24-Day Countdown to my first One of a Kind Show: DAY 24
As cliché as it is to say, 2021 has flown by. After two years of intense uncertainty, numerous cancellations and using the word "pivot" in a way that's borderline annoying, I am finally heading to my very first One of a Kind Show in Toronto! (Tickets now available for purchase)
I want to take you on this preparation journey with me, since taking on this large-scale event seemed daunting enough pre-pandemic, let alone in our current state... whatever that may be. Having this outlet somehow makes it a bit less overwhelming. If you're a fellow maker that's stumbled upon this blog looking for information on how to prepare yourself for this show (or any show), please reach out to chat! What I've learned so far is that the One of a Kind community is one that's incredibly helpful and I would love to return the favour and help other makers in whatever way I can :) If you're not a fellow maker, I'd like to welcome you as well! I hope this gives you a glimpse into the hard work I put into my craft :)
PRE DAY 24:
I know I'm counting down from 24, but prep actually started weeks ago. Suppliers are still backlogged and slower than normal to ship, but thankfully I've adapted to that within the last year and knew I needed to order early. Few things I've already completed:
- Ordered product supplies
- Ordered boxes and packaging materials
- Started making product
- Decided on how to build display (I'm in the Rising Stars section)
- Researched and bought lighting for display
- Purchased electricity (outlet) from OOAK site
- Purchased parking pass from OOAK
- Created an OOAK Planning spreadsheet that details expenses and products
To be honest, it's been hard to be continuously proactive with these purchases, as each line item has a cost associated with it. As someone who has never done the show before, I have no idea what to expect, especially this year. There was a lot of time wasted in previous months while I debated whether to even stock up on supplies in case the show got cancelled again. For me, the initial investment is significant when it comes to a show like this, so I really had to plan out my goals in terms of how much I would need to sell to make the most of this event. This was one of the most difficult things to consider as I was preparing.
Ok, starting the countdown! I started the day with making a batch of products (as they take time to cure) and putting together my regular orders. Since we're less than a month out, I had to figure out whether I needed more supplies and whether they'd arrive in time for the show. I have a supplier that I've placed orders with a month ago, and they likely won't be dispatching my items until next week! I also have suppliers that ship within 2 days and my orders arrive within a week, which I'm so incredibly thankful for. KNOW YOUR SUPPLIERS. I learned this lesson the hard away a few Decembers ago. Long story short, I placed another order for supplies just now lol.
I also tested my lighting for my shelves and they seem to work okay! In the One of a Kind Artisans Facebook group, a lot of vendors stress about the importance of lighting so I made sure to have that figured out. For anyone interested, I ended up getting these: (Pack of 8) Kihung Under Cabinet Light 2ft, 10W, 1100lm, 4000K Cool White, Utility led Shop Light, LED Ceiling Light and T5 LED Tube Light Fixture, Corded Electric with Built-in ON/Off Switch
I have yet to purchase my second shelf for the show (I have a 3x3 space) and will get to that likely sometime this week. The shipping on that is quick, and I'm building that shelf during set-up, so this isn't as pressing as all the other items on my to do list.