Do not offer to host Super Bowl Sunday the day after a show. I'm so tired from cleaning all week then waking up at 6am this morning to make sure all the pets were handled, everyone was fed and then out the door to the event.
So originally I hadn't intended on registering for this event because I do believe the LGBTQ+ community should be the ones selling in their spaces but they did have open spaces still so I did eventually take one. I like the organizers and they had a silent auction during it as well to raise funds for the community the Rainbow Wellness Collective works with.
Before the Event & Setup
I was ready for this event. I made my little advertisement. I posted in my groups and a few discords to come see me TODAY! I had my scheduled posts prepared the same day I designed them
Granite City had been posting videos of the space the night before and morning of so of course I was extra prepared, knew exactly where MY spot was going to be. Decided since I've learned I don't need to bring literally everything with me, that I was going to sacrifice the wagon. I brought my table (we knew chairs would be provided) and my usual stuff.
In the last 30 minutes before leaving, I decided to add stickers to my Square terminal and test them as a product. I hate stickers so much. I don't understand my hatred for them, but just know that if I ever buy stickers from you, I really am trying to support you because I am not using them at all. I may even hand them off to my daughter and her friends who like stickers.
Didn't bring my charger or the extension cord this time because we never end up near power even when we request it and the last two or three events we haven't needed it anyways. I found out later I would regret this.
Stopped at a Holiday near the event location in St Cloud to gas up, get some water and some snacks, and I guess make friends with a nice gentleman named Denny who traded my $40 in 20s for $5 bills instead. He wanted me to tell everyone about him and I guess you guys are the everyone since I have no idea who else it would be for. If you're reading this Denny, I never remember anyone's name and I guess you stuck in my mind. Great customer service A++.
At this point I am feeling pretty grand. Jamming to my playlist of Hazbin Hotel songs on Spotify and then we arrive at the location. I swear I had looked it up online but I guess it wasn't super clear about the parking situation. I hate parallel parking but did it anyways as people were coming in and out of the side door. I threw some nickels and dimes into the meter (this matters soon but I will come back to this) then unload my car. My daughter went in first and located my spot which.. was not where I expected it to be.
Got the table set up and my daughter handled the plush while I struggled with the realization I had no choice but to download some random app and pay for parking. I took a picture of this wonderful meter in the spot I wanted to stay in until the event ended thinking I am so crafty and that I will just renew it when it's time. Took me way too long to figure out how to use the app and one of the vendors next to Wolf Dynasty Studios gave me the cheat code to success. You type on the number that was on the meter and then the city. The catch - the parking limit was 3 hours max and at the time I wasn't aware I couldn't renew it.
With parking handled, I finally went to work getting my pins set up and went to find Wolf Dynasty Studios as we were originally supposed to be near each other. During my setup, one of the staff was coming around with forms for release for photos to sign. I ended up asking when they came back why I wasn't where I was intended to be placed as I'd worked pretty hard on my advertising only to be located somewhere super far from where I expected to be.
Apparently someone else had helped with laying things out and the space couldn't hold all the tables they expected, which happens, but I wish I hadn't been moved from my spot I guess. This is the second time I have made a graphic for their events trying to show where I would be located and the second time I have been nowhere near where I was trying to send my customers.
The organizer came over and chatted for a bit. So I actually completely forgot how well they take care of vendors. They had free popcorn, water. and coffee for this event. So while I was extremely unhappy about my location being messed up, just know that specific situation is what made me unhappy and nothing else even if something may seem to be a problem.
With my table setup, it was time for the event.
The Event Itself
I did spend the first 30 minutes or so being pretty annoyed that I was as far from Wolf Dynasty Studios as could be. People I knew but couldn't immediately recall the names of came to say hi, so thank you for stopping by! A lot of people snagged my cards and I made 3 sales between 11:30 and 2pm, one of which was to Wolf Dynasty Studios. There was a lot of foot traffic but I wasn't exactly keeping tabs on how many people came through. The 3D printer table was the most popular thing on my side.
I got to chat with a lot of fun people throughout the day, including meeting E Greywood Art and talking to Wingingit Studio which I always somehow call Wingit Studio, and buying a book from EH Drake. I would be lying if I said my sales were great. They absolutely were not so the saving grace for this event was the artist social hour. Me being isolated in another room expecting my daughter to watch my table was a downfall, but I am happy she came along anyways. She worked on her art and even had people asking her during the event that if she could draw so well, why wasn't she making stickers or something and selling them.
Oh and in the middle of this I had to move my car. Remember that meter? Yeah. That app that would allow me to pay and park for exactly 3 hours and only 3 hours would also not allow me to renew my spot so I had to go move my car to a different parking area which also used that dumb app. Guess how many hours that spot could reserve? 5 hours. I didn't need all 5, but that is what I had. Looking back, this had to be like downtown St Cloud or something. Either way, parking in the area was just not great and it was not because of the event itself.
At the same time this was going on, there was also a farmer's market or something so I do think we got some traffic from that as well as people coming specifically to support this event.
My most commented on item was the hoodie I was wearing from Rainylune. I even got some shocked looks when I pulled the tongue out. I mean, it is clearly the greatest thing ever. That is why I have one.
I had a good time but definitely made some mistakes like not bringing my phone charger for the first time and getting put next to a wall outlet. You'd think with this being my 9th event, I would have this down by now. Nope, gotta change course every event.
Unrelated but cats were a major talking point here and sticker books, so this is me taking notes. Publicly.
What Worked & What Did Not
Loved the space we were in, like the building itself not my booth spot. I was supposed to have a window spot! Never forget. It was warm and inviting, the heat worked and my daughter even complimented the bathroom which is honestly just an odd thing to even bring up.
Staff at this event is still my favorite. I love them so much. They are friendly, helpful and always treat us like we are super important.
Parking sucked but now we know in case they have future events in this space.
Loved that chairs were provided. Not having to bring chairs is always excellent.
The coffee, water, and free popcorn for everyone. It's just so wonderfully thoughtful and it deserves recognition.
Communication before, during and after the event was great.
While I had a great time, if I do another event at this location, I will try and split a table. The profit would have been better if that had happened even making what I did make. To be fair, the organizer did say they weren't sure about how this would go. They are also still fairly new to organizing events and they are doing a great job. Other people did better, so there was probably something lacking on my end. I'll always do a Granite City event though, at least for now.
Also had I not brought stickers, I would have lost money.
The Details (TLDR)
Event: Granite City Bizarre Bazaar Arts & Crafts Show
Date: February 10, 2024
Location: Rainbow Wellness Collective, 601 W St Germain, St Cloud, MN 56301
Hours: 10am-4pm CST
Total Vendors: 32
Travelworthy: Wasn't great for the hour drive, probably best for local area residents.
Booth Cost: $50
Total Sales: $71 (this is before all costs are taken out)
Transaction Fees: $2.15
Total Profit: $13.82