Christmas Fair Preparations: Gifted 2019

This year I'll be showcasing Literary Lip Balms at Gifted - The Contemporary Craft and Design Fair, and I'm both excited and incredibly nervous! The event is massive, with over 400 designers and makers. This is the first year they'll have a Sustainability Area, and you can find us (that is, me and Johan) at Stand A86, alongside other amazing eco-friendly businesses.

I'm giving away free mid-week passes (Thursday and Friday) at the bottom of this post, so scroll down if you happen to be in Dublin between December 4-8th 2019. 

1. Booth Design

Booth design sketch for craft fair

(Nothing beats a good old sketchbook and pen)

Booth design sketch for craft market

(It will probably end up looking way messier than this!)

I've done smaller markets in the past, but never paid much thought to booth design since there's only so much you can do with a 2m long trestle table! At a large craft event like Gifted, however, there's so much more to think about. What would draw the eye of visitors? Should your booth face outwards (so people can browse easily as they walk past) or inwards (bigger chance for people to engage when they step into the booth)? How do you cover up the grey panels? 

I get overwhelmed by ideas easily, and find it so much easier to visualise things when I have them down on paper - which is why I ended up drawing like 15 different floor plan alternatives. I even cut out paper squares to move around, to represent tables and shelves!

2. Production and inventory planning

It's hard to know how much stock to bring when it's your first time doing an event like this. What if I make too much, and end up with massive amount of inventory no one wants? What if I make too little, and lose out on sales? I ended up calculating out how much I need to make as a minimum and a stretch goal, and worked out how much stock I needed for the best case scenario. Answer: A lot. Which means 3-4 full production days a week (10 hours/day), which again equals a lot of Netflix documentaries and chick flicks.

Handmade lip balms production behind the scenes

(50 units down, about 1235 left to go)

Handmade soaps

(All soaps are labelled and packed by hand)

3. New products launch!

I plan to launch a completely new range of lip balms at Gifted. I know, I'm really bad at spacing these things out! The idea was to get them out earlier this year, but the company I used for cosmetic assessments (required by EU law when you sell skincare) took 1-2 weeks to get back to me for every single email, and I spent 2 months with them before deciding to find another company. I was so frustrated! However, I'm happy to report that things worked out, and you'll be able to find the brand new products below at the fair. 

compostable lip balms for readers and geeks

(8 new compostable balms based on the most popular original Literary Lip Balms)

all-natural lip balms gift pack for readers

(A cute gift box containing 4 x 10ml lip balms with new designs - Of Spice and Men; Murder on the Orange Express; Pride and Peppermint; The Call of The Pines)

natural face and beard oil - Literary Lip Balms

(All-natural, super moisturising face oils and beard oil inspired by fiction. Comes in a 50ml amber bottle that will last MONTHS - a perfect gift for bookworms!)

Want to get your hands on some of the new items, and no chance of getting to Dublin? Fret not! The whole range will be available online in December on the website. Some of my new stockists will have items available from as early as November - The Art Shop, Chou's Cottage and Ode to Earth

4. YOU are invited!

I am giving away mid-week passes (valid for entry on Thursday and Friday) to Gifted 2019 for free. I only have around 10 left, so there will be a maximum of 2 tickets per person. To your ticket(s), please make sure you're subscribed to the newsletter (link on front page), and leave a comment on this blog post with your name. I'll send you an e-mail if there are tickets left.

You can also book tickets for any day directly on the Gifted Fair website. Tickets are €12 for adults and free for children under 16.

Can't wait to see you there!

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