Farmers Markets, Art Fairs, and Craft Shows: 2013 Review

2013 was a busy year for the Bungalow as we took the show on the road to 33 farmers markets, art fairs, and craft shows. Covering 2 states and half a dozen cities we met lots of cool folks (maybe even you).

It was a great year – thank you for you kind words, fun conversations, and generous support.

H plus eye equals HI

 We had a great time in Rabbit Hash on the Banks of the Ohio.

Rabbit Hash Kentucky

 We set up outside Music Hall.

Music Hall Cincinnati Ohio

And inside Music Hall.

Memorial Hall Cincinnati Ohio

We saw a genuine Delorean (no flux capacitor though)

Delorean:  Time Traveling Car of Hollywood Fame

 We made a few buggy friends

spider and grasshopper at art show

And a good time was had by all (though the hot sun did tire some of the robots)

tired wood robot toy after long day of work

 

Now we’re heading back to the drawing board (literally) to come up with some new toys: airplanes, robots, boats, mermaids, dragons, and on and on.  We have quite the list assembled.

And despite our Delorean sighting,  the future has not provided us flying cars.  So we’re taking it upon ourselves to produce said vehicle.  Or at least a toy version.

Newsletter of Fun – October 2013

 

Take The Bungalow Home

Happy-Bungalow-web-shop-screen-shot-570

The web development team (read Don, the same guy who makes the toys, the same guy writing this; the guy who thinks it’s a bit awkward writing in third person so much) has been hard at work putting together happybungalow.com’s webshop. Everyone here at the Bungalow is super-excited to see it up and running. You can find most of the great stuff we sell at shows; everything else will be up in the coming weeks.

Give it a look: happybungalow.com/shop

 

You’ve Asked, We Listened

Happy-Bungalow-wood-tree-play-fairy-gnome-alt001a-570

Of late several people have taken an interest in our play trees. You want tall trees with lots of canopy space. And the chief product testers here at the Bungalow agree. That way there’s room at the tea party for Fairies, Princesses, Strawberry Shortcake, and even a truck or two. That’s what we’re working on. Look for new trees available in the webshop and at shows soon.

 

Magic Is In The Air

Happy-Bungalow-wood-magic-wands-alt002-570

What’s that tingly electric in the air? Pixie dust or the anticipation of all that candy on Halloween? Well, whatever it is, accessorize yourself with a Happy Bungalow magic wand. happybungalow.com/shop.php/products/star_magic_wand

 

Factory Flea October 19 10a-4p

Happy-Bungalow-Factory-Flea-2013-570

Head over to Northside and the American Can Factory Lofts on the 19th and see big overhead cranes, along with vintage finds and stylish artisan wears.

Craft Show Post Show

Happy-Bungalow-art-craft-show-setup-2013-09-08-alt002-570

I’ve embraced the idea of being a toy-maker.  Initially I was hesitant for a two reasons.

One:  I thought I was excluding too much potential customers.  Ha!  It turns out there’s loads of adults out there who still want to have fun.  Also, developing a new product line is time consuming; perfecting the craft even more so.  It’s better to focus on what I know best and build upon it.

Two:  I wasn’t comfortable with being labeled a toy-maker, but I’m cool with it now.  It makes people happy.  What I do makes other people happy!  And I make a few bucks doing it.  It’s hard to beat that.  Though I still make business card holders, the occasional clock, and the coolest cabinet hardware you’ve seen.  And that gray area of toys:  miniature furniture.

So I’ve been growing the toy lines.  Adding more robots, many more animals, and unicorns.  I’ve also added completely new lines of cars/trucks, pirates/sea life, and aliens/monsters.  There’s plans on the horizon to create a line of boats and airplanes.  Just about something for everyone, and all within the toy umbrella.

So with all this new stuff I’ve been tweaking the show setup lately.  It’s no longer a matter of filling space, but trying to keep the space organized so people can find everything.

Happy-Bungalow-art-craft-show-setup-2013-09-08-alt001-570

This is my setup from the past week.  I’ve added another shelf to hold animals and I could use more space with all the animal requests coming in (just when I thought I had them all).  A revamped circus is back on display along with the play trees.  Gone is the very tall tree stand, though I’d love to get it back into the mix somehow, perhaps on a back table.

The robots, cars, and monsters are getting along well with each other.  I have a magnetic board that’s super-handy for switching around displays.  I’m planning on adding another shelf there for the old railroad town buildings and expanded dollhouse furniture display.

Beyond product I also want to add more fun to the booth. For the website, I’m working on a story that links all the different toy worlds together that I want to bring to the physical. You can see a piece of it in the air. To the left of the sign post is a kids floating away holding onto a bunch of balloons.  He couldn’t afford a hot-air balloon ride at the circus, but he could buy helium balloons on the cheap (in the story this sends him to fairy land).  So I’ll be working with the Kids to build more props.  Stay tuned everyone.

Factory Flea

This past weekend was good.  I had a short drive to a show.  The show was indoors (no lugging a heavy canopy thank you very much).  The show was in an old factory complete with a massive crane.  Live music!  Best of all I had great feedback and great sales.  I’m still learning which shows and venues are good for sales (or not), so some shows are for paying dues and others pay the bills.  Factory Flea (a City Flea event)  paid some bills.  We’ll be doing more City Flea shows next year.

I had a bit more space than I thought so I wound up with plenty of circulation space – I’m thinking of making a few small furniture pieces to bring along to future shows for sale.  I added a new robot (more on that later) – the robots in general are getting excellent feedback.

 

tired wood robot toy after long day of work

One Year Anniversary

Happy Bungalow is one year old!  We celebrated at our hometown show.  We’ve come a long way since last year (view here)

There’s a number of new products and new show furniture to display them on.

