Urban Craft Uprising Winer 2012 Show

Over this past weekend, my trusty sidekick (Colin) and I were selling my MeMe wares at Seattle's best indie craft show, Urban Craft Uprising. UCU is a curated twice yearly show that we have (thankfully!) been accepted to just about every time we've applied. Tears of joy, heart flutters of excitement ensue when I see my business name on the UCU website. The amount of talent that they squeeze into the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall blows my mind every time I vend there ... well advertised (radio ads, bus banners inside & out, posters, postcards, lots of press), well organized ... I really can't say enough good things about this show, the talented people that organize it, the dedicated customers and the vendors that are the heartbeat of this lovely, indie, DIY asthetic, the "buy local, support local" quality that is what this show is all about. 

UCU also asks vendors to donate $25 worth of product or samples of product (not just business cards, biz pinbacks or other marketing materials) so they can fill 200 swag bags that are given to the first 100 customers in line when the show opens each day. The show opens at 11am, I usually arrive 1 1/2 hours early (with my lunch box & coffee in hand) to chat with my fellow vendors, to see the awesomeness that everyone makes, to get mentally prepared for the day. (Since my business is "mobile", most of my days are spent solo--making product in my lab, updating my website, taking care of web orders, etc, so the days spent out in public when I can dress up a bit, put on some of my cosmetics for real, do my hair makes me very happy. I have a feeling most people that only know me from shows would not recogize me in my lab-gear.) Every time I arrive at UCU, I see a line of very dedicated customers, usually 100+ deep. This is a great compliment to UCU and every vendor there! Around 1pm yesterday, a customer came into my booth with a UCU swag bag on her arm. "What time did you get here to get a swag bag?" I asked. "7:45 am. I don't "do" Black Friday, I do my best to avoid big box stores, but I WILL stand in line for 2+ hours to get a UCU bag!" was her reply. I thanked her for her dedication to UCU. It was the least I could do. 

Going "on the road" to sell is always a blast for me. Yeah, I'm tired as hell when I get home, I usually have another show the following weekend which means more 12 hour days preparing, but that's ok. I get to see lots of my Seattle friends (my husband and I lived there for a few years & I miss the city every time I visit) and usually one of them is generous enough to put me up for the weekend. This helps MeMe's bottom line (fewer expenses and no hotel rooms) and it is mentally rewarding and relaxing. One of my childhood pals, Josh, put me up this weekend. He, his girl Jen and his two daughters were such a good time to be around. I refer to Josh & his sisters as my brothers, sisters since we grew up together in the country near Mt. St. Helen's. Jen is a marketing guru, something I do not excell at. Something I need help with. The conversations we had over the weekend has my brain swirling with ideas. Which is good and bad. Good because I need to figure out what I need to do to take this MeMe business to the next level, to figure out what that next level is, to deal with the fears I have surrounding my business. Bad because I have a lot of work to do! Is that really bad, though? No, not really. The fact that my business is what it is in the economic climate we're living in is a blessing. A true blessing. 

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