The Path to Creative Entrepreneurship--- Part Two--Trunk Show City
Updated: Jun 1, 2019
Everybody's Got a Back Story. Mine involves Stationery, Gifts, and Lots of Color and Pattern!
So, when I left off with the story of my creative journey I had just sold my first dozen or so designs. I was delivering them to people in their mailbox and collecting a check. Not a way to do business over a sustainable period of time, I might add.
My next step was to schedule trunk shows, and that is exactly what I did. Now, understand that I didn't believe that my products could be sold all by themselves. I did not have that kind of confidence. To begin with, I thought people were just buying to be nice, or they were complimenting me because they were friends or family. That feeling of insecurity and self doubt about my creative ability wouldn't change for another year or two. So, off to trunk shows I went. They were the best and the worst of times. Trunk shows were incredibly affirming, on the one hand. Every time I went to one, and I was doing them all over the #Southeast, my Hype Strype products were out selling other lines that I showed by more than double. That is where my confidence began to grow. I could see that other besides my mom and my best friends also thought my products were good. THAT is why #creatives create--to provide a product for others that they won't just like but they will LOVE.
On the other hand, the trunk shows were grueling. I know that sounds silly, but it was a lot of set up for not a lot of profit. It was enough, but I began to think that if all of these people who were in different states and different areas of the Southeast were all in on Hype Strype, then maybe I could handle a larger platform. Let me just stop and state right here that I have always been the type of person who thinks anything is possible until someone shows me it isn't. In this case, I didn't know what a monumental task scaling Hype Strype for #wholesale sales would be. And at the time, that was a good thing. If someone had shown me, I might've had second thoughts. At the time though, I was ready to jump in with both feet!
I quickly got to work on creating more and more designs, selecting packaging, and figuring out pricing. I worked all of the time on it and couldn't wait to get to Atlanta.
Everyone told me though that the only way to do Atlanta was to have reps and to be in the biggest gift or stationery showroom. It all sounded good to me, but when I began to investigate, it turns out I would learn one of my biggest lessons about running our creative business in one 20 minute phone call!