A new easier on the back sign

And ever popular dollhouse furniture.

I’ll be adding more products for the upcoming slate of fall shows and I’m going to tweak the booth o give things a bit more pop.

The anniversary show went off well – increased sales from a year ago, loads of business cards handed out, and bunches of conversations.  A tiring day, but fun.  Phew.

First Show of the Year

The clouds are clearing, the ice is melting, and the flowers are poking out of the soil.  That means it’s time to leave the shop and take the Bungalow to the masses. Last year was our first year in business and the first year doing arts / crafts shows.  See pictures from the first show here.  We’ve learned a lot and we’re working to put together two show packages – small for local one day shows and big for multi-day shows (an effort to spread out the back breaking).

The first show of the year was a one-day local show so it was a good time to test out some the small show package.  First up is loading everything into the truck.  Boy, has this step greatly improved!  It’s quick and organized.  Also new this year is a checklist – no more forgetting signs.Packed truck with show materials

For the first show last year I built wood tables, but they’re heavy and take a some time to set up.  This year I’m trying out plastic tables with table cloths.  Much quicker to set up, but I need fitted table covers.  The standard “sheet” type don’t look 100% professional.

Happy Bungalow show display tablesYou can see the new small show sign as well.  The other sign is too big to find a spot on the small tables.  I only had an 8 foot x 6 foot space to work with – so there’s just enough room for me, none for a big sign.

For the next show I’m going to work on putting more height into the tables.  I want to step the products to give them more space and visibility.

Happy Bungalow display table

Whem

There’s a load of work in development here at the bungalow. Website changes, blog changes, exciting new product, big shows, and homemade maple syrup. Stay tuned, it will be worth it.

Wee Folk Fairy Fest – Post Show

I’ve been taking lots of new product pictures and working on the etsy shop these past few days, but I wanted to recap the latest show before it’s too far from my memory.  A lot has changed since my first show a little more than a month ago.  The booth display looks much better and there’s more neat product on display.

Happy Bungalow Wee Folk Fairy Festival Booth Display

I had the time to finish the tables with tung oil which really helps them pop.  I shifted the alignment of the tables as well, and more densely packed items.  I also have the super nifty tree display.

Gone is the red paper with handwritten prices.  Also gone are the painted clocks.  Not making a second appearance was the train set on the ground.  There’s a whole separate blog post (or three) about that thing.

Happy Bungalow Wee Folk Fairy Festival Booth Display

The animals were the biggest seller from the last show and they were again this show.  I moved them to the center table to give them more visibility.  Once again people like the dollhouse bookends – who wouldn’t?  They’re so darn cute.  The new hardwood clocks got quite a few nods as well.  I appreciate all the kind comments given.

Happy Bungalow Wee Folk Fairy Festival Booth Display

The show itself had a lot of activities for the family – a petting zoo, music, belly dancers, singers and dancers, and a parade.  My kids had to leave before the parade, but had a great time before they left.

Happy Bungalow Wee Folk Fairy Festival Vendor Lane

 

Happy Bungalow Wee Folk Fairy Festival Princess Parage

Wee Folk Fairy Festival

Saturday October 1st.  Happy Bungalow will be showing off a month’s worth of new product making.  Click on SHOWS above or here

Hummingbirds, butterflies, flowers, and more.  Fill a vase with flowers that never die, or bring a flower sculpture to work to liven up your home.

I’ll also have the new hardwood clocks you’ve read so much about, some cool new paintings, and some spiffy new animals.

[edit:  Many years later we choose to leave this post as is.  It’s sort of an honest time capsule.  This reads more like a social media post than what we try to write on the blog now.  But hey, it’s a learning process.]

Happy Bungalow Tree Stand Flowers Butterflies Birds

 

Happy Bungalow Tree Stand Flowers Butterflies Birds From The Top

 

Happy Bungalow Tree Stand Flowers Butterflies Birds Highlight the Flowers

Happy Bungalow’s First Arts and Crafts Show

Happy Bungalow’s first arts and crafts show was this past Saturday. The show was around the corner and down the street from my house. This allowed the whole Happy Bungalow crew to attend (my wife, the kids, and I). There was a good crowd turnout and a there was a full array of vendors to buy from. Here’s how my booth looked:

Happy Bungalows first show booth

Not only was it my first show, it was my first day selling to the public as well. I was super nervous and for the past few weeks I’ve been focused on little else than the show. Months ago I planned to buy folding tables, but a few weeks ago changed my mind. So I made four wood tables that I could take apart for easier transport. I also made a sign, stands for the clocks, and business card holders. I wasn’t happy with the greenish buckets at the corners, but they kept the awning from flying away (bonus). I thought I could make some (nice) plywood containers and fill them with sand or concrete. We’ll see.

Happy Bungalows show display table

At the finishing stage of the sign I had an accident and before I could do anything the accident dried. My wife couldn’t spot it, so maybe it’s not so bad. Along with the sign I put a sample of all the products on the table. Quite a few people stopped to look. Everyone loves the cute dollhouses and the animals. People liked the knobs too. The tables were unfinished (not enough time) so the rest of the unfinished wood products blended into the table. My wife had the idea to put paper on the table – sort of like butcher’s paper. This worked well as I wrote descriptions of the product and prices on the paper. I like the concept, but I’d like to find a different color paper.

Happy Bungalows first show animals and knobs table

You can get a closer look at the tables – the legs are planed lumber and the tops are birch veneered plywood. They’re lightweight and universally interchangeable. The animals were a big hit – especially the walnut animals. I’ll be making more of those soon. This is where Happy Bungalow’s first sale came from. Not a dollar, but a twenty – I’ll frame it anyway. A super sweet lady at the next booth came over to congratulate me. I made more sales later, handed out business cards, and talked to a lot of people. I can’t wait for the next show.