me and after this weekend, what my time will amount to in creation time.

In the past 23 months, the one thing I’ve learned is that pieces don’t always take as long as I think they may. When I first start with a piece, any piece, it always seems to take more time than it should. It’s almost a painful experience to be quite honest. When I first create samples, they take almost no time because I’m so excited that I get absorbed in the process and viola! they’re completed. However, when I am faced with 50 or 100 pieces, I look at the pile and it just seems to take FOREVER, but then I realize as I keep making them, the more I make, the faster I get. My eye becomes better coordinated with what I’m doing and so it takes less time than initially thought and before I know it, the order is completed. A great feeling, indeed.  But this isn’t the only area that seems to be freaking me out and I’m not going to lie and say that things are completely under control.

There is A LOT of things that need to get done, aside from determining whether I have everything I need. I make everything by hand, aside from the printing, which means that if an envelope gets lined, I have to trace out my template many, many times and then cut each of them out. Time consuming! There are also moments where I suffer from wanting to try to create more things. For example, just Saturday morning, I started playing around with my vintage looking recipe cards to see if I can alter them in any way to make them more for the Brooklyn crowd that will be in attendance.  I’ve already decided that I can alter them a bit and so I’m in the tweaking stage, but I’ve given myself a cut off date of May 13th for designing new pieces. After that, things have to be in a production phase only. From there, I can focus on wrapping, sealing, and branding.

I will be sharing the entire process of production as I continue. Celebrate Brooklyn! launches on June 10th with their Gala and ends August 11th, so all through this period, my postings will be a bit preoccupied with documenting this great feat and sharing my experience over all:  my ups and downs, printer issues, and probably, music/concert reviews. I suppose we’ll both just have to see how this turns out. My fingers are crossed that it’s simply amazing, but even if it isn’t, it will be because this is definitely a risk for S2 Stationery and Design and for me.

This summer is proving to be quite an exciting period of time for me and S2 Stationery and Design. Not to mention, S2 will be celebrating its SECOND BIRTHDAY just around the time that Celebrate Brooklyn! takes off.  I can’t believe it still!

Wish me luck and stay tuned for more story sharing of taking my dream to the next level, and biggest, it’s ever experience.  Also I’ll send out an invitation to all my friends and loved ones in NY to come out and check out my product along with the other amazing products supplied by some awesome Etsy and {NewNew} vendors.  It’s  quite exciting that this girl who is originally from Brooklyn, is participating in her first large vending event in Brooklyn. Quite fitting, eh?

Can’t wait!

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s2 stationery & designs

A rule-breaking designer, artist & entrepreneur who's passionate about paper and handcrafting stationery. I also write, travel, and focus on eco + social good.

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