Well, the recent Austin Pet Expo I attended is over. I have been reluctant to attend a big event like this, and I think I now remember why – they are a lot, and I mean a lot, of work! It was a fun event and I handed out dozens of business cards and met lots of pets and their owners. I think the best thing about any in-person event is getting to meet folks directly and talk about your products/business. And you get really great feedback. People tell you what they do – and don’t – like, and why. I consider all input good and informative, letting it serve as a basis for possible product refinement and new creations. One thing I saw at the event was people carrying their small breed dogs in slings, so when I find time that may very well be my next new design! My best seller at the expo was my new pet idBandanas, which I will be writing more about soon.
One really neat thing I finally was able to use at the pet expo was my Shopify card reader. I used it on my iPad (after first testing it at home), and it worked beautifully. Honestly it worked so well that I think I could just sell things from anywhere, just like you see in the commercials. Perhaps I should carry it, along with my new pet bandanas, in my purse. Hmmm…
I also know that I don’t want to do a really large event like this again. I think something much smaller, and even closer to home, would work much better for me. I would be interested in attending a fair that only requires a 6′ folding table and a couple of chairs, along with a limited number of my smaller products like bandanas, toys, blankets, and crate mats. I don’t want to think that all my preparation work and extra things I had to purchase or create for this event will be wasted by not having another event, I just want to keep it smaller and more manageable. I am certain that there will be at least one local fall craft fair that will suit me perfectly!
That being said, my other decision since the Expo ended is to put my crafts back on Etsy. Etsy admittedly has the greatest global marketplace, and has been the best overall venue for me. It worked for me prior to blogging, social media, and attending any craft events, and that’s really saying something. I do still hope that in time my new shop website will replace my Etsy shop, but for now products will be listed in both locations. I will be spending time the next couple of weeks getting everything re-listed on Etsy, with product descriptions that match those on my new site. Fall has always been an especially busy time for me as a crafter, and I know that September is sneaking up quickly.
The best comment I received at the Austin Pet Expo-
Your creations take pet products to a whole ‘nother level!
Glad you think so!