Yelp Giftacular Holiday Market, A Recap

This weekend that just wrapped up found me doing both my third and last market of the year- The 2011 Yelp Giftacular Holiday Market. It was part of their shop local campaign for the holiday season.

Rather than getting super long-winded on the stories, I’m going to share the ups and the downs and then share one or two favorite moments via sentences, long and short, with the possibility of a run on here and there and definitely some paragraphs. There may also be some words in all caps, too. Don’t worry though, I’m not yelling. 🙂

So the UPS: 

  • I made sales both days.
  • I got a handful of people to write holiday postcard greetings to send to friends and family. I mailed them today as promised.
  • I got eight new people to sign up for the newsletter.
  • I gave out so many cards that I ran out of my first run business card from last year, hooray!
  • I got tons of requests for just my holiday glitter envelopes. Go figure! I didn’t think that was going to happen.
  • I talked to tons of engaged couples interested in wedding invitations.
  • I got to spend quality time with my aunt and cousin who helped out one day.
  • I spent lots of time talking to fellow {NewNew} teammates who were also selling.
  • I FINALLY sold a set of my “Eat & Veg” invitations.
This one gets a story because IT IS huge.  As is the case with these particular invites, I get great feedback about them (all of them, the “Meat and Eat” invitations and postcard version of both), but no one buys them. I don’t know if the $3.75 price tag per invite or the $30 per set cost, but everyone picks them up, laughs, holds them for a while and then tells me, “they’re cute”, or “these are really good”, or my personal favorite, “I love these, but I don’t have any events to use them for.  I always think during the last comment, “you COULD create an event and then have a reason to buy and use these”, but I never say it. I just smile and say, “I understand”.
Saturday afternoon after one encounter where one of the above statements was used, I told my cousin, “When I sell one of these invite sets, I’m going to be so happy”.  Little was I to know that it would come the next day.
Sunday, started off a bit slow. As I waited for traffic to move on in, I sat and read my magazine. At one point, I looked up and there was Danielle from Etsy. I had the pleasure of meeting Danielle back in October when I held the Blogging for Beginners session in the Etsy Labs for my teammates. We talked briefly that night and I told her about my shop, but she had never seen my product in person. Well, there she was! She and I chatted for a bit and she told me that my stuff was really cute and asked me if I had applied for any jobs at Etsy. We discussed this some more and then she told me to keep an eye out for some upcoming positions and to contact her. Not only that, but she signed up for my newsletter AND purchased the “Eat & Veg” invites.  I later said to Sandra, my friend’s friend manning her booth, that even if I didn’t make another sale that day, that was the sale I had been waiting for.   And not for any other reason than I finally sold my first set of “Eat & Veg” invitations– I LOVE those invites deeply and well, I feel validated now.
  • I have more experience working the market scene.
  • I gained more insight on what I should do for future markets.
  • I got to hang up my new S2 banner, which is exciting!
  • I made connections, practiced patience, and kept reminding myself that this is what it takes to make a business run.

There can not be ups without downs. Here are the DOWNS: 

  • This was the first Yelp Holiday Market.
  • While there was traffic, traffic was also lacking.
  • Sunday was cold, which I think played into people being out and about shopping.
  • I had to spend money to make money.
  • I should have talked more about the interactive Holiday postcard promotion. I didn’t get nearly as many as I wanted to.
  • I ate too much of the free food samples they passed out.
  • I should sleep more before long hours of selling.
  • I need to work on my display a bit more. Everything flat is not a good idea.
  • I haven’t gotten my sales clincher down yet.
  • I don’t have patience. I wanted to leave earlier during the day after I realized I wasn’t going to make more money.
  • I need to find a better way to pack and carry everything. Breaking bags is NOT fun.

But those are the only downs. Really!

I should work on some of my lines more, maybe have a few single cards that might attract smaller sales (even though I have no intention of doing greetings cards as a main line of my business). I should also work to carry more men specific stationery sets. The few that I have, don’t bring the bright eyes of the ladies that my “merci” set do.  While improvements need to be made, over all, these are not bad things. These are not things that make me stop and think I’m in the wrong business, or maybe I should switch gears.  In fact, I felt validated by the laughs, smiles, and comments/questions that I did get from customers. 

Did I have two amazing days full of money?  No.

I did have two fun days, talking with people, making connections and learning more of the game of having a business.  Yelp provided me and countless other vendors in the city an opportunity to reach people that we might not otherwise and to move our businesses. I am grateful for the opportunity and for the success that I did have both day. I may not be rolling in a heap of dough, but I learned a bit more about myself and S2 Stationery and Design.   Below are some more pictures from the event.

I’m glad my first year of markets ended with this one! 2012, I’m getting ready for you!

 

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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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