Sunday, April 19, 2009

DSG North Texas

On Saturday, April 18, 2009, three of the charter members of the DSG North Texas group met for the first time at La Madeleine on South Cooper in Arlington, Texas. And there was much rejoicing.

Present at this meeting were Ellen Kreager of Thunder Moon Designs, Liz Ballard of Lizardo Art, me, Liz's boyfriend, Ben, and my wife, Debra. Soup and sandwiches were eaten, tea consumed, and we talked for 90 minutes or so about DSG, Texas, our North Texas group, how to go about promoting each other's work, craft shows, interior designers, etc.

La Madeleine was a surprisingly good place to meet, even if they didn't have a private room. When I was still a member of Etsy Texas Crafters we met at a different La Madeleine, in Fort Worth, and we had a room to ourselves. That works better, but this was fine. On a Saturday afternoon there are lots of people stopping in from the Parks Mall, but they don't stay very long, and nobody bothered us while we were talking.

What will come out of this meeting and a couple of discussions in our online networking group is a plan of attack, a flexible idea of how to sell our own work while promoting the work of the other members of DSG North Texas. And one of the most likely ideas to come out of this will be attending en masses the various craft shows in the area. This will require reserving booth space next to -- or at least near -- each other, talking to customers about how something from another member shop will go well with whatever they are looking at in our own shops, and having fun with the customers while taking the whole concept seriously. I know this works because I've seen it very successfully demonstrated at comic book conventions and science fiction conventions.

I have really good feelings about this group. A few more members will help us spread the marketing message out to enough customers for the idea to take hold, and I have some candidates in mind, but this can work even with the three members who attended this meeting. We're all intelligent, we all want to increase our sales, we all produce high quality consumables, we all have hair on the tops of our heads...

Okay, not really sure where I was going with that, but I do know we can succeed, that this will work for us. I left this meeting with a big smile on my face. I can't wait to tell Kristina Law, our Design Style Guide Big Cheese in Charge, all about it!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

First Monday Trade Days, Weatherford, Texas, April 4, 2009

This time out we had great weather in Weatherford! Now if we can only figure out how to keep Debra from frying in the sun...

This recounting of events will be short, due to my tight schedule this week and next. I'm building a set of shelves for a client in Irving, some drawer fronts and a cabinet door for a friend in Fort Worth, a pair of closet organizers for my son (haven't started that one yet), and I have to do some work for my mother today, Wednesday.

We made a few sales, had a lot of interest. Oddly we sold no woodworking at all, though lots of people were looking. The big display I built for the tie dyes caught everyone's attention, drew people in to our booth, but I have to tweak the setup a bit next time so the shirts don't obscure the candle holders. I think many people completely missed the rest of our wares, seeing only the T-shirts.

Rachele Bates of TileSmile fame (also a fellow member of Design Style Guide) was present, along with her friend, Beth. They had a better setup than we did, and they had more sales. From a distance you could see everything in their booth. Okay, maybe you couldn't see every tile they had for sale, but you could see that they were selling tiles, and you could see it clearly. That's very nice.

I'm considering placing the T-shirt display farther out in front of our booth. It will eventually have a tie dyed flag on top. By placing it way out in front it will still draw people toward our booth, but they will be able to see the woodworking as well.

Next month's space is already paid for, and we're expecting sales figures to climb again. And we'll be adding more shows in other cities as the year progresses. Maybe we'll be in your town sometime during the next few months. Look for us!