Friday, May 2, 2008

Reliving Inman

OK, so: Inman Park. Nine designers from Beehive all chipped in on a triple-wide SuperBooth for the weekend, making it a more affordable and less intimidating enterprise--just what I was looking for. I've done lots of trunk shows and a bunch of fundraisers, but I haven't done a street fair before, and I wasn't really all that sure what equipment and set-up was going to be required. And some stuff I never even thought of, like who watches the booth when I have to pee. Which was a LOT (thank you, pregnancy...).

We all got there super early on Day 1. Won't do that again--but I never would've know otherwise. Set up was easier than it might've been, and the space looked GREAT with all those designers, like Iram-Inal Designs, HJ Designs, and Kaboodle Pendants. We were exhausted, but kinda excited. I've been attending Inman Park Festival for the whole 10 years since I moved to Atlanta, and have always loved the business of it and the vendors. It was pretty different from the inside.

Different, too, because the crowds were different this year. I know none of us can bear to hear a single additional word about how bad, bad, bad the economy is right now, because each syllable that makes up the word "economy" makes all of us gag at this point. But. Usually, the crowds are thick as ants at a picnic, and EVERYONE is carrying something they've purchased. I'm not the only one who noticed that wasn't the case this year--folks just weren't spending the same kind of money as they have in the past. Given that, I'm delighted with my sales, and had such a good time meeting people and talking about what I do. I've struggled to do sales of any kind before--when I make each thing myself, and then try to talk about them to a potential customer, I have a hard time not feeling like I'm being immodest to say how great I think each outfit is, even though I really do think each one is AWESOME. And sales, let's be honest, are about talking up the product. So having all these other vendors there, showing me how to feel more comfortable, was really, really great. And was seriously the boost I needed.

I actually lost my voice talking about my newest design so much (and selling more than half of my stock):
The Lily Reversible Adjustable Jumper

My mother-in-law buys the most beautiful traditional Southern outfits for our baby, with smocking and embroidery, the kind of thing I can't make. And she wears them as much as she can--three? four times?--before she grows out of them, and then I feel sick when I pack them away and know she can't wear them again. So I wanted to design something that lasted LONGER. Combine that with this AMAZING sushi fabric I got when my husband and I were honeymooning in Hawaii (like you needed more proof I got the best guy ever: he took me fabric shopping on our honeymoon), which I REALLY didn't want to share with anyone else, and I needed something that would lllaaassst. About the same time, I saw a cute little top that had ties at the shoulder--decorative ties. I'm sorry, what? Decorative? What a waste of time, right? So I drew up this little baby: functional rounded ties at the shoulders, A-line shape, reversible with two awesome fabrics on both sides, and as she grows, it grows with her. This year it's a jumper at her knees, next year it'll be a shift at mid-thigh, the year after that it'll be a hip-length top over pants. Looks great over a tee, she can even wear it over a long sleeve top or under a sweater over the winter. I llloooovvvee this outfit. And I guess I'm not the only one! It was the star of my entire Inman Park experience.

Can't wait until ours comes out of the laundry and baby begs to wear it again.... See you at Inman Park 2009, in a booth of my very own!

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