It was awesome. Really excellent. I had tons of stock - lots of colors, sizes and styles. I think that the display worked really well - better than any other time, actually. It was super minimalistic (four boxes and two shelves on a regular 8 foot banquet table could hold 30 felt hats.
The two upright spinning racks held 30 more, and my little corner of bookshelves held all the extra feathers, sewing supplies, etc that I could need. Also hid the ugly stuff like plastic lunch containers, seen in my lap in the image below:
My merchanting neighbor Ken (Cloaked in Time) was just delightful, and I saw ZERO merchanting drama amongst the others. Not always the case - and a total win.
Sales-wise I sold 26 of the 64 hats that I brought (that counts linen coifs as whole entire hats. I sold two of those, but as I only took four and dumped my coffee all over the last one, rendering it unsellable till it is bleached and re-starched, that ain't bad, folks.) 26 hats sold is a fabulous number, and is more than I sold last year. I saw LOTS of last year's hats on happy heads, and saw several people who had made their hats whole entire outfits!! (That really warms my heart). Also had several folks rush the table right at the first and buy two hats at a time - saying "last year MY hat sold to someone else before I could buy it. I'm not letting that happen again."
THAT is why I do this, folks.
The blue cocky beaver hat was the hot item du-jour-of-the-day. There were three or four ladies oggling it - one of whom bought it instantly. The rest of the ladies hissed at her for the rest of the event, and she has joked about needing hatyguards to follow her around to protect her (it). I had no idea that would be such a hot ticket item. Tim says he knew (smarty pants.) Perhaps one or two higher priced "over the top" pieces would be in order for whenever next time is.
My prices were a little bit higher than last year, which is really good because I had just run last years numbers and the hat business has not remotely even paid for itself in 2010. Hopefully the small increase will help.
All custom ordered deliveries went well, and everyone who I sent away with a hat to go get their checkbook or to paypal me from their hotel room, did so - keeping the happy 100% track record of "Nobody has Ever Not Paid me." I will need to cash all checks soon to see if the "Ive never gotten a bad check" track record stays awesome as well, but I think all will be fine.
So - there are lots and lots of pretty hats left, to be photographed and put on the actual online store page.
I think some of the Cavalier hats would have sold if they had been just a little bigger, but my bigger block was busy with Thore's custom hat collection, and was therefore unavailable. They are all really pretty - they will sell, I think. Thy just need their people to find them.
stuff I should have brought:
- More blue hats. I'm totally out of blue blanks right now, so this is a resupply issue
- More hats trimmed in forest green or in blue. I had olive green, which is not what folks were wearing. It's always something.
- More Mary Stewart hoods. I think...I think they have started to catch on. I really must get the paper all done, and maybe get working on the kit I hope to have.
- Hat blanks - to use to show people how the hats start off. Some folks think that I buy the hats and just decorate them (I am awesome-er than that) and others think that I make my own felt. (I am not that awesome)
- Felt swatches for custom cav hat orders. I was very blonde to leave these at home. Fortunately, Melusine understood. :)
- Really need a custom order form. Must make that this year.
And - that's enough for now. I also could have used a full-timeish hatshop helper. Tim did some for me, but he was watching Zach, and I need someone I can dress up in Elizabethan stuff and put a hat on. Viking boy was less convincing than he would have been in a nice doublet and a ruff.
Ruffs! Yes - the ruffs were an excellent first experiment. The huge goldwork De Medici ruff sold, making the Renaissance Tailor a very happy Marquesa. We also figured out that we should have only put ONE ruff on a display form, and just place the rest on the table ready to be tried on. I think more might have sold if folks had been easily able to try them on without feeling like there were dissassembling my hat display. Hopefully, we'll do that experiment again.
Right - really done this time.