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Unique LA Summer Show and a Valuable Lesson

Unique LA Summer Show and a Valuable Lesson

It was an exhausting week last week.  I was in full court press to get ready for Unique LA’s Summer Show in Santa Monica (yesterday and Saturday)  and for the Renegade show which is this coming weekend.

The Unique LA Summer Show has a special place in my heart.

Two years ago it was my first ever handmade show and it was the first thing I did after leaving corporate-land.  I couldn’t help but think of it as a test – to see if I’d made the right choice.  It went really well and I was off and running!

This year was no different.  I got the booth all set up.Cheltenham Road at Unique LA Summer 2013  It was bit…..cluttered (I have to work on that).  I had some new trays.Cheltenham Road Booth Unique LA  Some new candle blocks. Cheltenham Road Candle Blocks at Unique LA Magnets!  Cheltenham Road Magnet Sets Unique LA Summer 2013And pretty much everything else I make.Cheltenham Road Candle Block Display Unique LA 2013  My neighbors at Style Cuff and Ave Marie Designs make some very beautful and very versatile jewelry and were a lot of fun to boot!  The weather was beyond perfect and the crowds were strong.

I did, however, learn that perhaps I am not particularly cut out for retail work which could, you know, be a problem.

Here is what happened.

On the first day a woman came into my booth with, what I assumed were her two daughters.  They were looking at coasters and had taken a few of the packs off the display.  I then got distracted until she tapped me on the shoulder.

“We would like these” and they set down 10 packs of coasters, “and these” and she pointed at four of my trays (there were only seven to begin with).

“OK, that’s kind of a lot but…Great!” I thought as  I rang up the total and packed things up.  They left, only  to return a few moments later saying:

 “We would like an additional three of each coaster set”

And this is where I learned that, perhaps, I’m not quite in the correct mind-set for this business.

Because, do you think my first (and continuing thought) was:

  • A)     This is totally AWESOME!!!!!!
  • B)      I have nailed this market I am RICH!
  • C)      No! I won’t have anything left to sell!
  • D)     But that ruins the display!

If you chose “C” and/or “D” you would be correct.


What is wrong with me?! (Rhetorical question!)

And, honestly, I never quite recovered.  The rest of the weekend went really well but I couldn’t’ quite shake this vague, shadowy feeling of “they took all my stuff.”

And yes, the rational part of me does realize that this is the DEFINITION of a “Good Problem” and I do consider myself very, very lucky.

OK, now I’m gonna be really nuts this week because I have to make everything I made last week….again!

On to Renegade!  Do come by if you have a chance.  But don’t buy too much – it will upset me.Renegade Craft Fair

About cheltenhamroad

I’ve been surrounded by amazingly creative people my whole life. My mom can, and does, make anything. The family has on occasion speculated that she just whipped up my dad one day when she discovered some left over fabric and stuffing. My three sisters have mad skills ranging from needlework to cooking to out and out ART. My father’s desk when I was growing up had a model train set going around it, oh, and he made that desk-from scratch. I’m the youngest and, as you can imagine, it’s a hard series of acts to follow. Truth be told, I’ve spent many, many years suppressing the creative instincts I learned at home. But I realized (rather late in life) that few things bring me more joy than making and creating. For the longest time when I went to stores I didn’t think, “I want that” I thought, “I can make that.” And, with a deep breath and a leap, I’ve started on a very new, kinda scary path. I’ve given up my steady, dependable (dull!) corporate life to spend my days happily humming away in my garage designing, creating, painting, decoupaging and sawing and, since this blog will be an honest take on things, there is also a fair amount of tripping, spilling and swearing. Through this blog I hope to share with you the struggles and (hopefully) triumphs of a very non-businessy business person. I also hope to make this blog a resource for people who like to work with their hands and who are, like me, always looking at things and thinking “I could make that!” I’ve lived many places since I left Cheltenham Road; I currently live in Los Angeles California. So, with this preamble- Welcome to Cheltenham Road! Please come on over and make yourself comfortable – the place is always open.

18 responses »

  1. Congratulations! You’re a success!

  2. You are too funny! I make handmade cards for my friends and family. The crazy thing is that the happier I am with the way the card turned out, the harder it is to let my “baby” go. Even though I could make a hundred of the exact same card! I must be a litte nuts! Congratulations on your continued success!

  3. That is a good problem to have, really! Now stop goofing off and get to work.

  4. HA HA, I’ve done the same, said to myself if something sells then I won’t have it to take to the next Market sale. Well, duh!
    Your things always look so bright and happy and professional, no wonder they sell in bulk.

  5. Congrats, David! You are doing everything right!

  6. OMG, I know EXACTLY what you mean. Just when i have everything displayed perfectly, people actually have the nerve to buy things and totally mess it up. Yah, I know, I’m nuts and should be grateful.

  7. I am still giggling. I am a old dog on retail. I so get it. But when I was in the world of retail, managing a staff of 120 I would often tell them a messy store is making profit, a perfect not touched is going out of buisness. Displays are to make sales,congrats great work

  8. I totally get it! When people buy a LOT of my stuff all at once, I think ‘Oh no, now I won’t have enough for the next show! and then I cram-work like a co-ed before finals! Congrats! Take a moment to count the cash and savor your success ….then get busy cram-working!

  9. Clearly, David, you need to raise your prices…PROBLEM SOLVED. Consulting fees gratis.

  10. If only you had made 3 times the amount, then you could backfill and still feel good. Stop wasting time sleeping 4 hours a night and get to work, slacker!

  11. LOL…it’s a rough world in Retailopia. Good luck this weekend too!

  12. Hee haw. You are funny and that ranks high on my list for reading. I am the same way and dang if I don’t have a full garage to prove it.

  13. I always worry when they buy that much that they are going to open their own store:)!!


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