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What It's Like Selling at Bustcraftacular LA with Rosalie of Ugly Baby

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What It's Like Selling at Bustcraftacular LA with Rosalie of Ugly Baby

Academy Of Handmade

 It can always be a little intimidating when applying for a new show. We're thankful to member Rosalie Gale of Ugly Baby (and also the fabulous Unanimous Craft!) for telling us what it was like selling at Bustcraftcatular this past June. Hope it's helpful! And thanks to Rosalie for sharing her experience.  

bust_craftacular_academy_of_handmade

Q: How did you hear about Bust Craftacular? 
A: I am subscribed to their mailing list. They sent out a message saying that they had some spaces still available for the spring Bust Craftacular in Los Angeles.  

Q: Why did you decide to do this show and have you done it before?
A: I made a decision earlier in the year not to sign up for any summer shows because I was having surgery on my ankle and I wasn't certain I would be up and around in time to make product. It turned out that my recovery took less time than I had planned for so I was facing the summer just watching everyone else get ready for all the amazing shows: San Francisco Renegade & Urban Craft Uprising especially. 

When I saw the message about the Bust Craftacular, I jumped on it. We had airline miles to cover our travel and some good friends to catch up with while we crashed at their house in Los Angeles. I thought it was a "can't lose" proposition.

Q: What's the application process like?
A: Minimal. I filled out a short form and explained our products. I was accepted almost immediately which made me wonder if they have a jury process in place or if everyone who applies gets a table.

Q: What was the atmosphere like? Who was there? What could you do?
A: Bust had quite a few activities planned for attendees including creating cool fake flower covered headbands. I saw people walking around with them on all day and eventually had to ditch my husband at the booth to make one of my own. 

Q: What was the set-up like?
A: I assumed that a craft show indoors in Los Angeles would be air conditioned. I was wrong. Mack Sennett Studios is a big event space that has a warehouse feel. The loading dock was the public entrance for the show and the doors remained rolled up throughout the day. It was extremely hot. Extremely. Hot.

Member Miriam Dema and co-founder Sharon stopped by to say hi to Rosalie at the show. 

Member Miriam Dema and co-founder Sharon stopped by to say hi to Rosalie at the show. 

Q: What kind of vendor would do well here or not do well here?
A: I'm sorry to say, I don't think many people did well at this show. Attendance was minimal which surprised me since Bust has such a popular platform to advertise their events. If there isn't anyone there to sell to -- it's pretty much impossible to do well.

Q: What should people know when considering Bust Craftacular?
A: If you are thinking about doing a Bust Craftacular, think of it as a way to introduce yourself to Bust. If you think of it as a marketing opportunity only, you'll be less disappointed by the show itself. I didn't do well at the show. I had assumed it would be a wash-- we would cover our travel expenses, cost of goods sold and the table fee but not much else. It was quite a bit worse than that and we didn't even end up covering the cost of the table. That said, Bust did send out two Tweets about our products before the show that landed us several new fans and sales. You can't always judge a show by the sales alone-- sometimes there are other benefits that come along later. 

Q: Where can people find your stuff?
A: My husband, Doug, and I invented Shower Art-- waterproof art you can hang in your shower with a suction cup-- and create it under the name Ugly Baby. They are made out of rubber, glitter, discarded toys and a fair amount of sarcasm. I also created and run Unanimous Craft-- a membership website with resources for people running indie craft businesses.